BCS Standings: Teams That Will Outplay Their Ranking in Bowl Games

Richard LangfordCorrespondent INovember 25, 2012

PASADENA, CA - NOVEMBER 24: Head coach David Shaw of the Stanford Cardinal waits to bring his team onto the field for the game against the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl on October 13, 2012 in Pasadena, California. Stanford won 35-17.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

There are several teams ready to prove to us all, once again, that the BCS standings, and any ranking in college football for that matter, is a very inexact science. 

A huge part of the reason for the flaws in the ranking is that teams spend the majority of their time playing in-conference games, and it can be hard to get a feel for how all of the teams in all of these conferences stack up against each other. 

Well, the bowl games go a long way towards answering the question about the true powers in college football, and below, I will pinpoint the teams that are playing far better than their rankings suggests. 

Check out the latest BCS standings here

*Ranking next to team is from Week 13 BCS standings

No. 8 Stanford

Stanford is playing as well as any team in the nation. Its loss on the road against Washington, way back on Sept. 27, remains the Cardinal's only real blemish. 

They picked up another loss to Notre Dame just two games later, but that was a 20-13 loss on the road in overtime that didn't occur until Stanford was hosed on a goal-line call, and there is certainly no shame in losing on the road to an undefeated Notre Dame squad.  

The reality is that Stanford is playing better football now then they were then. The Cardinal's last three wins have come over Oregon State, Oregon and UCLA, all ranked teams, with the last two coming on the road. 

For my money, the win against Oregon in Autzen Stadium is the best win any team has this season to put on their resume. 

Stanford is balanced and physical. They could hang with any team in the nation. 

Assuming the Cardinal dispatch UCLA in the Pac-12 championship game, they will be headed to the Rose Bowl, which is a definite honor, but this team is playing well enough that they should be battling for the national championship. 

No. 12 South Carolina

The Gamecocks rolled into Death Valley on Saturday for a rivalry game against Clemson and wore out the Tigers en route to a 27-17 victory. 

This was definitely a statement win. Clemson had been playing outstanding football, especially on offense, and the Gamecocks made them look pedestrian. 

Star defensive player Jadeveon Clowney set up camp in the Tigers backfield. The young man is simply unblockable, and he spearheaded the Gamecocks' stellar defensive effort. 

This was a big game for South Carolina, as they had yet to beat a ranked team since looking terrible in a loss to Florida and were without stud running back Marcus Lattimore.  

Well the Gamecocks proved this offense is learning to adjust to life without Lattimore and that the defense can slow down even the best offenses. 

No. 22 Boise State

Boise State has no margin for error. Its light schedule simply won't allow it. So this team sits at 9-2, but they are just No. 22 in the rankings. 

The Broncos opened the season with a tough 17-13 loss to Michigan State, and they suffered another loss to a tough San Diego State team on Nov. 3. 

However, since that game, quarterback Joe Southwick is 34-of-49 with 425 yards, five touchdowns and no interceptions. This is the junior's first year as a starter and he is finally learning how to work efficiently in this offense. That makes this Broncos' squad dangerous because they have an excellent defense. 

The Broncos are fifth in the nation in points allowed and in only two contests have they allowed their opponents to cross the 20-point barrier. 

The Broncos will show, in whichever bowl game they land in, that they are far better than the 22nd ranking suggests.