BCS Rankings: Predicting Biggest Surprises When Standings Are Released

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2012

BATON ROUGE, LA - SEPTEMBER 08: Les Miles, head coach of the LSU Tigers and his team sing the fight song following a game against the Washington Huskies at Tiger Stadium on September 8, 2012 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. LSU would win the game 41-3. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Stacy Revere/Getty Images

We are just two weeks into the College Football regular season, yet there is a sense of instability surrounding what will happen when the BCS rankings are released on October 14. 

Sure, the teams at the very top might seem obvious looking at it right now, but this is the BCS we are talking about, and nothing is ever as it seems. 

So while we count the days until the first BCS standings of 2012 come out (34), we wanted to take a peek ahead at what will be the biggest surprises and talking points. 


LSU Will Be Ranked No. 1

Despite trailing Alabama and USC in the AP and USA Today rankings, the LSU Tigers have the inside track on the top spot in the initial rankings. 

Alabama's schedule is not going to look as impressive by the time we get to October 14. It is clear that Michigan was vastly overrated coming into the season. Arkansas would have been a nice notch under the Crimson Tide's belt if not for Louisiana-Monroe. 

As of right now, the next ranked team on Alabama's radar is Tennessee on October 20. 

USC does have a nice test in Stanford this weekend, but the Pac-12 is so watered down once you get past the Trojans and Oregon that it will be difficult for them to look like the best team with no real competition on the schedule. 

LSU almost gets the nod by default, though the Tigers are an outstanding team. They have two games with ranked teams, at least right now, against Florida and South Carolina in the two weeks prior to the rankings coming out. 


West Virginia Will Be In The Top Five

Somehow the Mountaineers are ranked No. 9 in the country despite playing a schedule that is, quite frankly, laughable right out of the gate. They started the season with Marshall before locking horns with the almighty James Madison on Saturday. 

After that, games against Maryland and Baylor will get the Mountaineers to 4-0 before a trip to Austin to play the Longhorns. 

Since the Moutaineers are going to win at least three of their first four games by 30 points, the computers will give them an unwarranted boost. They could end up being one of the best teams in the country before the end of the season, but not by October 14. 


Michigan State Will Be Punished For Being A Big Ten School

The Spartans might not be the sexiest team in the country. Their style is much more about playing physical defense and short fields than doing anything glamorous, but the defense is so good and fast that it makes them fun to watch. 

However, there is a stigma against the Big Ten that is developing right now because teams like Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio State have looked unimpressive at times so far this season. 

So, despite possessing a team that is worthy of being among the top seven in the country, the Spartans will be punished because of their association with those other teams. 


 1. LSU Tigers
 2. Alabama Crimson Tide
 3. USC Trojans
 4. Florida State
 5. West Virginia
 6. Oklahoma
 7. South Carolina
 8. Clemson Tigers
 9. Michigan State
 10. Virginia Tech