No college football season in recent memory has gone by without some concern, come early November, that the shaky foundation of the Bowl Championship Series might finally give way. Late in the season each year, there are a handful of unbeaten squads and contenders with only one loss that can make reasonable claims to a spot in the sport’s championship. This season is no different.
The top four teams in the country are all undefeated, and all of them possess résumés that suggest they deserve one of the two available title-game spots. Notre Dame has beaten Michigan, Michigan State, and Oklahoma—all preseason championship contenders. Oregon beat U.S.C. last week by accumulating seven hundred and thirty yards of offense, more than any team has collected in a single game against the Trojans in their history. Kansas State has beaten three straight ranked teams by margins of forty-one, thirty-one, and fourteen points. And Alabama has won all but one of its games by nineteen points or more.