The college football season to date has showcased several big games, but the top of the weekly polls has remained relatively stable through the first six weeks. Of the top 11 teams ranked in the preseason Associated Press poll, seven remain unbeaten. Three of the four that did lose a game -- Georgia, Texas A&M and LSU -- are still ranked in the Associated Press top 10 since their individual losses came against other top-10 opponents. Florida (preseason No. 10) suffered its only loss to undefeated and 13th-ranked Miami.
There haven't been many big surprises yet. As a result, our current projections indicate that the biggest games remaining on the regular-season schedule aren't all that different than the ones we projected to have the biggest impact at the start of the year.
Based on our FEI ratings, we calculated the likelihood that each top-20 team could win out the remainder of its schedule. We then identified which five games will have the biggest impact on the BCS National Championship race, a function of the win likelihoods of each team and the strength of each conference's position for the stretch run. Three of the biggest games of the year will fall on the same weekend.
Oregon Ducks at Stanford Cardinal (Nov. 7)
11.3 percent chance both teams will enter undefeated
The Ducks and Cardinal both figure to be ranked in the top 5 of the BCS standings when they are released in two weeks, and the strength of the Pac-12 North vaults this game to the top of our list. Oregon and Stanford have both played in BCS bowl games in each of the past three seasons, and another division championship will be on the line in their regular-season showdown. The winner will likely host the Pac-12 championship game and be an easy selection for a BCS championship berth if it wins out.