Skip to main content

How Each of College Football's Final 10 Undefeated Teams Could Slip Up

Art Briles

Art Briles

If we learned anything from a wild Week 6, it’s that every team is vulnerable end every team is flawed.

Only 10 teams remain undefeated entering the second Saturday in October. Last week was only a reminder at how fragile those unbeaten records are.

The final 10 undefeated teams all have enough issues that could lead to their first losses of the season, perhaps as soon as this week.

Here are the issues and games that could trip up each of the final unbeaten teams.

Image placeholder title

Arizona

Fatal Flaw: Luck

Arizona is 5-0 thanks to four consecutive one-score wins. A win at Autzen can’t be understated, but the Wildcats beat UTSA by 3, Nevada by 7 and Cal by 4 on a Hail Mary. Arizona also played Oregon with its offensive line in shambles. Not that Arizona won’t be a factor in the Pac-12 race, but the Wildcats may be a team playing above its heads for now.

When will Arizona lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

at UCLA

at UCLA

at UCLA

Date

Nov. 1

Nov. 1

Nov. 1

Image placeholder title

Auburn

Fatal flaw: Dropped passes

Auburn is an improved passing team from last season already, which should be a scary thought for the rest of the SEC West since dropped passes from receivers wiped at least one touchdown off the board against Kansas State. Misfires in the passing game have contributed to Nick Marshall completing 57.9 percent of his passes this season.

When will Auburn lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

at Alabama

at Mississippi State

at Georgia

Date

Nov. 29

Oct. 11

Nov. 15

Image placeholder title

Baylor

Fatal flaw: Kicking

Baylor has been automatic on extra points, but Chris Callahan has missed five consecutive field goals since connecting on his first attempt this season for 23 yards. Three of his five misses have been less than 40 yards, including a blocked 37-yarder against SMU.

Also worth watching: Baylor is among the most penalized teams in the country, losing 80 yards per game to flags. Baylor has picked up at least 10 penalties in four of five games this season. Will it matter? Baylor was the most penalized team in the country in 2013 and still finished 11-2. In those loses Baylor was penalized three times (Oklahoma State) and 17 times (Baylor).

When will Baylor lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

at Oklahoma

at West Virginia

at Oklahoma

Date

Nov. 8

Oct. 18

Nov. 8

Image placeholder title

Florida State

Fatal flaw: Field position

Florida State has given up more short fields than any other undefeated team. The Seminoles rank 50th nationally in field position advantage, according to Football Outsiders. No other undefeated team ranks lower than 34th. In non-garbage time possessions against Florida State, opponents are getting the ball on average at their own 32. Only nine teams have given up more short-field possessions. Florida State ranks 96th nationally in net punting as Cason Beatty averages 38.8 yards per kick. This should be a concern for a team that gave Auburn two short fields in last season’s title game.

When will Florida State lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

Notre Dame

Playoff

Playoff

Date

Oct. 18

--

--

Image placeholder title

Georgia Tech

Fatal flaw: Run defense

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Only seven defenses have been on the field less than Georgia Tech this year. That’s good news for any team, but especially for the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech is last in the ACC in yards allowed per play (6.6). The Yellow Jackets need their offense to sustain long drives because its defense can’t stop the run.

When will Georgia Tech lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

at Pittsburgh

at Pittsburgh

at Pittsburgh

Date

Oct. 25

Oct. 25

Oct. 25

Image placeholder title

Marshall

Fatal flaw: Turnovers

Marshall leads Conference USA in a handful of categories, so its pedestrian turnover margin (plus-1) stands out. Marshall turned the ball over three times against Rhode Island and Old Dominion, two teams not capable of capitalizing.

When will Marshall lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

CUSA champ game

None

None

Date

Dec. 6

--

--

Image placeholder title

Ole Miss

Fatal flaw: Interceptions

Only two SEC teams have thrown more interceptions this season than Ole Miss’ six picks. Granted, the Rebels are interception-free in two SEC wins over Alabama and Vanderbilt. Has Bo Wallace turned a corner or will the turnover problems resurface for a quarterback who threw 27 total interceptions in 2012-13?

When will Ole Miss lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

Auburn

at Texas A&M

Auburn

Date

Nov. 1

Oct. 11

Nov. 1

Image placeholder title

Mississippi State

Fatal flaw: Big pass plays

Mississippi State has give up 23 passing plays longer than 20 yards, tied with Georgia for the most in the league and in one fewer game. In Mississippi State’s closest game to date, UAB scored on touchdown passes for 88, 81 and 75 yards.

When will Mississippi State lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

Auburn

at Alabama

Auburn

Date

Oct. 11

Nov. 15

Oct. 11

Image placeholder title

Notre Dame

Fatal flaw: Run game

If Notre Dame can beat Stanford despite a lackluster run game, maybe this isn’t a major concern. Still, Notre Dame is averaging only 4.2 per carry and has only two rushing touchdowns coming from tailbacks (the other four are from quarterback Everett Golson). Throw out the season opener against Rice, and Notre Dame is averaging 3.4 yards per carry in its last four games.

When will Notre Dame lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

at Arizona State

at Florida State

at Florida State

Date

Nov. 8

Oct. 18

Oct. 18

Image placeholder title

TCU

Fatal flaw: Pass defense

TCU has played one team with the ability to stretch the ball downfield, and Oklahoma took advantage. TCU gave up three pass plays of 40 yards or more against the Sooners, not a great sign for a team about to visit Baylor.

When will TCU lose its first game?

Staff Picks

David Fox

Braden Gall

Steven Lassan

First Loss

at Baylor

at Baylor

at Baylor

Date

Oct. 11

Oct. 11

Oct. 11