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If you went back 30 years ago to 1978, Texas, Alabama and Penn State were all in the top 5, chasing the national championship. The same is true today, as all three are again in the top 5. Alabama brought home the title that year, can they do it again in 2008? Here are your top national contenders as we head into the season's home stretch.
TEXAS - The Horns are playing great at the moment, thrashing Mizzou 56-31 this past weekend, but face a huge two-game stretch of number 8 Oklahoma State in Austin and at number 7 Texas Tech. If they win those, UT will probably be one of your two teams in the national championship game. The game at number 16 Kansas in four weeks could be tricky.
ALABAMA - I feel like the Tide have a good chance to be the other team in the national cha,pionship game. I think the SEC will have a representative, and Alabama or Florida are the two most-likely candidates. The circled games are at LSU November 8 and at home against Auburn November 29th. It will be a tough last 5 games, but Alabama is coached well enough to get it done.
PENN STATE - Wow. I must give credit to Joe Paterno. While people continuously tell him he needs to retire, he puts together a team that just isn't winning, but winning big. The Lions were left out of the 1994 title race, let's hope things work out where this doesn't happen to them again. Next week they travel to Ohio State, followed by three very winnable home games. Regular-season perfection is reachable.
SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - The Trojans have a loss, but by year's end, the three teams listed above probably will, as well. If they win out and have some luck, don't be surprised if Pete Carroll's team doesn't sneka back into the national championship game. And they are a good football team, too. This past weekend they beat Washington State 69-0 on the road.
OKLAHOMA - See above. They have a loss, but if they win all of their remaining games, they would have to be in the mix. They will need some help, though, as Texas is in their same division. In a season as this one, losing to the Horns may keep them from playing for it all.
Certainly a Possibilty:
Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are two Big-12 teams that may have a big say in who is number 1. They both get a shot at Texas here soon, so the opportunity to knock off the top team will be there, at least for Okalhoma State, who is up first. Florida, LSU and Georgia are three one-loss SEC teams that, with help, could find themselves back in the mix. Ohio State, who was destroyed by USC in week 3, will hopefully be eliminated form the talk soon. Regardless, after their performances recently in the BCS-title game, you would have to think they would be left out if there was an argument for the second spot.
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