BCS Rankings: Teams Sure to Lose Ground After Week 8 Clashes

Rick Weiner@RickWeinerNYFeatured ColumnistOctober 19, 2012

COLUMBIA, SC - OCTOBER 06:  Marcus Lattimore #21 of the South Carolina Gamecocks rushes upfield against the Georgia Bulldogs at Williams-Brice Stadium on October 6, 2012 in Columbia, South Carolina.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Don't get too used to the BCS Rankings that came out this past Sunday, because Saturday's slate of College Football action is sure to shake things up.

Not only does Saturday's slate of College Football action promise to shake things up in the Top 25, but a handful of teams could find themselves all but eliminated from the National Championship picture.

Which squads have the biggest chance of finding themselves on the wrong end of the scoreboard when the final whistles blow?

Let's take a look.


No. 6 LSU Tigers (6-1)

LSU rebounded from a loss to Florida with a solid win over South Carolina last week, but things don't get any easier for the Tigers as they head to College Station to take on No. 18 Texas A&M.

There's no denying that the Tigers have one of the best defenses in the country—only Alabama allows fewer yards per game, and only six teams allow less than LSU's 14 points per game to the opposition.

But they have to go up against "Johnny Football" himself, Aggies' freshman QB sensation Johnny Manziel, who leads the fifth most potent scoring offense in the nation, dropping an average of 47 points on their opponents as one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the country.

While Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery are going to keep the Aggies' offensive line busy as they try to contain Manziel, consider this, from ESPN's Edward Aschoff:

According to ESPN Stats & Information, more than 70 percent of Manziel’s rushing yards (475) have come on scrambles. That’s 90 more scrambling yards than Denard Robinson, Braxton Miller and Collin Klein combined. Manziel leads the SEC in rushing touchdowns (seven), 20-plus yard rushes (nine) and rushing yards per game (79.1) when scrambling.

LSU’s opponents are averaging 7.7 yards per rush on 11 scrambles this season. And on third down, where Manziel leads the nation with 12 rushing first downs on third down and at least 5 yards to go, LSU opponents are averaging 11.5 yards per scramble and have three first downs on six scrambles, according to ESPN Stats & Information. 

It won't be a blowout, but with the home field advantage, Johnny Football will lead his squad to victory over the Tigers and send LSU headed in the wrong direction in the BCS Rankings.


No. 7 South Carolina Gamecocks (5-1)

The good news for South Carolina: Marcus Lattimore is traveling to Gainesville, but will not start the game due to a hip injury, according to The Sporting News.

The bad news for South Carolina: Kenny Davis will start, and while he's a solid running back, he's not Lattimore.

In a battle for SEC East supremacy, two of the best defenses in the nation will meet in what figures to be an incredibly close game.

Lattimore simply isn't healthy, and he's South Carolina's big weapon on offense, a major issue going up against a run defense that is every bit as good as South Carolina's.

Lattimore's status—one big hit or landing the wrong way could re-aggravate the injury and send him to the sidelines—coupled with the fact that Florida is playing at home leads me to believe that the Gators will walk away with a hard-fought victory when the final whistle blows.

A loss here not only knocks South Carolina out of the National Championship picture, but it all but guarantees Florida a date in Atlanta—most likely against Alabama—for the SEC championship.


No. 13 West Virginia (5-1)

Geno Smith and the Mountaineers are coming off an embarrassing 49-14 loss at the hands of Texas Tech, and Dana Holgorsen's squad is sure to be fired up as they welcome the No. 4 Kansas State Wildcats into Morgantown.

Dating back to last season, West Virginia has won five consecutive home games. But that's going to change against a Kansas State team that is a more talented version of the Red Raiders who beat them last week.

Take a look how the three teams match up:

Scoring Offense: No. 7 WVU (45.67 points per game), No. 15 KSU (40.83), No. 16 TT (40.67)

Scoring Defense: No. 17 TT (16.33 points per game), No. 19 KSU (16.50), No. 109 WVU (37.33)

West Virginia will officially fade from the National Championship picture with this loss, while Kansas State moves one step closer to clearing a path to the biggest game of the College Football season—and a Big 12 Championship as well.


Week 8 BCS Rankings (via ESPN)

1. Alabama

2. Florida

3. Oregon

4. Kansas State

5. Notre Dame

6. LSU

7. South Carolina

8. Oregon State

9. Oklahoma

10. USC

11. Georgia

12. Mississippi State

13. West Virginia

14. Florida State

15. Rutgers

16. Louisville

17. Texas Tech

18. Texas A&M

19. Clemson

20. Stanford

21. Cincinnati

22. Boise State

23. TCU

24. Iowa State

25. Texas


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