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As we plunge back into the conventional wisdom of the college football season, we see that FSU is toast, Wisconsin is sitting pretty in a room full of ugly teams, and the BCS busters might be in trouble.
Sifting out what the conventional wisdom looks like after the weekend in football. Inspiration, obviously, is right here. (As with all conclusions based on a week of data, grain of salt.)
FSU is a national title contender: Pants on Fire
The Seminoles were always going to need some help; there was no way an undefeated ACC champion was getting into the national title game before an undefeated SEC champion or an undefeated Pac-12 champion. And Alabama and Oregon look like they're in no mood to lose a game anytime soon. But a one-loss ACC champion, especially with that loss coming to an N.C. State team that is at best mediocre, isn't getting into the title game unless everyone else has at least two losses. Thanks for playing, Jimbo Fisher.
UCLA might be a good team this year: Mostly False
Anyone who's followed Jim Mora's career isn't surprised at what's happening in Los Angeles right now: A promising start, and then a fiery crash back to earth when he realizes he forgot to keep the rockets firing until the ship had completely broken free of the planet's gravitational pull. The 43-17 annihilation against Cal deals a heavy dose of reality to UCLA partisans, which can also be summed up by saying: No, the football monopoly in Los Angeles is officially still not over.
Wisconsin is in the driver's seat in the B1G Leaders Division: Mostly True
Stunningly, after a season that has featured a 10-7 loss to Oregon State and a 16-14 win at home against Utah State, the Badgers somehow lead every team eligible for the division title. It helps that the only other teams eligible are named Purdue, Indiana and Illinois, but the best singer on American Idol still gets the recording contract at the end of the day. Barring a run by one of those three teams that those three teams seem incapable of making, the Badgers should be able to win enough games against a terrible schedule to punch their ticket to a showdown with Iowa or Michigan. Wow, B1G. Wow.
Notre Dame is really back this time: Mostly True
As much as any SEC partisan hates to admit it, the Irish really look to be a solid team this year. Maybe not national championship material, but the kind of Notre Dame team that actually deserves to be in a BCS bowl. The Michigan win is looking a little bit more impressive, the Irish clobbered Miami by almost as much as K-State did, and games against Stanford, at Oklahoma and at Southern Cal appear to be the only significant land mines left on the schedule. Win two of those, or maybe even just one, and a trip to one of the big-money bowls is all but wrapped up.
Louisiana Tech is the best bet for a BCS-buster: Half True
If the Bulldogs win out, they could very well be headed for one of the cash cows. But there are still a couple of obstacles. The most notable is next week's game against Texas A&M, which now looks like a legitimate SEC team. The other one is that Tech's strength of schedule collapses after that game, just enough that it might let an undefeated Ohio back into the conversation. A home game against Utah State might honestly be the only remaining semi-challenging game on the docket, giving pollsters enough room to forget about Louisiana Tech in November. It's also possible that both the Bulldogs and the Bobcats could end up on the outside; Ohio has played its only game against a BCS opponent and has just two more games against teams with winning records in the MAC.