Oct 27, 2012; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Bob Stoops argues a holding call against line judge Todd Reese in the second quarter that brought back a touchdown against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

2012 Week Nine Top Four: Alabama, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon


Kansas State and Notre Dame are playing the role of spoiler this season, as Alabama and Oregon hope that their success over the past few years intimidates their upcoming opponents and keeps the voters on their side.

1) Alabama(8-0)

Trending: Up | Previous Rank: 2 | Next Opponent: LSU Tigers

Defending BCS champion Alabama has dominated each of its opponents this season.  The Alabama schedule has not been as difficult to date this season as it has been historically.  That changes a LITTLE this Saturday when the Crimson Tide travel west to Baton Rouge to play the LSU Tigers at Tigers Stadium. LSU is the only team to beat Alabama since November 2010.  

2) Kansas State(8-0)

Trending: Up  | Previous Ranking: 3  | Next Opponent: Oklahoma State Cowboys

Bill Snyder has Kansas State well prepared on the sidelines, and Collin Klein leads it on the field.  Klein had FOUR touchdowns on Saturday against Texas Tech, distributed evenly between air and ground.  Look for Klein to continue his dominant play against Oklahoma State at home this weekend in Manhattan, Kan.  The Wildcat defense is fairly underrated and will keep Kansas State competitive in its BCS pursuit, even if Klein has an atypical game.

3) Notre Dame (8-0)

Trending: Up | Previous Rank: N/A | Next Opponent: Pittsburgh Panthers

The Fighting Irish certainly have been lucky this season, with a last second win against Stanford and some shady calls against Oklahoma propelling Notre Dame into the national championship discussion.  The next three weeks should be a cake walk with games against Pittsburgh, Boston College and Wake Forest.  Look for the Irish to get beat by USC in Los Angeles in the final week of their regular season and pluck at Brian Kelly’s four-leaf clover.

4) Oregon (8-0)

Trending: Sideways | Previous Rank: 4 | Next Opponent: USC Trojans

Oregon is averaging 53 points per game.  While the Ducks are undefeated, their season really begins in earnest on Saturday against USC in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.  The Ducks and Trojans match-up will give the nation a better idea of whether or not Oregon can legitimately vie for a national championship this season.


On the Outside Looking In:

LSU (7-1)

Trending: Sideways | Previous Rank: N/A | Next Opponent: Alabama Crimson Tide

LSU has had two weeks to prepare for its game against Alabama.  If the Tigers can cause two or three turnovers against the Crimson Tide, then they will have a good chance of upsetting their arch-rival at home in Tigers Stadium on Saturday night. Death Valley will truly shake.





Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Football Kansas State Wildcats Notre Dame Fighting Irish Oregon Ducks

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