BCS round up: The schedule the rest of the way

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With November upon us, it’s time for the speculation about the BCS standings to shift into full gear.

The latest rankings have Florida State moving into No. 2 behind Alabama, but that position seems pretty shaky at the moment.

That’s because it all depends on how the schedule shakes out. Here’s a look at the schedules for the prime BCS contenders the rest of the way:

No. 1 Alabama: No. 13 LSU (7-2), at Mississippi State (4-4), Chattanooga (FCS 7-2), at No. 9 Auburn (8-1), SEC title game (possibly).

The schedule will keep Alabama firmly in the No. 1 spot if it wins out. Even an absurd scheduling of an FCS team in week 13 of the season won’t matter much. Can the Tide rebound in time if it loses to LSU on Saturday? Possibly, but it would need Auburn to keep winning, then it would have to beat the Tigers and hope its foe in the SEC title game was an 11-1 Missouri team. A win in that game would be enough to save Alabama’s quest for a third title if there was only one other undefeated team left.

No. 2 Florida State: at Wake Forest (4-5), Syracuse (4-4), Idaho (1-8), at Florida (4-4), ACC title game (possibly).

The Seminoles may have reached their high water mark with their big win over then-No. 7 Miami. The combined win-loss record of their remaining foes is 13-17 and their likely matchup in the ACC title game with, say, Miami or Virginia Tech wouldn’t impress the computers or the pollsters that much. It looks like FSU needs Oregon to lose to get the BCS title game berth.

No. 3 Oregon: at No. 5 Stanford (7-1), Utah (4-4), at Arizona (6-2), Oregon State (6-3), Pac-12 title game (possibly).

Oregon’s remaining opponents have a combined record of 23-10 and then it would likely play a ranked UCLA or Arizona State team in the Pac-12 title game. Simply put, if the Ducks win out, they’ll finish either first or second in the BCS rankings and make it to the title game for the second time in their history. It’s unlikely that Oregon could rebound from a loss to Stanford in time to leapfrog other teams, unless a bunch of teams screw up — always a possibility in college football.

No. 4 Ohio State: at Illinois (3-5), Indiana (3-5), Michigan (6-2), Big Ten title game (possibly).

Ohio State is playing at a very high level, but its schedule continues to hold it back. It didn’t help that Michigan lost to Michigan State over the weekend and it’s possible the Wolverines could lose a couple more times before the big game against the Buckeyes. Because of the weakness of the Big Ten, OSU could very well win 25 in a row and not make it to the BCS title game. Of course, maybe the reason it could get to 25-straight is because the Big Ten is so weak.

No. 5 Stanford: No. 2 Oregon (8-0), at USC (6-3), California (1-8), No. 23 Notre Dame (7-2), Pac-12 title game (possibly).

It seems like an iffy proposition for Stanford to grind its way into the title game, but since it is the highest-ranked one-loss team, it makes sense to gauge the possibility. Obviously, the Cardinal would make a huge jump with a win over Oregon and beating an improving USC team and Notre Dame would also help. But it seems highly improbable that it would be able to jump an undefeated FSU, Ohio State or Baylor team with a win in the Pac-12 title game. The Cardinal needs all three of those teams to lose a game.

No. 6 Baylor: No. 10 Oklahoma (7-1), No. 25 Texas Tech (7-2), at No. 14 Oklahoma State (7-1), at TCU (3-6), Texas (6-2).

If Baylor is going to make a miracle run to the BCS title game, it will have earned it by getting through a really tough November gauntlet. Its next three opponents are all ranked and have a combined 21-4 record. A win against the suddenly-lifelike Longhorns would serve as a de facto conference championship game for a league that is at a bit of a BCS disadvantage by not having one. I think an undefeated Baylor would jump an undefeated Ohio State. I don’t think it would jump FSU and definitely not Oregon or Alabama. The Bears need some help if they are going to get to Pasadena.

No. 9 Auburn: at Tennessee (4-5), Georgia (5-3), No. 1 Alabama (8-0), SEC title game (possibly).

Auburn would need a slew of miracles to happen for it to get to the title game for the second time in four seasons. Obviously, it must win out. But it would also need Stanford to beat Oregon and for FSU to lose to Florida or in the ACC title game. Baylor and Ohio State would also have to lose. Sounds easy right?

If history has taught us one thing, it’s that college football and the BCS process is never predictable. This time next week, we’ll probably have a completely different calculus. For now, this is the best we’ve got.

Derrius Guice ruled out for LSU’s game vs. Syracuse

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So there you have it.

Late in the third quarter of Saturday’s 37-7 loss to Mississippi State, Derrius Guice sustained an injury to his left knee.  While Ed Orgeron downplayed the severity of the injury in the ensuing days, he allowed during his turn on the SEC coaches teleconference Wednesday that his star running back is “very questionable right now” for the Week 4 game against Syracuse.

Later that night, on the head coach’s radio show, the very questionable morphed into completely out.

Through three games, Guice leads the Tigers with 300 yards rushing and is tied for tops on the team with four rushing touchdowns. His rushing yards are currently fourth in the SEC; last season, his 1,387 yards were tops in the conference.

With Guice unable to go, Darrel Williams (28-159-4) will likely be next in line to shoulder the brunt of the running-game load.

Mason Rudolph’s younger brother sees freshman season at Clemson come to an injury end

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Mason Rudolph is looking at the rest of the season as an opportunity to continue pushing his way into the Heisman discussion and his team deeper into the College Football Playoff picture.  His younger brother, on the other hand, is looking at rehab.

Wednesday night, Clemson announced that Logan Rudolph will miss the remainder of the 2017 season because of a shoulder injury.  The defensive end sustained the injury during a Tuesday practice, and will undergo surgery at some point in the future to repair the damage.  Rudolph dealt with a shoulder issue late in his high school career, and it’s believed this is related to that.

A four-star member of the Tigers’ 2017 recruiting class, Rudolph was rated as the No. 23 weakside defensive end in the country and the No. 4 player at any position in the state of South Carolina.  After enrolling early and participating in spring practice, the true freshman played in two games as a backup behind starter Austin Bryant.  In that limited action, he was credited with three tackles and one tackle for loss.

Because of how few games he’s played, Rudolph would be eligible for a medical redshirt.  That would allow the lineman to extend his eligibility out through the 2021 season if he so desires.

Getting back to the famous name-drop in the lede, Rudolph’s older brother, of course, is the starting quarterback for No. 6 Oklahoma State.

Iowa struggling to sellout game vs. Penn State

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The Iowa Hawkeyes are about to host a top-four team at Kinnick Stadium this Saturday night, and it seems there is slightly more trouble trying to sell out the game than anticipated. According to Mark Emmert of the Des Moines Register and Iowa City Press-Citizen (and not the NCAA president by the same name), Iowa still had 4,000 tickets for this week’s game against No. 4 Penn State sitting in the box office as of earlier today.

Price concerns for the game coupled with a delay in knowing the kickoff time apparently had some influence on the unexpected ticket availability this close to the game.

Schools are becoming more and more commonly known for having higher-priced tickets for the more marquee games on their home schedule, and Iowa is no exception. Iowa has tiered ticket pricing for their home games, and Penn State being the defending conference champion with a decent traveling fanbase made this week’s matchup an ideal fit for being priced in the higher tier. Later this year, Iowa’s home game against Ohio State will also be priced at $95. $95, for some, is not worth the effort to go to a game and tailgate all day. It may be fine for a good number of fans, but it’s not for everybody.

Having to wait to know what time a game will kickoff can be a nuisance for those football fans who like to plan ahead. And while a primetime game may be great for exposure, it can be a cumbersome chore for some fans who would much rather stay home and not have to deal with a late-night drive home.

So if you are looking to get a ticket to the game this weekend in Iowa City, you may have a good chance to pick up a ticket.

Indiana will wear uniforms honoring the late Terry Hoeppner this weekend

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This weekend when Indiana takes the field, the Hoosiers will be honoring former head coach Terry Hoeppner. To do that on the 10th anniversary of the former coach’s passing, Indiana’s uniforms will have a slight modification to the numbering. Rather than a traditional white block numbering on the front and back, Indiana’s uniform numbers will feature a pattern mimicking Hep’s Rock, which was introduced to the program by the former head coach and remains a fixture within the program.

Hoeppner passed away at the age of 59 in the summer of June 2007. Hoeppner had planned to step away from coaching to focus on a battle with brain cancer that summer, but he fell victim to the disease on June 19, 2007. Though he may have only coached for Indiana for two seasons, his impact on the program was noticeable in helping the program build a foundation. The Hoosiers won four and five games in the two seasons coached by Hoeppner, but the 2007 team carried on his mission to “Play 13” by advancing to the Insight Bowl (now known as the Cactus Bowl). Members of the 2007 bowl team (Indiana lost to Oklahoma State in that bowl game) will be in Bloomington to celebrate the life of Hoeppner, who remains an inspiration for the program to this day.