Hurricanes could be left out of title game

I have decided to look back at the Hurricanes’ season thus far and give an update on the state of the football team.

Miami was helped this weekend by Tennessee defeating Georgia, which should move it up to No. 3 in the polls. At this point, the Hurricanes are looking like they are in a great position to win the Atlantic Coast Conference, with only one tough game remaining on their schedule: at Virginia.

Miami still has to go to N.C. State; it still has to play Virginia Tech, and it has the late-season game against Virginia. However, even if the ‘Canes run the table, it might be very difficult for them to get in the national title picture.

The reason for that is because USC and Oklahoma, ranked Nos. 1 and 2 respectively, also have an easy schedule left. USC defeated California on Saturday, which officially means it passed its major test for the season. The Pac-10 is not very good this season, so I really only see three games that are possible losses on USC’s schedule: Notre Dame, UCLA and Oregon State. The Trojans benefited tremendously from a schedule that allowed them to play California, Arizona State, Virgina Tech and Notre Dame all at home.

Then we can turn our attention to Oklahoma, which defeated Texas in Dallas 12-0. The Sooners only have one tough game left: at Oklahoma State, which is the game that always gives them trouble. However, if they win that game, they would really have to try hard to lose. Next week they travel to Kansas State, which at the beginning of the season looked like a really tough game for the Sooners. However, Kansas State lost to Kansas Saturday and is having its worst season in recent memory.

As for the Hurricanes, their only really tough game is against the previously mentioned Virgina, which is also undefeated right now. Virginia travels to Florida State next weekend to meet the Seminoles and will be looking to prove that it is for real. Of course, Miami should watch out for Louisville Thursday night, as that could be a potential BCS buster.

The bottom line is that all three of these teams could lose a game to someone they are not supposed to lose to because it is football and anything can happen. However, I am just pointing out the troublesome games on the schedules, and I don’t see too many of those for Oklahoma and USC.

I guess it’s worth mentioning that the teams at the top of the rankings right now should not forget about the Auburn Tigers, either. Auburn already has impressive wins against LSU and Tennessee and is currently in the top 10 unbeaten and should move into the top five this week after Texas and Georgia lost in front of them. Auburn still has to travel to Georgia, but if it beats the Bulldogs, I think it is unlikely that anyone could leave Auburn out of the national title game, considering it would have beaten LSU, Tennessee and Georgia.

Therefore, my conclusion is that if Miami beats Virginia, it should run the table. My question is, will it matter? Hurricane fans need to start watching Oklahoma and USC carefully and hope one of them loses, because if there are three unbeaten teams at the end of November, Miami will likely be the one on the outside looking in.

If Miami does go undefeated and does not get a national title game invite, the BCS will be adored by the Hurricane faithful once again.

Darren Grossman can be contacted at