Is there hope for the Badgers?

Odds of Wisconsin, Arkansas, Oklahoma St. and Nebraska re-entering BCS mix

Updated: September 11, 2012, 12:41 PM ET
By Brian Fremeau | Football Outsiders
Montee Ball Jonathan Ferrey/Getty ImagesOregon State stuffed Montee Ball, but he'll face some soft run defenses in the coming weeks.

In college football, high expectations can be derailed in an instant. Arkansas wasn't at the very top of the list of potential national championship contenders, but it certainly had hoped to be involved in the conversation for a while. Instead, the Razorbacks allowed a furious comeback from Louisiana-Monroe on Saturday and are now licking their wounds heading into what should be their toughest game of the year, against Alabama.

Arkansas wasn't the only team to suffer an upset last weekend. Wisconsin couldn't get any offense going in a 10-7 loss to Oregon State. Oklahoma State coughed up costly turnovers against Arizona and ended up on the wrong end of a 59-38 shootout. We talked up Nebraska as a team ramping up expectations after Week 1, only to have the Cornhuskers' defense get steamrolled by UCLA.

All four teams -- Arkansas, Oklahoma State, Wisconsin and Nebraska -- were dropped from The Associated Press Top 25 rankings this week. All four had been favored to win last weekend. Each now must recalibrate expectations for the remainder of the year. How likely is it that any of the four can bounce back this week and during the rest of the season?

During the past five years, 50 teams have played in a BCS bowl game. Ten of those 50 teams lost at least one game in the first two weeks of the season, including five upset losses. (In 2010, Virginia Tech lost each of its first two games, both upset losses, then ran off 10 straight wins to earn a BCS bowl berth.)

Might the Razorbacks, Cowboys, Badgers or Cornhuskers be able to rally this season? We ran updated projections based on FEI ratings to find out which of the four are best positioned to shake off last weekend's upset and remain a BCS contender.

Brian Fremeau

ESPN Insider
• Has been a contributor to ESPN Insider and ESPN The Magazine since 2009
• Creator of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a measure of college football team efficiency
• Contributor to Football Outsiders and his own site, bcftoys.com