Five undefeated teams to start November

The month of November will separate the contenders from the pretenders, writes Kirk Herbstreit.

Updated: November 30, 2005, 11:16 PM ET
By Kirk Herbstreit | Special to
Last week, we saw another unbeaten team lose (Georgia) and two more (Texas and UCLA) pull out come-from-behind wins on the road. Heading into November there are five unbeaten teams. Why is it so tough for teams to run the table and go undefeated?

I've been following college football pretty closely for the last decade. You are most likely to see outside distractions affect a team when teams come down the stretch and the pressure intensifies. There's all this BCS talk about USC and Texas meeting in the Rose Bowl, as though it's a foregone conclusion. Well, both the Trojans and Longhorns have four games to play.

The challenge becomes not listening to that hype. What happened to Texas last week is an example of that. The Longhorns showed up in Stillwater, felt they weren't going to get much of a challenge from Oklahoma State and went through the motions in the first half. They came back and won by 19, but there are outside distractions and it is easy to get caught up in them.

Kirk Herbstreit

College Football analyst
Kirk Herbstreit has been an ESPN college football studio analyst since August 1996. Herbstreit, who joined ESPN in September 1995 as a college football sideline analyst for ESPN2, is also a game analyst for ESPN's Thursday night college football telecasts.