Land Mines Ahead for the BCS top 5

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

A look at each BCS contender's biggest weakness and which coming opponents could exploit them.

They say you're only as strong as your weakest link. Let's see where the weakest links for each of the top 5 teams might come back to bite them for the remainder of the regular season.

I used S&P+ rankings to determine each team's weakest link -- their lowest rankings in both rushing & passing offense & defense. According to S&P+, these are the toughest matchups remaining for each unit.

#1 Alabama

Weakest links: 15th in rushing offense; 15th in passing defense

Remaining matchups

Alabama rushing offense (#15)
@ Mississippi State (#11 rushing defense)
Chattanooga NR
@ Auburn (#37 rushing defense)

Alabama passing defense (#15)
@ Mississippi State (#52 passing offense)
Chattanooga NR
@ Auburn (#36 passing offense)

Mississippi State presents the toughest unit matchup for Bama (#15 vs. #11), but Auburn is solid in every category -- the #17 F/+ Tigers may give Bama a tougher overall test.

#2 Florida State

Weakest links: 27th in rushing defense; 11th in rushing offense

Remaining matchups

Florida State rushing defense (#27)
Syracuse (#31 rushing offense)
Idaho (#93 rushing offense)
@ Florida (#95 rushing offense)

Florida State rushing offense (#11)
Syracuse (#40 rushing defense)
Idaho (#71 rushing defense)
@ Florida (#9 rushing defense)

FSU's biggest weakest, defending the run, will be tested only once more in the regular season: this weekend against Syracuse. Florida's top 10 defense may also test the Seminoles, but the Florida offense is just about as weak as their defense is strong.

#3 Ohio State

Weakest links: 68th in passing defense; 23rd in rushing defense

Remaining matchups

Ohio State passing defense (#68)
@ Illinois (#23 passing offense)
Indiana (#17 passing offense)
@ Michigan (#18 passing offense)

Ohio State rushing defense (#23)
@ Illinois (#17 rushing offense)
Indiana (#5 rushing offense)
@ Michigan (#74 rushing offense)

Ohio State is the one team in the top 5 that has a legitimate weakness - a #68 passing defense. Unfortunately for the Buckeyes, they find themselves matched up against three top 25 passing offenses. Ohio State will also be tested by the rushing offenses of Illinois and Indiana.

#4 Stanford

Weakest links: 41st in rushing offense; 15th in passing offense

Remaining matchups

Stanford rushing offense (#41)
@ USC (#13 rushing defense)
Cal (#52 rushing defense)
Notre Dame (#56 rushing defense)

Stanford passing offense (#15)
@ USC (#7 passing defense)
Cal (#89 passing defense)
Notre Dame (#59 passing defense)

F/+ and S&P+ love USC -- the Trojans are #9 overall and have the #5 defense according to F/+. They are very good against the run and the pass. They are the only real challenge remaining for Stanford, although F/+ #30 Notre Dame may give them a run.

#5 Baylor

Weakest links: #14 in rushing offense; #14 in rushing defense

Remaining matchups

Baylor rushing offense (#14)
Texas Tech (#96 rushing defense)
@ Oklahoma State (#19 rushing defense)
@ TCU (#22 rushing defense)
Texas (#82 rushing defense)

Baylor rushing defense (#14)
Texas Tech (#52 rushing offense)
@ Oklahoma State (#38 rushing offense)
@ TCU (#108 rushing offense)
Texas (#78 rushing offense)

Baylor has a tough stretch remaining. They have the #1 offense in the country according to F/+, but they are faced with the 11th most difficult future schedule among all offenses. The Oklahoma State and TCU defenses (#13 and #14, respectively) will test the prolific Baylor offense, but it remains to be seen if any of these remaining teams can take on the Bears on both sides of the ball.

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