Without the nation's top two in play, Week 10's college football rankings might look a lot like Week 9's. But what could upsets bring?
The top of the college football rankings should remain more or less the same from Week 9 to Week 10: the only team in the top four of the BCS rankings to play in Week 9 is Oklahoma State, and the Cowboys get a defense-challenged Baylor squad that Brandon Weeden should be able to aerate. So let's examine the rest of Saturday's big match-ups, and the ramifications of their possible results.
No. 5 Clemson at Georgia Tech, 8:00 p.m.
If Clemson wins: The Tigers stay in the BCS National Championship Game race, and their ACC hegemony continues unabated.
If Georgia Tech wins: The ACC is probably still Clemson's to lose (a game against Wake Forest in two weeks could decide the Atlantic Division champion, unless the Demon Deacons fall at North Carolina today), but there's no chance of an ACC titlist playing for a national title.
No. 6 Stanford at USC, 8:00 p.m.
If Stanford wins: The set-up for the November 12 showdown with Oregon is all but done on the Cardinal's end. A win against Oregon State would seem like little more than a formality.
If USC wins: The Trojans could win 10 games in a season without bowl eligibility. Oh, and Stanford's national title hopes would be smashed.
No. 8 Kansas State vs. No. 9 Oklahoma, 3:30 p.m.
If Kansas State wins: The Wildcats, the Big 12's still-unbeaten underdogs, would have one big pelt to put up on the wall. It's too bad, however, that their next three opponents are Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Texas. (It's also too bad that Kansas State's not going to win, but whatever.)
If Oklahoma wins: Oh, hey, Bob Stoops wins a big game after losing a not-so-big game. The Sooners would help Oklahoma State become the lone remaining Big 12 national championship contender, too.
No. 11 Michigan State at No. 14 Nebraska, noon
If Michigan State wins: The Spartans would become the Big Ten's prohibitive favorites, with wins over Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nebraska on the year, and no test rougher than Iowa on the road left on their schedule.
If Nebraska wins: Things get a little murkier in the Legends Division, where the Huskers, Spartans, Wolverines, and Hawkeyes would all have one loss. A November 19 match-up with Michigan could be a Big Ten Championship Game play-in contest for Nebraska.
No. 22 Georgia vs. Florida, 3:30 p.m.
If Georgia wins: The Bulldogs would have risen from the ashes of an 0-2 start to become the SEC East favorites. Georgia would have one loss, just like the South Carolina team it lost to, but the Dawgs would have only Auburn and Kentucky left on the schedule with that one loss, while the Gamecocks would still need to travel to Arkansas and see Florida. Without Marcus Lattimore, the 'Cocks probably won't win out; Georgia ensuring that they essentially have to is a big move.
If Florida wins: The Gators' impossible dream — winning the SEC East without beating an SEC West team — would stay alive, but only barely. Florida would need to run the table, then get another loss from both Georgia and South Carolina, but its chances would be significantly more than the nil that would come with a loss.