With college football entering its seventh week of play, Alabama, Florida and Texas continue to rank in the top three of the weekly polls. Inevitably, either Florida or Alabama will end the year with at least one loss, as they will likely meet in the SEC championship game. With that in mind, the question now being asked is which one-loss team boasts the most impressive résumé.
Virginia Tech vs. Georgia Tech
After suffering a week-one loss to then No. 5 Alabama, Virginia Tech has rattled off five straight wins and now holds the No. 4 national ranking. During the five-game streak, the Hokies took down two ranked teams in Miami (FL) and Nebraska. Redshirt freshman running back Ryan Williams has been an integral part of the team's success, as he ranks fifth in the nation with 734 total rushing yards.
When the Hokies travel to Atlanta Saturday night, they will be facing off against a very talented Georgia Tech team. After being tripped up in week 3 by then No. 20 Miami (FL), the Yellow Jackets have managed three straight wins against North Carolina, Mississippi State and Florida State.
The No. 19 Yellow Jackets will hope to showcase their explosive junior wide receiver Demaryius Thomas on Saturday. With just 26 receptions on the season, Thomas has already amassed 620 receiving yards. In four of Georgia Tech's six games he has hauled in a reception of 55 yards or more.
USC vs. Notre Dame
The No. 6 Southern California Trojans are another one-loss team vying for a chance to play in the national championship game. They have an opportunity to improve their bid Saturday afternoon when they travel to South Bend to take on No. 25 Notre Dame.
The Trojans last traveled east in week two when they took down then No. 8 Ohio State. The very next week, USC suffered an embarrassing loss to unranked Washington. Following its loss in Seattle, USC has appeared to return to its dominant form after recording consecutive wins against Washington State and California by a combined score of 57-9.
Junior running back Joe McKnight is averaging 7.1 yards per carry for the Trojans and has tallied 6 touchdowns on the season. Meanwhile, freshman quarterback Matt Barkley has impressed the national audience by throwing for 958 yards in just four games. Barkley did not suit up for the Trojans' loss to Washington because of a bruised shoulder.
Notre Dame will counter the Trojans' attack with junior quarterback and Heisman hopeful Jimmy Clausen. Through five games, Clausen has thrown for 12 touchdowns and 1,544 yards. He leads the nation with a passer rating of 179.25.
Oklahoma vs. Texas
This season's installment of the Red River Rivalry is certainly not the original matchup that experts had predicted or hoped for before the season. Oklahoma quarterback and 2008 Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford suffered a shoulder injury in week one and just made his return from injury to the Sooner's lineup last weekend against Baylor. However, Bradford's return could be too little too late for No. 20 Oklahoma. After a week-one loss to Brigham Young and a week-five loss to Miami (FL), the Sooners are not having the season they expected.
When Oklahoma and No. 3 Texas meet this weekend in Dallas, the Sooners will be hoping to play spoiler to Texas' national title hopes. Slowing down Texas' offense and upsetting the Longhorns will be no easy task. Texas quarterback Colt McCoy has completed over 68 percent of his passes on the season and thrown for 1,410 yards.
This will be the 104th all-time meeting between the two schools. Texas leads the series with a record of 58-40-5 and will be the favorite this weekend.
The academic fraud allegations that plagued Florida State's offseason have appeared to have a horrible effect on the Seminoles' success this season. The Seminoles have started the season with a 2-4 record, tying the worst start under coach Bobby Bowden since his first year of coaching with Florida State in 1976.
After consecutive losses to South Florida, Boston College, and Georgia Tech, it now appears as if Florida State officials are trying to force Bobby Bowden out of his position before season's end. Offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher, the heir apparent to Bowden, was set to take over the helm in 2011, but he may be handed the keys to the corner office earlier. In his contract, Fisher is guaranteed $5 million if he is not named head coach by the start of the 2011 season.
Florida State has a bye this weekend, but will play at North Carolina next Thursday night. Should Bowden make his exit from college football, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno would inevitably win the battle to top the Division I coaching wins list. Currently, Paterno has 388 wins to his name while Bowden has 384.