The first BCS standings of the season were released on Sunday night. The Alabama Crimson Tide came in at No. 1, while Florida State, fresh off a huge road win over Clemson, is ranked No. 2, putting the Noles in the middle of the national championship race. The Oregon Ducks are third, just .0028 points behind FSU and comfortably ahead of Ohio State. The Missouri Tigers are fifth.
After knocking off UCLA over the weekend, Stanford is sixth. Miami and Baylor, who are both yet to lose this season, are No. 7 and No. 8, respectively. Clemson and Texas Tech round out the top 10.
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Our writers over at Roll Bama Roll weren't surprised with the No. 1 ranking. Why should they be?
1st BCS Rankings of the 2013 Season released. Alabama #1. Everyone is shocked. http://t.co/epRdD4vm2Q— Roll Bama Roll (@rollbamaroll) October 21, 2013
From our Florida State site, Tomahawk Nation:
Not only do I want to go to Pasadena, but I don't want to see Oregon's weak offensive and defensive lines get wrecked by another SEC team— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) October 21, 2013
Addicted To Quack wasn't too happy with being ranked third, but knows there's plenty of season left.
Why do people keep sending me Florida State fan smack? The BCS in October matters about as much as... well, something that doesn't matter.— Addicted To Quack (@AddictedToQuack) October 21, 2013
Land-Grant Holy Land, which covers Ohio State, accepts its current predicament:
Herbstreit on Ohio State: "They’re going to need a lot of help. I don’t think right now they’re in the discussion." pic.twitter.com/ePyGXQDJoA— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) October 21, 2013
Many are pointing to opponent injuries as the reason Mizzou is ranked 5th. Rock M Nation isn't having it.
Nevermind our own RT @Larry_Thornton: Apparently Missouri is the only team in the country to ever play another team with injured players.— Rock M Nation (@rockmnation) October 21, 2013
And as Matt Hinton explains, the debate for the rest of the year (or until somebody loses) is Florida State vs. Oregon:
As long as both teams are winning, of course, the debate will never be "resolved" among the non-voting public, and probably shouldn't be. Within the system, though, Florida State still has more reason for concern going forward: Frankly, if trashing another top-five contender by 37 points on its own field isn't enough to get them to No. 2 in the human polls, good lord, what is? FSU isn't exactly putting it into cruise control with Miami and Florida waiting over the second half of the season, and the ACC Championship Game looming at the end. But Oregon's schedule gets even steeper against UCLA, Stanford, Utah, Arizona and Oregon State, leading up to (presumably) the Pac-12 title game. If the preference for the Ducks holds in the human polls – which it almost certainly will as long as they keep winning – the computers will fall in line soon enough.
Week 9 impact
No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 12 UCLA: If Oregon wins out, they're likely headed to the BCS National Championship, given their strength of schedule advantage over FSU. The Bruins are coming off a tough loss to Stanford, but they're still in the running for the Pac-12 South title.
No. 5 Missouri vs. No. 21 South Carolina: In a battle of teams from Columbia, Maty Mauk will look to keep Mizzou's magical run going. Gamecocks quarterback Connor Shaw is likely to miss the game with a knee sprain. A win for the Tigers would all but wrap up the SEC East title, barring a historic collapse.
No. 10 Texas Tech at No. 15 Oklahoma: The unbeaten Red Raiders have been one of the surprise stories of the season and will need to play mistake-free football if they're going to escape Norman with a win.
No. 6 Stanford at No. 25 Oregon State: A lot of people wrote off the Beavers after they lost to Eastern Washington in their season opener. OSU is back to firing on all cylinders now, though, and they'll have a chance to move back into the top 20 with a win over the Cardinal.
No. 1 Alabama vs. Tennessee: If the Crimson Tide keep winning, they'll have a shot to win their third straight national title. The Volunteers will give Bama everything they've got after stunning South Carolina over the weekend.
BCS bowl picture
If the season ended right this minute, the BCS bowl picture would likely look like this:
- BCS National Championship: Alabama vs. Florida State
- Orange Bowl: Clemson vs. Stanford
- Sugar Bowl: Missouri vs. Texas Tech
- Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Oregon
- Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. UCF
Head here for full bowl projections based on the long-term, not just on how things stand at the moment.
What about the College Football Playoff?
The College Football Playoff won't begin until next year. That being said, it's never too early to do a mock-up of what would happen in 2013 if the season ended right now. Here's Team Speed Kills' projection, which is explained in depth here:
- Sugar Bowl semifinal: Alabama vs. Ohio State
- Rose Bowl semifinal: Florida State vs. Oregon
- Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Missouri
- Fiesta Bowl: Stanford vs. Fresno State
- Cotton Bowl: Baylor vs. Auburn
- Chick-fil-A Bowl: Clemson vs. Texas Tech