NCAAF Top 4: Teams in need of style points
College football's silly season is upon us, when teams jockeying for better position in the BCS standings take extreme measures to make that happen.
With strength of schedule such a vital part of the BCS calculations - and the one thing teams can't control - those in the mix for the national title game or some other marquee BCS matchup will often look to score as many points as possible in order to bolster their resumes. The result: Blowouts - and "over" plays - in abundance.
Here are four teams expected to bombard the scoreboard over the final two weeks of the season:
Ohio State Buckeyes (BCS rank: 3)
According to the BCS standings, the Buckeyes are - at least for the time being - the next team in line if either Alabama or Florida State drop one of their final two games. That's not happening this week - the Crimson Tide (vs. Chattanooga) and Seminoles (vs. Idaho) are expected to trample their respective opponents, making the Buckeyes' task even more daunting. They'll need one-sided victories over Indiana and Michigan, coupled with a loss by either of the top-two teams in the final week, to have any hope of playing for the national championship.
The Buckeyes are currently 34.5-point home faves with a total of 82.5.
Baylor Bears (BCS rank: 4)
College football's most prolific team has been hamstrung by what is perceived to be a weak schedule in comparison to the other title contenders. And while that may be true, Baylor shouldn't be overlooked over its final three games. This team can score like few in the history of football and if it can find a way to fill the endzone against nationally-ranked Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas, that may be enough - when combined with a Alabama or Florida State loss - to move the Bears past Ohio State and into a spot in the championship game.
The Bears are 9.5-point road faves at Okie State. The total is currently 78.
Oregon Ducks (BCS rank: 5)
The Ducks were on the fast-track to a major rankings showdown with the Seminoles before dropping a stunner to Stanford two weeks ago. That all but derailed any chance Oregon had at challenging for the national championship - but not all hope is lost. The Ducks close the season with home games against Arizona and Oregon State - tougher opponents than some of the competition, but not so tough that they'll prevent Oregon from scoring points by the boatload if it sees fit. They may be a title longshot, but expect the Ducks to ramp up the offensive pressure nonetheless.
The Ducks are 20.5-point road faves at Arizona with a total of 67.5.
Stanford Cardinal (BCS rank: 9)
A loss to USC severely damaged the Cardinal's hopes of landing a spot in one of the top three BCS bowl games. Not only does it have some work to do in order to return to that perch - it will likely need a pair of blowout wins to pass No. 6 Auburn (though No. 7 Clemson may be in trouble, with a game against Alabama to close out the season.) Stanford should have no trouble handling California this weekend, but the season finale against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish is no gimme - and unfortunately for the Cardinal, it needs to be.
Stanford is currently a 31.5-point home fave with Cal in town. The total is 56.