The Only Nine Teams That Can Win The BCS National Championship This Year

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Ah, it’s finally arrived: the 2012 College Football season.Starting in a few days our Saturday afternoons — as well as some Thursdays — will be filled with awesome come from behind wins, huge upsets no one expected, and amazing individual performances.

To prepare you for the next few months we’ve assembled nine teams that have the best chance of winning the National Championship in Miami on January 7, 2013.

Our criteria? A high preseason ranking, a schedule featuring enough marquee games to get respect but not enough to derail a shot at an undefeated or one-loss season, and star players.

Just for kicks we’ve also included our BCS predictions at the end.

Please feel free to share your own thoughts and predictions in the comments. 


Why they'll win it all: QB Landry Jones and WR Kenny Stills; defensive coordinator who built 2000 national championship D, Mike Stoops, is back; easy early season schedule means they should start 10-0

Why they won't: Face WVU juggernaut offence in Morgantown; under Bob Stoops, the Sooners have had a difficult time living up to high preseason expectations

Vegas odds: 10/1

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Why they'll win it all: Easy out of conference schedule; all-purpose play maker De'Anthony Thomas; best defence of Chip Kelly era

Why they won't: The two games that are usually the toughest for Oregon (USC and Oregon State) are both on the road; inexperienced redshirt freshman QB Marcus Mariota

Vegas odds: 10/1

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West Virginia

Why they'll win it all: Superstar QB Geno Smith; head coach Dana Holgorsen's innovative offence

Why they won't: Transitioning to the Big 12 and a 3-4 defence; schedule includes games at Oklahoma State and at Texas

Vegas odds: 45/1

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Why they'll win it all: Entire offensive line from 2011 is back; get Alabama at home; a four-deep and extremely talented group of running backs

Why they won't: No Tyrann Mathieu to anchor secondary or return kicks; transitioning to a more pass-happy offence

Vegas odds: 6/1

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Why they'll win it all: QB Matt Barkley; best wide receiving core in the country; 15 returning starters

Why they won't: Lack of depth because of NCAA sanctions means injuries would seriously derail SC; lost three defensive line starters

Vegas odds: 3/1

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Florida State

Why they'll win it all: Fantastic SEC-like defence with plenty of returning starters; QB E.J. Manuel leading a very experienced offence; schedule is fairly easy to navigate

Why they won't: Offensive line gives up too many sacks; FSU keeps falling apart despite year after year of high preseason rankings

Vegas odds: 13/2

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South Carolina

Why they'll win it all: Running back Marcus Lattimore; enormous defensive line including Jadeveon Clowney; other than Georgia the SEC East is very weak

Why they won't: Play both LSU and Arkansas this year as well a road game at Clemson to finish the year; depend too much on their run game

Vegas odds: 35/1

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Why they'll win it all: Heisman candidate Montee Ball; outside of games versus Michigan State, Ohio State, and Nebraska the Badgers should be favoured in all of their contests

Why they won't: New offensive coordinator trying to install a spread attack; a defence with a penchant to give up big plays; November game against Ohio State that could be 2012's version of 'Late season game derailing Badgers national title hopes'

Vegas odds: 40/1

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Why they'll win it all: Loaded defence; Nick Saban; deep back field with Eddie Lacy, Jalston Fowler, T.J. Yeldon running the football

Why they won't: QB A.J. McCarron passing more than normal; toughest games are on the road, at LSU and at Arkansas

Vegas odds: 5/1

Vegas odds provided by

Our BCS predictions

National Championship Game: Alabama (SEC) vs. Florida State (ACC)

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma (Big 12) vs. Michigan State (At-large)

Sugar Bowl: LSU (At-large) vs. Virginia Tech (At-large)

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin (Big 10) vs. Oregon (Pac-12)

Orange Bowl: USC (At-large) vs. Louisville (Big East)

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