BCS Standings Simulation, Week 5: Notre Dame Hype Won't Be With Us Long

Sep 22, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Denard Robinson (16) slips and falls as Notre Dame Fighting Irish linebacker Danny Spond (13) defends in the fourth quarter at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 13-6. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

We know what the BCS rankings would look like right now if they'd officially been made public yet. This week, the Notre Dame hype train keeps on clanging as Florida State crashes the top three.

Notre Dame is not going to win the national championship. Not in 2012.

There, I said it. I went nuclear on Twitter the moment Tommy Rees took a knee to finish the Irish's victory over Michigan, putting them at 4-0 for the first time in a decade. Naturally, this being Notre Dame, where everything must be vastly overhyped, the Irish-for-BCS mania instantly kicked into high gear.

Can Notre Dame actually win the BCS title? Hypothetically, yes, of course. Hypothetically, if I were Gordon Gee, I'd be able to expense all of my clip-on bow ties without feeling any pangs of hypocrisy while I tell my student-athletes that it's so out-of-bounds for them to trade their jerseys for tats.

But let's return to earth for now. The Irish's road to South Florida for the BCS title game is full of obstacles. And here's why it's extremely complicated:


Shutdown Fullback reviews Week 4 in completely serious fashion!

Make no mistake, the computers love Notre Dame, which is behind only Stanford in that portion of the latest simulated BCS standings. The Irish play their typical challenging schedule, and already own victories over Michigan and Michigan State. The immediate stretch of their forthcoming schedule is only going to help, as they face Miami, Stanford, BYU and Oklahoma in their next four games - all teams with more than sufficient computer cred.

Strength of schedule, however, is always a double-edged sword. Because the Irish play all these tough teams - with the reprise of "Catholics vs. Convicts" in Chicago and Oklahoma in Norman - their odds of running this gauntlet unbeaten are not terribly good. It would not be entirely surprising if Notre Dame ends up 5-3, or even 4-4, after it gets through these next four games.

The bigger problem facing the Irish, though, are the humans, especially the fellow coaches, who for reasons that include professional jealousy have never been all that friendly toward Notre Dame with their votes. The Coaches Poll, which accounts for one-third of the BCS standings, has Notre Dame at No. 11, a good deal behind No. 10 Texas, which has beaten exactly nobody.

The polls are of paramount importance because since 2004, when the BCS last tweaked its formula, every team that's ranked either first or second in the two polls (first AP and coaches, then coaches and Harris) has made it into the BCS title game. The Irish will not get past teams such as Alabama (or LSU), Oregon, Florida State and possibly Kansas State if any of them runs the table. And some of those teams may well stay ahead of Notre Dame in the polls even with a loss.

Overcoming its low poll position will be a major challenge. Notre Dame, which began the season at No. 24 in the Coaches Poll, is currently No. 9 in the simulated BCS standings despite its lofty computer rankings. And don't invest too much hope in an October surprise from the Harris poll, which will come out for the first time in two weeks. The Harris poll almost always closely mirrors the two major polls.

So if you're a Notre Dame fan, savor the 4-0 start for a couple of weeks and don't work up into a huge frenzy with all the BCS talk - because it'll only leave you bitterly disappointed, trust me. If the Irish are 8-0 after Oct. 27, then we'll have a serious talk, because in that case they might actually have a serious chance. We'll really let the hype begin then.

But if you're a Florida State fan ... it's time to dream big. The Seminoles moved up five spots to No. 3 in the BCS after walloping Clemson with an impressive second half. This development is significant because FSU will have the best chance among major contenders to finish the season undefeated. As of right now, Florida is the only BCS-ranked team remaining on FSU's schedule (and that includes the ACC championship game). Basically, the Noles will get to watch the SEC, Pac-12 and Big 12 teams wreak mayhem on each other while they glide through a pretty benign ACC.

Oregon moved past LSU for No. 2 ... but that's not necessarily that big of a deal. The winner of the Alabama-LSU game will be No. 1 in the BCS standings, so the Tigers' momentary slip against Auburn isn't all that hazardous to their health, since they did win the game. Oregon, on the other hand, isn't going to be challenged until November when it begins a four-game stretch against USC, Cal, Stanford and Oregon State, with all but the Cardinal on the road.

We make so much fun of the Big East ... so it's only fair that we point out that it's not any less relevant than the Big Ten, which has exactly one team in the BCS top 20 - Michigan State at No. 18, one spot ahead of Big East-leading Louisville. The B1G continued its pathetic preseason, with Iowa getting beat at home by Central Michigan and Illinois being routed by Louisiana Tech. That the Big Ten champion will still play in Pasadena is appropriate only in this sense - that's about as far away from Miami as you can get.

This week's simulated BCS standings:

Rank Pvs Team Coaches AP Md CM JS KM RB Cp Avg Sim. BCS

1 1 Alabama 1 1 1 8 2 18 1 0.75 0.916

2 3 Oregon 2 2 2 3 5 16 3 0.77 0.8807

3 8 Florida State 4 4 6 7 9 10 14 0.64 0.8063

4 2 LSU 3 3 3 18 6 2 0.51 0.7767

5 4 Stanford 9 8 4 1 4 2 4 0.9 0.7489

6 7 South Carolina 6 6 7 11 10 13 7 0.63 0.7245

7 5 Georgia 5 5 8 10 8 11 0.49 0.7166

8 14 Kansas State 8 7 10 6 7 8 6 0.73 0.7064

9 10 Notre Dame 11 10 5 2 3 3 5 0.88 0.7051

10 13 West Virginia 7 9 13 12 23 17 20 0.31 0.5925

11 11 Florida 12 11 9 4 1 6 21 0.64 0.59

12 12 Texas 10 12 11 13 11 5 0.43 0.5424

13 15 USC 13 13 12 17 25 8 0.24 0.4417

14 16 TCU 14 15 14 24 16 15 0.23 0.3729

15 6 Oklahoma 15 16 16 14 13 0.22 0.3671

16 9 Clemson 16 17 15 21 19 21 18 0.25 0.3406

17 31 Oregon State 21 18 18 5 13 1 17 0.51 0.3199

18 20 Michigan State 18 20 17 12 7 9 0.4 0.302

19 21 Louisville 17 19 14 22 0.04 0.2167

20 24 Mississippi State 19 21 22 9 23 0.07 0.1569

21 25 Rutgers 25 23 17 20 15 19 0.22 0.1239

22 27 Nebraska 20 22 0 0.1137

23 26 Boise State 28 24 25 18 10 0.09 0.0709

24 28 Baylor 24 25 19 12 0.07 0.0666

25 22 Iowa State 30 32 23 16 4 24 0.15 0.0637

26 29 Wisconsin 23 33 15 11 0.11 0.0626

27 23 Oklahoma State 22 34 21 24 23 0.05 0.0541

28 30 Texas Tech 36 36 20 19 9 0.13 0.0494

29 33 Northwestern 27 26 20 0 0.0415

30 17 Arizona 37 31 25 22 20 22 0.09 0.0374

31 32 Virginia Tech 25 30 0 0.0279

32 18 UCLA 32 27 14 0 0.025

33 19 Michigan 29 28 16 0 0.0227

34 39 Louisiana Tech 34 40 22 12 0.04 0.0212

35 37 Ohio 38 29 15 0 0.0118

36 34 Cincinnati 31 36 24 0 0.0117

37 36 Texas A&M 33 35 24 0 0.0095

38 43 Arizona State 35 39 0 0.0067

39 40 Tennessee 40 36 0 0.0036

40 35 Missouri 25 25 0.01 0.0033

41 NR Minnesota 39 23 0 0.0025

42 NR Purdue 42 41 19 0 0.002

43 45 W. Kentucky 41 0 0.0011

44 44 UL-Monroe 42 0 0.0009

45 NR Miami (Fla.) 44 42 21 0 0.0007

46 48 San Jose State 44 0 0.0005

46 46 Washington 44 0 0.0005

Keys: Pvs = Previous Week; Coach = USA Today Coaches Poll; AP = Associated Press Poll; Md = Median ranking of 38 computer ratings; CM = Colley Matrix; JS = Jeff Sagarin; KM = Kenneth Massey; RB = Richard Billingsley; Cp Avg = Computer Average.

Explanation: This rankings method is a simulation of the actual BCS standings with the following variations: 1) The AP Poll is used in place of the Harris Interactive Poll, which is not published until after the first weekend of October; 2) Four of the six BCS computer ratings are available - Colley Matrix, Jeff Sagarin, Kenneth Massey and Richard Billingsley; 3) The other two computer ratings - Anderson & Hester and Peter Wolfe - will not be available until October, so they're replaced by the median ranking of 38 computer ratings.

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