Under-the-radar title contenders

Alabama and Oregon are the clear favorites, but which teams could surprise?

Updated: September 16, 2013, 10:03 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay | ESPN Insider

Jameis Winston, J.W. WalshUSA TODAY SportsJameis Winston and J.W. Walsh have both had strong starts to the 2013 season.

Each week during the college football season, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay kick off the week by settling a debate, and then look at emerging NFL prospects and peek ahead to next week.

The discussion: Who is your quiet contender for the BCS Championship?

Mel Kiper: The most impressive team so far this season has been Oregon. Not only have they thrashed all three teams they've played with offensive execution, but the defense has been dominant, even as the Ducks work in a lot of new talent. They completely took apart Tennessee and Virginia over the past two weeks in every phase. I picked them to win the title, and I feel pretty good about that pick so far.

Even though Alabama is currently No. 1, the Crimson Tide still have a lot to prove after looking bad on offense in a win over Virginia Tech and surviving at Texas A&M, which can be special on offense but might have one of the worst defenses in the country right now. But it's a sign of a great team when you're winning against good competition even when you're not at your best.

Those are the two big favorites right now. So who's my quiet title contender?

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst