BCS Rankings: Analysis Of The Week 13 Standings

A brief overview of the Week 13 BCS rankings.

Wisconsin has to be breathing a sigh of relief. Though Ohio State had a chance to make a move on the Badgers with a big win over Iowa, the Buckeyes' close one in Iowa City didn't give them the leg up Jim Tressel's bunch might have expected. That means that, unless poll voters elevate Ohio State for a big win over Michigan, Wisconsin will all but guarantee a Rose Bowl berth with a victory over Northwestern this week.

On the other hand, Virginia Tech has to be a bit disappointed to be so disrespected by the BCS standings. The Hokies are behind Oklahoma, Missouri, and Nebraska in this week's rankings, and out of the top 14 that is the cutoff for BCS at-large eligibility. It's exceedingly unlikely that Virginia Tech can get into a BCS bowl game except by winning the ACC Championship Game, and though that shouldn't be too tall a task for the red-hot Hokies, it's still evidence that their early-season struggles have left this team with just one path to a BCS bowl game.

Stanford's plight remains the same: the Cardinal could be the second-highest-ranked one-loss team in the country, yet still miss out on a BCS bowl thanks to Oregon likely making the BCS National Championship Game and giving the Pac-10's automatic Rose Bowl berth to either TCU or Boise State.

And finally, the Big 12 is in a weird place: the conference has four teams in the top 15 of the BCS rankings, but none in the top eight. That might mean that the only team heading to a BCS bowl from the Big 12 is the eventual conference winner, likely the winner of this week's Bedlam Game between Oklahoma State and Oklahoma or Nebraska, while another team that just sneaks into the top 14 is passed over for a second school from another conference.

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