With every week of college football comes more and more shocking upsets and more and more people scratching their heads as they stare at the newly released BCS standings.
This past week featured our top two teams falling at the same time which definitely shook up the new standings. The BCS system can be complicated and as the season comes to a close, it can become more and more difficult to decipher where teams stand and what they need to do in order to scale the rankings.
Luckily for you, I've laid out each top 25 team's short resume and have thought out loud about what each team must do to get where they want to be. So study up, but not too much because if yesterday taught us anything, it's that this sport is almost impossible to predict exactly.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Colorado, 38-3
Best Win So Far: Sept 27, Beat Stanford, 17-13
Next Game: Nov 23 vs. Washington State
The Washington Huskies have had quite a roller coaster season and at times they have looked great and other times they have gotten blown out. The Huskies feature a high powered offense that can score at will but their defense has failed them at times. They have no shot at a Pac-12 championship and their last game of the season isn't much of a contest but if they do win next week, they'll appear in a mediocre bowl and should win that as well, as long as their defense doesn't relinquish 50 plus points.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Utah, 34-24
Best Win So Far: Sept 8, Beat No. 21 Oklahoma State, 59-38
Next Game: Nov 23 vs. Arizona State
In Rich Rodriguez's first year at Arizona, the Wildcats have skyrocketed to a surprisingly solid season and now sit at number 24 in the new BCS rankings. Arizona even beat USC and although they are completely out of conference championship consideration, there season has been an absolute success. If they can defeat their instate rivals in Arizona State, they will appear in a nice bowl game which should aid their recruiting greatly.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Bowling Green, 31-24
Best Win So Far: Oct 27, Beat No.18 Rutgers, 35-23
Next Game: Nov 23 vs. Ohio
There's a reason why I always pick Kent State to win on my parlays and it's not because I'm crazy. The Golden Flashes sit at 10-1 and coach Hazell has his team playing at an extremely high level. They have managed to run their table in the MAC and even defeated Rutgers, who is vying for a Big East championship. I see no reason why this ride has to end and if they can defeat Ohio and then win the MAC championship, they should find themselves in one of the best bowl games the program has ever participated in.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Colorado State, 42-14
Best Win So Far: Sept 20, Beat BYU, 7-6
Next Game: Dec 1 vs. Nevada
A typical Boise State team starts off its season by upsetting a big time program and then running through the rest of their schedule and threatening to be a major BCS buster. Unfortunately for the Broncos, Michigan State defeated them to begin the year but Boise hasn't lost soon. So yes, the Broncos aren't competing for a spot in a BCS bowl but they should find themselves in a decent bowl game and consider themselves lucky that this is now considered a down year at Boise State.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Texas Tech, 59-21
Best Win So Far: Nov 17, Beat Texas Tech, 59-21
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Oklahoma
Following their dismantling of Texas Tech last night, the Cowboys are riding high and find themselves back in the top 20. Oklahoma State really has no shot of winning their conference championship but still have big games against Oklahoma and Baylor left on their schedule. If the Cowboys can manage to defeat both these teams they should gradually scale the BCS rankings and find themselves in a solid bowl game. However, if they drop both these games, they'll end up in a mid-December bowl with very few people tuning in.
Latest Victory: Nov 3. Beat Temple, 45-17
Best Win So Far: Oct 26, Beat Cincinnati, 34-31
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Connecticut
The Louisville Cardinals once had the chance to bust the BCS as they approached the top ten with an undefeated record but following a shocking loss to Syracuse, the Cardinals will now settle with a Big East championship. Their next game comes against Connecticut and while they must win that to win the conference, the real game to keep an eye out for comes on November 29 when the Cardinals face off against Rutgers to determine the champion of the Big East.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Iowa, 42-17
Best Win So Far: Oct 20, Beat Michigan State, 12-10
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Ohio State
It's hard to believe that the Wolverines received one number one vote for the preseason AP poll but it happened. Soon after, Michigan was slammed by Alabama and they have been relatively off the radar for the rest of the season. Next week, the Wolverines take on their arch rivals in Ohio State, who ranks at number four in the AP poll. If Hoke's squad can pull of the big upset and take out their next hated opponent, they could sneak into a respectable bowl and if Nebraska somehow falls to Iowa, they could face Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship. From there, they could even be Rose Bowl bound, but we shall see.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Cincinnati, 10-3
Best Win So Far: Nov 17, Beat Cincinnati, 10-3
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Pittsburgh
Despite losing their highly successful former head coach, Greg Schiano, the Scarlet Knights are having one of the best season's in their program's recent history. Rutgers did drop a tough loss to Kent State but have ran the table in the Big East and are coming off a huge win over Cincinnati at Cincinnati. If the Scarlet Knights can manage to get through their next two formidable opponents, they will win the Big East and surprisingly feature in the Orange Bowl.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat USC, 38-28
Best Win So Far: Sept 8, Beat Nebraska, 36-30
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Stanford
As USC's season's got worse and worse yesterday, UCLA's got a whole lot better. The Bruins took out their cross-town rivals for the first time in some years and find themselves destined for the Pac-12 championship game. From there, the Bruins will most likely face Stanford and if they can defeat the Cardinals, they will appear in the Rose Bowl for the first time in a long time. Jim Mora has done an excellent job at UCLA and if the Bruins can make it to the Rose Bowl, he may get a contract extension.
Latest Victory: Nov 10. Beat Iowa State, 33-7
Best Win So Far: Sept 9, Beat No.20 Oklahoma State, 41-36
Next Game: Nov 22 vs. TCU
Like so many other teams in the top 25, the Longhorns sit at 9-2 with hardly no shot of winning their conference. Mack Brown may have found himself on the hot seat after another disappointing season because a two loss season is nothing to smile about at a program like Texas. The Longhorns still have big games against TCU and Kansas State left on their schedule so if they can manage to win out they will increase their bowl credentials tenfold.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat California, 62-14
Best Win So Far: Sept 22, Beat No.18 UCLA, 27-20
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Oregon
Early in the season, the Beavers resembled a Cinderella team that could take the college football world by storm in 2012. Unfortunately, the Beavers dropped two close games to Washington and Stanford and exited themselves from the top ten and the Pac-12 championship talks all at once. However, this has been an excellent year for the program and if the Beavers can manage to take out their arch rivals in Oregon, they could feature in one of the best bowl games in the program's recent history.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Minnesota, 38-14
Best Win So Far: Oct 27, Beat No.18 Michigan, 23-9
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Iowa
Benefiting from a few ineligible teams and a fairly weak schedule, the Cornhuskers are in the driver's seat to compete in the Big 10 championship game. As long as Nebraska can take out Iowa next week, the Cornhuskers will face Wisconsin in the Big 10 Championship game for a chance to feature in this year's Rose Bowl. I expect Nebraska to battle through their last two tests and take on a Pac-12 opponent in the Rose Bowl come New Year's Day.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat West Virginia, 50-49
Best Win So Far: Oct 13, Beat No.16 Texas, 63-21
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Oklahoma State
Had the Sooners managed to knock off now number one, Notre Dame, back in October, it would be a whole different picture. But, alas, they were unable to knock off the Irish and now sit at number thirteen in the new BCS rankings. Kansas State will most likely win the Big 12 which will leave Oklahoma out of the loop just a little bit. They still may sneak into a respectable bowl but unfortunately, with just two losses, the Sooner's 2012 season won't go down ion the history books by any means.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Wofford, 24-7
Best Win So Far: Oct 6, Beat No.3 Georgia, 35-7
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Clemson
After the Gamecocks dismantling of UGA in early October, South Carolina looked prime for a national championship run. Following this game however, the Gamecocks dropped two straight SEC games to Florida and LSU and haven't been near the top five since. They travel to Clemson this week and a big win over their instate rivals could push them into a very respectable January bowl like the Gator Bowl or the Outback Bowl.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat NC State, 62-48
Best Win So Far: Nov 17, Beat NC State, 62-48
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. South Carolina
Clemson is in the exact same boat as Florida State except they don't have a quality win over a Florida State like team. I guess they're best win would be over NC State who has been scrappy all year and did beat Florida State earlier this season. The Tigers are out of contention for the ACC championship now but a solid win over instate rival, South Carolina, could push Clemson into a solid January Bowl. However, a loss to South Carolina could very easily hurt their bowl credentials, considering they don't have many quality wins on their resume.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Maryland, 41-14
Best Win So Far: Sept 22, Beat No.11 Clemson, 49-37
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Florida
It's hard to tell how good the Seminoles are because their schedule has been underwhelming to say the least. They are 10-1, but their only solid win is over Clemson back in September and their ugly loss to NC State has kept them away from even sniffing the BCS title game. They have already locked up their spot in the ACC championship game and if they can win this, they will go to the Orange Bowl so next week's game against Florida is all about bragging rights, but would scale them up the BCS rankings a bit.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Sam Houston State, 47-28
Best Win So Far: Nov 10, Beat No.2 Alabama, 29-24
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Missouri
Behind fearless freshman red-shirt QB, Johnny Manziel, the Aggies are the scrappiest 9-2 team in the nation. In both their losses, Texas A&M took two top ten teams in Florida and LSU to the very last minute and have always put up a solid fight week in and week out. Their problem was that they hadn't gotten over the hump with a big win but that all changed when the Aggies went into Tuscalossa and took out the Crimson Tide in dazzling fashion. As of now, I expect the Aggies to compete in a solid January bowl in a few months, considering they defeat Missouri next week of course.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat No.5 Oregon, 17-14 (OT)
Best Win So Far: Nov 17, Beat Oregon, 17-14 (OT)
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. UCLA
Stanford is the most impressive two-loss team in the nation and after a huge win over Oregon, Stanford has propelled themselves into BCS bowl talks. The Cardinals two blemishes on their schedule come from a very impressive ND team and an underwhelming Washington squad. However, the Cardinals control their own destiny to a certain point but have a huge showdown against UCLA next week that could determine whether they make it ot their conference championship or not. If they can manage to win out, you will be seeing Stanford in the Rose Bowl come January 1st.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Ole Miss, 41-35
Best Win So Far: Oct 20, Beat Texas A&M, 24-19
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Arkansas
LSU is the highest rated team with two losses and due to these two blemishes they're not only missing the national championship game but their conference title game as well. Because we expect UGA and Alabama to both appear in a BCS bowl of some sort and only two teams from each conference are allowed to partake in BCS bowls, LSU will be left out of the mix. However, if the Tigers can push past Arkansas they should appear in a solid January bowl like the Cotton Bowl or the Capital One Bowl.
Latest Victory: Nov 10. Beat TCU, 23-10
Best Win So Far: Sept 22, Beat No.13 Oklahoma, 24-19
Next Game: Dec 1 vs.Texas
Led by Heisman frontrunner Colin Klein, the Wildcats seemed destined for a shot at the BCS title but Baylor had other thoughts in mind. Kansas State sat atop the BCS standings at number one for just one week before being handled by in-conference foes, Baylor. Bill Snyder's squad still has a decent resume though and while it's highly unlikely that they will appear in the BCS title game, they will most likely feature in a BCS bowl. Barring another whacky upset of course.
Latest Victory: Nov 10. Beat California, 59-17
Best Win So Far: Nov 3, Beat USC, 62-51
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Oregon State
The Oregon Ducks were the talk of the town all year. They're flashy, score a ton of points, and probably average 250 offensive snaps per game but last night, their high powered offense was slowed to an almost complete halt against Stanford. You could say that the Ducks have an outside chance of making it to the BCS title game if they can manage to defeat their rivals next week and win the PAC-12 championship but they really could have used that win over Stanford to boost their resume. If Oregon isn't fortunate enough to scrap their way back to the national championship they could premiere in the Rose Bowl, but Stanford may have something to say about that.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Jacksonville State, 23-0
Best Win So Far: Oct 6, Beat No.7 LSU, 14-6
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Florida State
Since their dazzling premiere at number two in the BCS rankings, the Florida Gators have been quite a disappointment. They fell to their arch rivals, UGA late in October and haven't been the same since, with underwhelming victories over Missouri, Louisiana Lafayette, and Jacksonville State. Considering they can't be in the SEC championship game, they really have no way of making it to the national championship game but could feature in the Sugar Bowl with a win over Florida State next week.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Georgia Southern, 45-14
Best Win So Far: Oct 27, Beat No.4 Florida, 17-9
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Georgia Tech
Who would have thought that UGA would have an excellent shot at a national championship after they were dismantled by South Carolina earlier in the year but since then, the Bulldogs have turned it up a notch. After a huge win over Florida, Georgia propelled up the BCS rankings and now find themselves at number three in the BCS standings. In a week, the Bulldogs will face off against Georgia Tech and if they can manage their instate rivals, UGA will be playing for a shot at the BCS title as well as the SEC
championship game in two weeks.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Western Carolina, 49-0
Best Win So Far: Nov 3, Beat No.7 LSU, 21-17
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. Auburn
Just last week, the Crimson Tide had unexpectedly fallen to Texas A&M and were completely out of the national championship race. Fast forward one week later and with the defeats of Oregon and Kansas State, Alabama is officially back in the driver's seat. The Tide face their arch rivals in Auburn next week and barring a bizarre upset, they should face UGA in a monster SEC championship showdown.
Latest Victory: Nov 17. Beat Wake Forest, 38-0
Best Win So Far: Oct 13. Beat No.8 Stanford, 20-13 (OT)
Next Game: Nov 24 vs. USC
The Fighting Irish are this year's Cinderella story and it has been quite a ride to watch. They have battled through a fairly tough schedule and after solid wins over Michigan, MSU, Stanford, and Oklahoma, the Fighting Irish have found themselves as the number one team in the nation for the first time in years. Next week, ND faces off against their arch-rivals, USC, and as long as they can handle the Trojans, Notre Dame will make an appearance in this season's BCS title game.