We have had seven weeks to watch these college football teams play. And through all of the upsets, hard-fought victories and changes in the rankings, each and every team has had a chance to prove itself to the college football world.
Now it is up to the computers to decide who will play for BCS bowls and a national championship. Tomorrow, after another great day of college football, the 2012 BCS rankings will be released and provide everyone with a little more insight on where their favorite teams rank.
This BCS mess is an interesting process that only has a couple more years left, but is how we decide a national championship at the moment. Here are what some of the experts are saying about the soon-to-be release of the latest BCS rankings.
Although Ohio State has appeared to be the best team in the watered down Big Ten this year, the Buckeyes aren't invited to the party once the BCS rankings are released.
Due to a one-year postseason bowl ban, the Buckeyes, we are reminded by Adam Rittenberg and Brian Bennett of ESPN, won't be included in the BCS rankings, regardless of how well the team is playing.
No. Not eligible for Harris either RT @rmphipps: Is Ohio State eligible to show up in BCS since part of the formula is coaches poll?— Rittenberg/Bennett (@ESPN_BigTen) October 12, 2012
Unfortunately, Ohio State will only be playing for pride the rest of the way, as it seeks to notch the first undefeated season in school history since 2002.
Many believe that the Alabama Crimson Tide is the best team in all of college football. They were the No. 1 team in both the AP and coaches polls for majority of the season and seem to be the favorite in the SEC to reach the BCS National Championship Game.
Because of poor strength of schedule, which is no fault of Alabama's because Michigan and Arkansas should have been top 25 wins, I think there's a better than 50 percent chance that Alabama isn't No. 1. Scarborough said his chat earlier in the week responding to questions from Alabama football fans.
While Scarborough may have a point, it seems like whichever team comes out of the SEC will automatically receive a bid to the national championship regardless.
What if I told you that Florida was going to be the top team in all of college football?
Well, according to Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports, if the polls were to come out right this second, the computers would have the Gators as the top team in the country. Of course, the USA Today Coaches Poll and Harris Interactive College Football Poll play a part in the BCS rankings as well, which will likely remove Will Muschamp's team from the top spot.
Still, having the Florida Gators as the top team is something nobody would have believed before the season started.
In that same report, Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports says that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish will likely be No. 2 team in the country according the computers, but could move up to the No. 1 spot with a win today over Stanford.
Difference from the USA Today coaches poll: plus-five spots. The Fighting Irish benefit from having played four major-conference opponents – if indeed the Big Ten counts as a major conference in 2012. And they could conceivably move up to the computer top spot with a victory over highly ranked Stanford on Saturday. Forde wrote.
With the questions surrounding the program before the season started and one of the more difficult schedules in the country, a season that the Irish are currently having was not expected. No matter where this team ends up, it should be looked at as a success for this coaching staff and program as a whole.
Regardless of what happens to Stanford in the big game against Notre Dame, the Cardinal will likely end up in the Top 25 of the BCS rankings. However, according to Jon Wilner of MontereyHerald.com, today's matchup is a must-win for the team to stay in the BCS bowl hunt.
This is an elimination game for Stanford, said a high-ranking BCS official, who requested anonymity.
If they beat Notre Dame, they wouldn't lock anything up, but they'd be on the radar. If they lose, it would be tough to overcome. Then it's the Rose Bowl (as the Pac-12 champion) or nowhere.
Stanford had reached two consecutive BCS bowl games with Andrew Luck as the starting quarterback and has gotten off to a fast start in 2012. But a loss to the Irish would be the second loss of the season and would create a deep hole to try and climb out of.
Before Week 7 took place, South Carolina was No. 3 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches Poll, with Oregon and Alabama the only two teams ahead of the Gamecocks. But with a second straight Top-10 opponent on the schedule, John Henderson of the Denver Post believes there may be a different No. 2 team if South Carolina can win today's matchup.
In fact, if South Carolina wins Saturday at Louisiana State, the Gamecocks likely will leapfrog idle Oregon into the No. 2 slot behind defending national champion Alabama. Lurking not far behind will be Florida, jacked up by a defense almost as maniacal as its head coach.
With Oregon only defeating two lowly ranked teams, you would think that the possibility of this actually happening is fairly high. But before we go ahead and make the switch, the Gamecocks must find a way to knock off LSU, a team that is 16-2-1 all time against South Carolina.
Many teams throughout the BCS process have to run the table just to have a chance to sniff a BCS bowl, while winning the conference is good for the rest of the qualifiers. But according to Brad Edwards of ESPN, it will take a lot for even a one-loss SEC team not to reach the BCS National Championship Game.
If there's a spot in the BCS title game available for a once-beaten team, the SEC figures to be leading that line, with the possible exception of USC or Oklahoma also being in contention. It comes down to how the remaining unbeatens fare the rest of the season. The Pac-12 has two unbeaten teams remaining -- Oregon and Oregon State. The Big 12 has two unbeaten teams -- West Virginia and Kansas State. And then there's 5-0 Notre Dame. If four of those five teams lose a game by Dec. 1 -- and two of them will lose because of head-to-head matchups -- then the SEC, even if its champion has a loss, almost certainly will be playing for a seventh straight BCS title Jan. 7. Edwards wrote.
Before Week 7, there were currently four ranked teams inside the Top 10 of the AP Poll and a total of seven teams from the conference in the Top 25. While many laugh at the downfall of Arkansas and Auburn, it seems like the SEC is still the conference to beat in all of college football.
While everybody is sitting on the edge of their seat, waiting to see where their team ranks among the BCS, the first poll should mean very little to the college football world. Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports did a little research and found that the first poll doesn't mean much as far as finding out who our national champion is going to be.
In the previous 14 first-week BCS standings, the teams that debuted 1-2 finished that way exactly twice (Southern California-Texas in 2005 and LSU-Alabama in 2011). Only six times did the initial 1-2 contain the eventual BCS champion. Five other times the first set of 1-2 teams contained the championship game loser. Dodd wrote.
Would you still like your team to be in the Top Two of the BCS?
We can talk about who is going to be ranked where all day long, but the truth is that nobody knows for sure when it comes to this broken system that runs college football.
After seeing a few predictions and theories, here is a preview of what Jerry Palm, BCS and bracketology expert of CBS Sports, believes how things are going to pan out.
3. South Carolina
4. West Virginia
For the complete breakdown of Palm's rankings and predictions, click here.