2013 BCS standings, Week 12: FSU takes No. 2, battle for No. 3 begins

Streeter Lecka

Drama has left the top of the BCS rankings. Alabama and Florida State will remain entrenched until someone forcibly removes them. But the next three spots? That's the new disputed territory.

Odds are good that it won't matter which team ranks No. 3 or 4 or 5 in the BCS standings this week or next week or the week after that. No, seriously: The numbers show Alabama and Florida State as overwhelming favorites after Oregon's loss, with Stanford, Baylor and Ohio State in the mix just in case one of the kingpins stumbles.

The fact that it will likely not matter where those three rank will not stop ink, sweat, and tears being spilled over their placement. Do you value the season's best win (but also a poor loss) and a tough schedule over perfection? If so, you take Stanford. Do you favor total bombardment of overwhelmed competition? Baylor's your pick. Do you reward a team for winning 21 straight games and already being shut out of the BCS once? Then it's Ohio State.

The updated BCS standings for Week 12, with full computer and polls data:

BCS Harris Poll Coaches Poll Computer rankings
Rank Team Avg. Prev. Rank Points % Rank Points % AVG A&H RB CM KM JS PW %
1 Alabama .9958 1 1 2625 1.0000 1 1546 .9974 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 .990
2 Florida State .9619 2 2 2514 .9577 2 1485 .9581 2 2 2 1 2 1 2 .970
3 Ohio State .8926 4 3 2373 .9040 3 1401 .9039 4 4 4 4 6 5 3 .870
4 Stanford .8689 5 5 2240 .8533 5 1307 .8432 3 5 3 3 3 3 4 .910
5 Baylor .8618 6 4 2304 .8777 4 1376 .8877 5 3 6 5 7 4 8 .820
6 Oregon .7665 3 6 1968 .7497 7 1162 .7497 6 6 5 8 5 7 6 .800
7 Auburn .7206 9 9 1843 .7021 9 1069 .6897 7 8 8 6 4 8 5 .770
8 Clemson .7200 7 7 1940 .7390 6 1164 .7510 9 9 7 9 10 13 9 .670
9 Missouri .7118 8 8 1855 .7067 8 1083 .6987 8 7 10 7 8 9 7 .730
10 South Carolina .5584 12 12 1417 .5398 12 830 .5355 10 10 9 12 13 10 12 .600
11 Texas A&M .5473 15 10 1582 .6027 11 898 .5794 13 15 16 13 12 17 14 .460
12 Oklahoma State .4671 14 11 1545 .5886 10 965 .6226 22 14 20 18 NR 22 25 .190
13 UCLA .4548 19 16 1026 .3909 15 641 .4135 11 13 13 17 11 11 11 .560
14 Fresno State .4317 16 13 1124 .4282 14 646 .4168 14 17 17 11 25 12 13 .450
15 Northern Illinois .3505 18 18 825 .3143 21 445 .2871 14 24 12 20 17 6 10 .450
16 Michigan State .3417 17 15 1090 .4152 16 620 .4000 21 18 21 15 22 23 22 .210
17 UCF .3411 21 19 791 .3013 19 468 .3019 16 16 11 14 19 16 16 .420
18 Oklahoma .2926 10 20 732 .2789 17 510 .3290 17 12 15 16 23 NR 23 .270
19 Arizona State .2833 22 22 475 .1810 22 262 .1690 12 11 23 10 9 18 15 .500
20 Louisville .2806 20 14 1104 .4206 13 653 .4213 28 NR 18 NR NR NR NR .000
21 LSU .2757 13 17 919 .3501 18 476 .3071 24 NR 19 NR 16 21 21 .170
22 Wisconsin .2612 24 21 674 .2568 20 460 .2968 18 22 22 NR 18 19 18 .230
23 Miami (FL) .1471 11 23 457 .1741 23 228 .1471 25 21 NR 21 21 NR 24 .120
24 Texas .1092 NR 24 247 .0941 24 176 .1135 25 20 14 24 24 24 NR .120
25 Georgia .0857 NR 25 102 .0389 NR 44 .0284 22 19 24 22 15 25 20 .190

The especially fun part: Fans of those teams won't even agree with how I just characterized the arguments above. That's how close and heated it is. So games will be played.

As it has been for a month now, the main other thing to eye is Fresno State's (and Northern Illinois') creep toward the top. If one of them can rank within the top 12 or in the top 14 and ahead of the lowest AQ champ, it's in a BCS bowl, no questions asked. Since the human polls remain laughably skeptical of projected American champion UCF, that's looking more and more likely.

If Fresno makes it in, your BCS slate will be something like this (full bowl projections here):

Bowl Matchup Team Team
1/6/2014 BCS National Championship (Pasadena) BCS 1 vs. BCS 2 Alabama Florida State
1/3/2014 Orange (Miami) Florida State replacement vs. At-large 1 Clemson Oregon
1/2/2014 Sugar (New Orleans) Alabama replacement vs. At-large 2 Auburn UCF
1/1/2014 Rose (Pasadena) Pac-12 1 vs. Big Ten 1 Ohio State Stanford
1/1/2014 Fiesta (Glendale, AZ) Big 12 1 vs. At-large 3 Baylor Fresno State

However, if Fresno State and Northern Illinois stumble down the stretch (NIU's schedule is about to toughen up, while Fresno's is ...), we'd have something more like this:

Bowl Matchup Team Team
1/6/2014 BCS National Championship (Pasadena) BCS 1 vs. BCS 2 Alabama Florida State
1/3/2014 Orange (Miami) Florida State replacement vs. At-large 1 Clemson Oregon
1/2/2014 Sugar (New Orleans) Alabama replacement vs. At-large 2 Auburn Oklahoma State
1/1/2014 Rose (Pasadena) Pac-12 1 vs. Big Ten 1 Ohio State Stanford
1/1/2014 Fiesta (Glendale, AZ) Big 12 1 vs. At-large 3 Baylor UCF

Those are better games. But the rules are the rules.

More from SB Nation college football:

Spencer Hall ranks the nine teams that matter

Bowl projections: Bama-FSU and 34 other games

Behold Stanford, your weird nerd overlord

Stanford, Auburn, OSU favored in next week’s big games

Long reads: Has Baylor crafted the ultimate football offense?

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