Projecting the Top 10 of College Football's First BCS Rankings
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Week 7 of the college football season is now in the books, which means it’s officially time to unveil the first BCS rankings of 2012.
Obviously, there’s still a lot of football to be played, and the standings will continue to fluctuate on a week-to-week basis. However, the first BCS rankings of the season do give us a good starting point as we try to figure out which two teams will ultimately compete for college football’s most coveted crown.
Since the complex formula is rather complicated, it’s never easy to project and predict just exactly how the teams will stack up. Nevertheless, here’s a rough idea of how the first BCS Top 25 should look when the rankings are unveiled later tonight.
The Top 10
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (Record: 6-0, Week 7 Result: Beat Missouri 42-10)
The defending national champs are college football’s top dog until someone comes along and knocks them off. The Tide has steamrolled over every opponent it’s faced this season.
QB AJ McCarron has the offense running smoothly and efficiently, while C.J. Mosley, Jesse Williams, Dee Milliner, Robert Lester and Nico Johnson have combined to form one of the strongest defenses in the country.
2. Oregon Ducks (Record: 6-0, Idle in Week 7)
Oregon has beaten two teams that didn’t deserve to be ranked: Arizona and Washington. But the Ducks haven’t yet faced a real true test.
Still, the offense, which is led by the dynamic backfield trio of QB Marcus Mariota and running backs De’Anthony Thomas and Kenjon Barner, has been extremely explosive so far, averaging 52 points and 541 yards per game.
3. Florida Gators (Record: 6-0, Week 7 Result: Beat Vanderbilt 31-17)
Florida picked up the biggest win of the Will Muschamp era when the Gators took down LSU 14-6 in Week 6.
Muschamp’s squad has one of the toughest defenses in the country, led by future NFL draft picks such as defensive linemen Sharrif Floyd and Dominique Easley and safety Matt Elam. On offense, sophomore signal-caller Jeff Driskel is starting to show that he deserved his blue-chip recruiting ranking, while senior RB Mike Gillislee has emerged as one of the most productive backs in college football.
4. Kansas State Wildcats (Record: 6-0, Week 7 Result: Beat Iowa State 27-21)
Kansas State only has one truly impressive victory on its resume: a 24-19 win over Oklahoma back in Week 4. However, the Wildcats have also picked wins over Miami and Iowa State, and they’ll have the chance to make a huge statement when they head to Morgantown next weekend to take on West Virginia.
QB Collin Klein and RB John Hubert make up one of the most dangerous backfield duos in the country. And the Wildcats defense, led by potential All-American linebacker Arthur Brown, is definitely good enough to compete for a Big 12 title this season.
5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Record: 6-0, Week 7 Result: Beat Stanford 20-13)
Since the turn of the millennium, we’ve been waiting for Notre Dame to return to national prominence. Now, it looks like this Irish team is ready to do exactly that.
Star middle linebacker Manti Te’o leads one of the most stout defenses in the country. It’s a unit that has already shut down offenses from Michigan, Michigan State, Miami and Stanford.
6. LSU Tigers (Record: 6-1, Week 7 Result: Beat South Carolina 23-21)
LSU rebounded after a tough loss on the road to Florida with a huge win over then-No. 3-ranked South Carolina at home on Saturday night. However, the Gamecocks happen to be the only ranked team the Tigers have beaten so far this season.
Les Miles’ crew may not possess the same type of swagger that it did during its undefeated run to an SEC championship last year. But when you have the type of talent and depth in the backfield and on defense that LSU has, you have the chance to win a lot of games.
7. South Carolina Gamecocks (Record: 6-1, Week 7 Result: Lost to LSU 23-21)
South Carolina may have faltered on the road against LSU on Saturday night, but the Gamecocks still control their own destiny in the SEC East. They’ve already made a statement with a blowout win over division foe Georgia back in Week 6.
QB Connor Shaw is a dangerous dual-threat playmaker, and he’s joined in the backfield by the most talented running back in the country, Marcus Lattimore. The defense has plenty of athleticism and speed, most notably in the front seven, where potential All-American DE Jadeveon Clowney is developing into a superstar.
8. Oklahoma Sooners (Record: 4-1, Week 7 Result: Beat Texas 63-21)
Oklahoma didn’t look all that great in a loss to Kansas State back in Week 4, but the Sooners have started to heat up in recent weeks. In their last two games, QB Landry Jones, RB Damien Williams and the rest of the offense put up a combined 104 points on Texas Tech and Texas.
With a huge matchup against Notre Dame looming, the Sooners have a chance to put the loss to the Wildcats firmly in the rear-view mirror and move back up near the top of the polls in the coming weeks.
9. Oregon State Beavers (Record: 5-0, Week 7 Result: Beat BYU 42-24)
Oregon State has done a great job of leaving last year’s disastrous 3-9 season in the past. The Beavers have come out and looked like a completely different team in 2012. They’ve already come up with notable wins over Wisconsin, UCLA and most recently BYU.
It will be interesting to see how the team fares without budding-star signal-caller Sean Mannion at quarterback, as the Beavers enter the heart of their Pac-12 schedule in the coming weeks.
10. USC Trojans (Record: 5-1, Week 7 Result: Beat Washington 24-14)
Pretty much everyone jumped off the USC bandwagon after a loss to Stanford back in Week 3. But Lane Kiffin’s squad has rebounded nicely with three straight wins over Pac-12 opponents.
QB Matt Barkley and his deadly receiver duo of Robert Woods and Marqise Lee should help the Trojans march to a Pac-12 South division title and an appearance in the conference championship game. The question is, do they have enough playmakers on defense to contain Oregon’s high-octane offense when they get there? We’ll get a good indication when the two teams meet on Nov. 3.
The Rest of the Top 25
11. Georgia Bulldogs (Record: 5-1, Idle in Week 7)
12. Florida State Seminoles (Record: 6-1, Week 7 Result: Beat Boston College 51-7)
13. Mississippi State Bulldogs (Record: 6-0, Week 7 Result: Beat Tennessee 41-31)
14. West Virginia Mountaineers (Record: 5-1, Week 7 Result: Lost to Texas Tech 49-14)
15. Louisville Cardinals (Record: 6-0, Week 7 Result: Beat Pittsburgh 45-35)
16. Clemson Tigers (Record: 5-1, Idle in Week 7)
17. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Record: 6-0, Week 7 Result: Beat Syracuse 23-15)
18. Texas A&M Aggies (Record: 5-1, Week 7 Result: Beat Louisiana Tech 59-57)
19. Cincinnati Bearcats (Record: 5-0, Week 7 Result: Beat Fordham 49-17)
20. Texas Tech Red Raiders (Record: 5-1, Week 7 Result: Beat West Virginia 49-14)
21. Arizona State Sun Devils (Record: 5-1, Week 7 Result: Beat Colorado 51-17)
22. Boise State Broncos (Record 5-1, Week 7 Result: Beat Fresno State 20-10)
23. TCU Horned Frogs (Record: 5-1, Week 7 Result: Beat Baylor 49-21)
24. Michigan Wolverines (Record: 4-2, Week 7 Result: Beat Illinois 45-0)
25. Stanford Cardinal (Record: 4-2, Week 7 Result: Lost to Notre Dame 20-13)
5 Other Teams That Could Crack The Rankings
- Northwestern Wildcats
- Wisconsin Badgers
- Ohio Bobcats
- Texas Longhorns
- Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
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