The second BCS standings of the season were released on Sunday night, with some shakeup in the top-five. While Alabama held strong at the top, Oregon leapfrogged Florida State after a big win over UCLA. Ohio State remained No. 4, but Missouri dropped from fifth to ninth following their heartbreaking loss to South Carolina. Stanford is now No. 5 and quietly remains in the hunt for the national title game.
The two big stories at the moment are the Ducks and Noles battling for second, which will continue as long as both remain undefeated, and the push by Fresno State and Northern Illinois to rank either in the top 12 or in the top 16 and ahead of a BCS-conference champion. If either can do that, the BCS' final season will produce some bizarre bowl matchups. As you can see below, both are well within BCS-buster range already.
|BCS||Harris Poll||USA Today||Computer Rankings|
As the Crimson Tide remain the top team in the land, Roll Bama Roll finds your courage amusing.
FSU students chanting "WE WANT BAMA" yesterday is so adorable.— Roll Bama Roll (@rollbamaroll) October 27, 2013
The folks at Addicted To Quack point out the tougher road awaiting the Ducks, which is expected to work to Oregon's advantage. But they're not too worried about it.
Not sure why Florida State fan is all over us today seeking validation. Win your games guys. That's what Oregon is trying to do.— Addicted To Quack (@AddictedToQuack) October 27, 2013
Tomahawk Nation knows FSU is going to need help from someone if it is going to play for the national title this season.
Like we said, no reason for #Noles to worry. FSU does not control own destiny. Either Oregon or Bama lose, or FSU's not going to Pasadena.— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) October 28, 2013
The Buckeyes are keeping faith over at Land Grant Holy Land.
RT @SBNationCFB: Hope for FSU/Ohio State/Baylor: the teams ranked 1 and 2 at this point have met for the title only 4 times in BCS history.— Land-Grant Holy Land (@Landgrant33) October 28, 2013
As for the little guys, MAC site Hustle Belt finds ESPN's coverage more palatable this time around.
Oh, and in case if you're wondering Uncle Herbie didn't bash the Huskies this week. #Progress.— Hustle Belt (@HustleBelt) October 28, 2013
Speaking of those mid-majors, Matt Hinton writes that it's not the humans who are falling in love with the underdogs:
One of the reasons the Bulldogs and Huskies are in such solid position, surprisingly, is their good standing in the computer polls, where both rank in the top 15 despite the computers' alleged emphasis on strength of schedule. (NIU's best win is over Iowa, by three points; the crown jewel in Fresno's resumé is either a one-point win over Rutgers, in overtime, or a one-point win over Boise State.) In fact, even the machines don't really know what to do with them. In Jeff Sagarin's rankings, for example, his "real" rankings - which include margin of victory - list both NIU and Fresno as mediocrities at No. 51 and No. 52, respectively, nowhere near the threshold for a BCS game; in the version Sagarin submits to the BCS, though, which excludes margin of victory, the same teams come in at No. 3 and No. 14. The absurd result for NIU was rejected from the final computer average as an outlier, but the Huskies still have more than enough support in the other polls to book a return date if/when Fresno finally runs out of gas. Either way, go ahead and brace yourself for a likely bloodbath when one or the other makes the cut.
Our Daily Bears both celebrates Baylor's highest-ever ranking and looks ahead to what might be the toughest remaining schedule of any contender.
OU is now a top-ten team in the latest BCS. November 7 = huge.— OurDailyBears (@OurDailyBears) October 28, 2013
Week 10 impact
No. 7 Miami at No. 3 Florida State: This is the toughest challenge remaining on FSU's schedule, and thus one of the Seminoles' few chances to whittle away Oregon's lead. Miami is coming off three sloppy performances, but enters the game with an unblemished 7-0 record. Despite both schools being highly ranked, early lines have the Seminoles favored by three touchdowns, so the Noles will need to go for total annihilation in order to impress the humans.
No. 18 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are coming off a tough road loss to Oklahoma, but they remain firmly in the hunt for the Big 12 title. The Cowboys haven't played well at times this season, though they're still 6-1 with just one conference loss. The winner of this game remains in the hunt for the automatic Fiesta Bowl bid and should creep up the BCS top 20.
No. 21 Michigan at No. 22 Michigan State: These two in-state rivals will square off in East Lansing for what should be a terrific Big Ten matchup. The Spartans are 4-0 in conference play and seem to be getting things figured out a bit offensively, while it's tough to ever really know which Michigan team will show up. The loser of this game is out of the BCS at-large mix for good.
Tennessee at No. 9 Missouri: Despite losing to South Carolina, Mizzou still controls its destiny in the SEC East. The Volunteers are coming off an ugly loss to Alabama, but they've shown all season long that they can hang with the big boys. If the Vols can knock off the Tigers, as tackle Antonio Richardson has promised, Missouri will slip behind South Carolina in the standings and kiss the Sugar Bowl goodbye.
No. 11 Auburn at Arkansas: It's been a rough go for the Razorbacks under first-year coach Bret Bielema, and they're still searching for their first conference win of the year. Pulling a major upset and ruining the Tigers' longshot national championship hopes would do the trick. Auburn comes in at 7-1 with an impressive 3-1 mark against SEC foes.
BCS gonna BCS
Jeff Sagarin is changing up his formula once again. Who's Jeff Sagarin? He's the man behind one of the six computer formulas used to form one third of the BCS standings. His is usually thought of as one of the more reputable ones, since he's at least publicly complained about margin of victory being excluded by BCS rule. He also publishes a relatively respected formula that does include margin of victory.
You can see why his formula needs a tweak, as last week it offered up FCS Bethune-Cookman as a top-10 team. But adjusting it midseason, without any oversight? The BCS is outdoing itself in its last season.
BCS bowl picture
If the season ended tomorrow, the BCS bowl game picture would look like this:
National Championship: Alabama vs. Oregon
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Oklahoma
Sugar Bowl: Missouri vs. UCF
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Stanford
Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Fresno State
But the season's not ending tomorrow. Check out our full bowl game projections here.
What about the College Football Playoff?
This time next year, we'll be preparing for the first-ever College Football Playoff. 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 are Team Speed Kills' projections, as well as an explanation for their reasoning. (Note: This is the College Football Playoff bowl schedule for the 2015 season, not 2014, because why not?)
Orange Bowl semifinal: Alabama vs. Ohio State
Cotton Bowl semifinal: Oregon vs. Florida State
Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Michigan
Sugar Bowl: Missouri vs. Baylor
Fiesta Bowl: Fresno State vs. Oklahoma
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Miami vs. Clemson