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Road To The BCS: The Upper Crest Will Be Challenged Today

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The Road to the BCS series is back and we will go through some games that will affect the non-BCS teams (not going to fall to the pressure of saying non-AQ) in their quest for a BCS game. Plus, for each game there will be a section of who you should be rooting for. These games will be realistic games that could provide an upset. As always, I prefer chaos to possibly break the system; wouldn't it be cool if there was a tie for second in the BCS standings. All rankings will be the coaches poll until the BCS standings are released. Links go to team previews.

#1 Alabama @ #11 Arkansas 3:30PM ET TV: CBS

This is the first big test of the rebuilt Alabama defense against the rocket arm of Arkansas' quarterback Ryan Mallet. On the other side, Arkansas has possibly the best running back duo in the nation with Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson. This will be an intriguing game, since Alabama has not been challenged by any team this year, and is a much watch.

Rooting interest: Arkansas. This will knock Alabama out of the title game picture, at least temporarily, while it will put Arkansas in the picture for the national title. TCU and Boise State would move up into prime position if Arkansas wins, but if Arkansas and Alabama keep winning they could easily pass Boise and TCU. Alabama is a strong enough team that they can have one loss and be ahead of an undefeated Boise State or TCU, and Arkansas will have the schedule to pass the two if Arkansas does go undefeated.

Kentucky @ #8 Florida 7PM ET TV: ESPNU

Florida is going to stay on this list until they show me that they are not a vulnerable team. Kentucky has been able to put up a lot of points, but those were against Akron and Western Kentucky. The same can be said for Florida who has yet to find their offense this year.

Rooting interest: Kentucky. A win by Kentucky should knock Florida out of contention for the BCS title game. Kentucky provides no threat to Boise State or TCU even if the Wildcats manage to run the table. Florida possibly could climb back in the rankings, but they still have games against Alabama, LSU, Florida State, and the rest of the SEC schedule.

#15 South Carolina @ #14 Auburn 7:45PM ET TV: ESPN

How far can South Carolina go with quarterback Stephen Garcia who is bound to make a mistake. However, to make up those mistakes South Carolina has freshman running back Marcus Lattimore who is a beast. Steve Spurrier has never had a great running back and he is comparing Lattimore to Emmitt Smith while at Florida. Auburn has the explosive offense with Gus Malzhan and quarterback Cam Newton who is near the top of the NCAA in quarterback rating.

Rooting interest: South Carolina. This is really a toss up, but the reason for choosing South Carolina is because there is no way they are going undefeated. So, might as well get Auburn out of the way now.

Oregon State @ #3 Boise State 8PM ET TV: ABC

So, Oregon State painted their field blue (link) in order to get used to playing on Boise's turf. Coaches go crazy by playing loud music to mimic other stadiums and other stuff to help their team prepare. Oregon State has talent to compete with Boise State, and the Beavers hung around with TCU for most of the game. This should be a close game, but for Boise's sake they need to have a dominant showing since this could possibly be the last chance they play against a top opponent. Boise just hopes that Nevada and Fresno can keep winning to help them out.

Rooting interest: I know Ben will not like this, but Boise State. I know a Boise loss will put TCU in the drivers seat to play for the title game, but I want the non-BCS teams to do well and break the system. Plus, Boise and TCU could improve their previous bowl matchups with Boise and play in the BCS title game.

#22 West Virginia @ #12 LSU 8PM ET TV: ESPN2

This game has more of an effect on Utah trying to snag an at-large bid then it does toward TCU or Boise State. This is a big, big game for West Virginia to attempt to help show the country that the Big East is not a terrible conference. With this game being played in Baton Rouge, expect LSU to win this game, well unless Bill Stewart's speech about 'Stonewall' Jackson actually works. ooting interest: West Virginia. Two fold, this will help Utah move closer to the top ten and will knock an SEC team out of contention for the title game.

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