One-loss teams with a title shot

Could LSU, Stanford or South Carolina stake a claim? Plus, hot prospects

Updated: October 14, 2013, 10:57 AM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay | ESPN Insider

Zach Mettenberger, Jadeveon Clowney and David ShawGetty ImagesLSU, South Carolina and Stanford are all very good one-loss teams.

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: Which one-loss team is most likely to get back in the BCS title race?

Mel Kiper: There are two common themes for the best one-loss teams that remain:

1. They all have a pretty clear flaw.
2. They all have at least a shot to control their destiny and play for a title.

Start with the best one-loss team:

LSU: The Tigers are talented on the defensive side of the ball, but even after a great effort in holding Florida to only six points, the reality is they're still relying on a lot of youth, and haven't proved they can shut down a capable offense. The Florida offense hasn't been an efficient unit all season, and I expected the Tigers to hold them in check. But Georgia was able to move the ball at will, and even Mississippi State and TCU looked good against this defense for long stretches. Still, LSU controls its destiny, and growth from a young defense could make the Tigers BCS title contenders. If they won out, they'd have beaten Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Alabama, and that's before an SEC championship game. That easily puts them in title contention.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst