Commentary

Alabama poses key test for Auburn D

Thus far, Tigers don't have the look of past BCS champs

Originally Published: November 21, 2010
By Jeff Dooley | ESPN Insider
Greg McElroy, Cam NewtonGetty ImagesGreg McElroy, left, will test Auburn's key Eliminator deficiency.

With the top three teams in the BCS standings (Oregon, Auburn, TCU) all resting this weekend, we were able to catch a glimpse of what some of the second-tier BCS title contenders look like -- and for the most part the teams rose to the challenge.

LSU squeaked by Ole Miss, showing off an improved offense that has them climbing the Eliminator standings, while Stanford and Wisconsin, a pair of teams that are barely coming up short of elite Eliminator status, rolled past inferior conference opponents.

Boise State, however, continues to be the most impressive of the second-tier teams, boasting a statistical profile that matches only Oregon in the BCS title race, as a team that very closely resembles past national champions (see our season-opening edition here for a more in-depth look at our model, which tracks the conference races and BCS race through statistical benchmarks set by the performances of previous champs).

Several league championships are coming down to the wire as well, with teams like Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh and Michigan State all facing tough tests in must-have games. But no game will garner more attention than Alabama and Auburn next week. We'll break down the stats to see who's got the best chance of winning this year's Iron Bowl.