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BCS Standings 2012: Week 14 Rankings and Latest Bowl Game Projections

T.J. McaloonContributorNovember 25, 2012

BCS Standings 2012: Week 14 Rankings and Latest Bowl Game Projections

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    For the first time in three weeks, there isn't any change in the top five of the latest BCS Standings. No. 1 through No. 5 all stayed in their current spots after impressive wins over the weekend.

    Furthermore, we have a clear-cut picture as to who will be playing in this year's BCS Championship Game. Notre Dame will be facing the winner of the SEC title game between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia. 

    However, what about the rest of the BCS Standings? Where will they play their postseason games?

    Click through for projections from the latest standings. 

No. 25 San Jose State

2 of 26

    Record: 10-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 vs. Louisiana Tech, 52-43

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 24 vs. Louisiana Tech

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A

    Bowl Game: Dec. 27 Military Bowl

    San Jose State is a team that you, the reader, probably don't know too much about. Well, the Spartans won their final six games of the season, lost by three to Stanford to open the season and have a passing attack that ranks 11th in the nation, averaging 327.5 yards per game.

    The Spartans will head out to the Military Bowl on Dec. 27 to showcase their passing game on a national stage. 

No. 24 Utah State

3 of 26

    Record: 10-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 vs. Idaho, 45-9

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 17 at Louisiana Tech, 48-41 (OT)

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A

    Bowl Game: Dec. 15 Famous Idaho Potato

    Utah State gets its first taste of the BCS Standings after the Aggies ripped off six straight wins to close their season. 

    However, because they play in the WAC, they will be sent off to the Idaho Potato Bowl to kick off the bowl season. That aside, this has been a great season for the Aggies as they finished as WAC champions and had two losses by a combined five points.

No. 23 Oklahoma State

4 of 26

    Record: 7-4

    Latest Victory: Nov. 17 vs. Texas Tech, 59-21

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 17 vs. Texas Tech

    Next Game: Dec. 1 at Baylor 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 1 at Baylor 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 27 Holiday Bowl

    Currently, the Cowboys sit at No. 4 in the Big 12. However, they could move up if they beat Baylor. 

    But what keeps me from putting the Cowboys into the Cotton Bowl is how well the Bears have been playing as of late. 

    Baylor has been able to score a ton of points (104) over the last two weeks, while doing enough on defense to win. The Bears should be able to hold off the Cowboys' great passing attack, which would send the Cowboys instead to the Holiday Bowl.

No. 22 Northwestern

5 of 26

    Record: 9-3

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 vs. Illinois, 50-14

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 8 at Vanderbilt, 23-13

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Outback Bowl

    Northwestern had a great 2012. The Wildcats may have three losses—all in the Big Ten—but in every one of those losses they had the lead in the fourth quarter. If they could have held on in those games, they could have easily been 12-0 and playing for the Big Ten championship.

    Instead, Northwestern will be looking to get its first bowl game victory since 1948 at the Outback Bowl.

No. 21 Northern Illinois

6 of 26

    Record: 11-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 23 at Eastern Michigan, 49-7

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 vs. Kansas, 30-23

    Next Game: Nov. 30 vs. Kent State, MAC Championship  

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 30 vs. Kent State

    Bowl Game: Jan. 6 GoDaddy.com Bowl

    Northern Illinois, like Utah State, cracks the BCS Standings for the first time this year. It has won an impressive 11 straight games after losing the season opener to Iowa, 18-17. 

    However, the winning streak will come to an end in the conference title game against fellow 11-1 team Kent State. The Golden Flashes have scored 30 or more points in eight of their last nine games and held teams to 25 points or less in seven of those. 

    But because of Kent State's potentially playing in the Orange Bowl, it will open a spot up for Northern Illinois to play as the No. 1 team in the MAC playing in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

No. 20 Boise State

7 of 26

    Record: 9-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 17 vs. Colorado State, 42-14

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 vs. Fresno State, 20-10

    Next Game: Dec 1. at Nevada

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 1 at Nevada

    Bowl Game: Dec. 22 MAACO Las Vegas Bowl

    Boise State does have a chance at taking a BCS berth from the Big East. They have a winnable game against Nevada to close the season, plus the teams in front of the Broncos (Kent State, Texas and UCLA) all have games against ranked teams. 

    Plus Michigan is idle, so the Broncos could leap the Wolverines in the final BCS Standings.

    However, because Kent State will likely beat Northern Illinois in the MAC championship game, it should keep the Broncos out of the BCS and in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl. 

No. 19 Michigan

8 of 26

    Record: 8-4

    Latest Victory: Nov. 17 vs. Iowa, 42-17

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 20 vs. Michigan State, 12-10

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl

    Michigan will benefit from Ohio State and Penn State being bowl-ineligible because of NCAA sanctions against those programs. If those schools were able to play in a bowl game, then Michigan would be sitting as No. 4 in the Big Ten and could be sent off to TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl.

    However, Nebraska should win the Big Ten championship game against Wisconsin, which would send Michigan to the Capital One Bowl as No. 2 in the conference, despite an 8-4 overall record. 

No. 18 Texas

9 of 26

    Record: 8-3

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. Iowa State, 33-7

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 at Texas Tech, 31-22

    Next Game: Dec. 1 at Kansas State

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 1 at Kansas State 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 29 Valerio Alamo Bowl

    Texas will finish its season at 8-4 because of an inept offense that was on display its final home game of 2012 against TCU.

    It looks like the defense is back on track, allowing no more than 20 points in its last two games. But the offense hasn't scored more than 40 points since Oct. 20 and has seen starting quarterback David Ash get pulled in two of its last four games.

    However, an Oklahoma State loss will send the Longhorns to the Alamo Bowl. 

No. 17 Kent State

10 of 26

    Record: 11-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 23 vs. Ohio, 28-6

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 at Rutgers, 35-23

    Next Game: Nov. 30 vs. Northern Illinois, MAC Championship 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 30 vs. Northern Illinois

    Bowl Game: Jan. 2 All State Sugar Bowl

    You saw all of my reasons why Kent State will overtake Northern Illinois in the MAC championship game in the Northern Illinois slide. 

    Plus, with UCLA expected to lose to Stanford in the Pac-12 title game—more on that later—it will open the door to the Golden Flashes to finish the season inside of the Top 16 of the final BCS Standings. 

    The winner of the Big East will get the Orange Bowl berth but if Kent State can get into the Top 16 then they should get picked for the Sugar Bowl. 

No. 16 UCLA

11 of 26

    Record: 9-3

    Latest Victory: Nov. 17 vs. USC, 38-28

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 17 vs. USC

    Next Game: Nov. 30 at Stanford, Pac-12 Championship

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 30 at Stanford

    Bowl Game: Dec. 29 Valero Alamo Bowl

    The Bruins have had a great season in that they've already qualified for a bowl game, something they were barely able to do last year, and they've won nine games.

    UCLA has a talented offense led by freshman quarterback Brett Hundley. However, the Bruins will not be able to fix the mistakes they made against Stanford when they were blown out in the season finale, 35-17.

    Even with a loss to the Cardinal, UCLA will head to the Alamo Bowl as the third-best team in the Pac-12.

No. 15 Oregon State

12 of 26

    Record: 8-3

    Latest Victory: Nov. 17 vs. Cal, 62-14

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 at UCLA, 27-20

    Next Game: Dec. 1 vs. Nicholls State

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A

    Bowl Game: Dec. 27 Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl

    A month ago, Oregon State had just suffered its first loss of the season to Washington. The Beavers still had a great shot at playing in the Rose Bowl, even if they would lose to instate rival Oregon.

    However, after losses to not only Oregon, but also Stanford, the Beavers have seen their bowl dreams come crashing down. 

    They will finish the season with a win against Nicholls State and then make a trip to the Holiday Bowl.

No. 14 Clemson

13 of 26

    Record: 10-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 17 vs. North Carolina State, 62-48

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 25 at Wake Forest, 42-13

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A

    Bowl Game: Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Bowl

    Clemson will not play for the ACC championship as it is stuck behind Florida State, a team that didn't stumble down its stretch and finished at the No. 1 spot in the ACC Atlantic division. 

    With its loss to South Carolina, Clemson will go from potentially playing in a BCS bowl game to the Chick-fil-A Bowl as the second-best team in the ACC. 

No. 13 Florida State

14 of 26

    Record: 10-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 17 at Maryland, 41-14

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 vs. Clemson, 49-37

    Next Game: Dec. 1 vs. Georgia Tech, ACC Championship

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 1 vs. Georgia Tech  

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Orange Bowl

    Florida State has only one game remaining that separates it from a date in the Orange Bowl against an undermatched Georgia Tech squad in the ACC title game. The Seminoles should be able to win with ease over the Yellow Jackets and take their spot as the conference champions.  

    However, who awaits Florida State in the Orange Bowl will be interesting. I think it will be Rutgers, but stranger things have happened in the BCS. 

No. 12 Nebraska

15 of 26

    Record: 10-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 23 at Iowa, 13-7

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 vs. Michigan, 23-9

    Next Game: Dec. 1 vs. Wisconsin, Big Ten Championship

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 1 vs. Wisconsin

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Rose Bowl

    Nebraska will benefit the most from the NCAA sanctions that were handed down to Ohio State and Penn State in the offseason. Because of the postseason bans, the Huskers will play Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game.

    The Cornhuskers shouldn't stumble in their first trip to the conference title game, as they've won the last six games and nine of their last 10. Nebraska's opponent, Wisconsin, has lost three of its last four games, with its lone win coming against an Indiana team that didn't qualify for a bowl game.

    Nebraska will win its first conference title, as it's already beaten the Badgers once this year (30-27 on Sept. 29), and represent the conference in the Rose Bowl.

No. 11 Oklahoma

16 of 26

    Record: 9-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 vs. Oklahoma State, 51-48 OT

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 vs. Texas, 63-21

    Next Game: Dec. 1 at TCU

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 1 at TCU

    Bowl Game: Jan. 4 Cotton Bowl

    If it wasn't for the Big East knocking itself out of the BCS Standings the Sooners would have gotten a bid as one of the at-large teams. 

    However, because of Kent State more than likely moving into the Top 16 and earning an automatic bid it will knock the Sooners out of a potential BCS game.

    But the Sooners have scratched and clawed their way to impressive victories during the last three weeks against West Virginia, Baylor and Oklahoma State. The offense will power the Sooners past TCU in the season finale and give them 10 wins. 

No. 10 South Carolina

17 of 26

    Record: 10-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 at Clemson, 27-17

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 6 vs. Georgia, 35-7

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl

    When this season ends, South Carolina will just miss out on a BCS bowl game and the SEC conference championship game. However, missing out on those two games shouldn't get Gamecocks fans down, as they won 10 games and haven't lost since Oct. 20. 

    They will finish as a very good two-loss conference team in the SEC, sending send them to Orlando to play in the Capital One Bowl. 

No. 9 Texas A&M

18 of 26

    Record: 10-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 vs. Missouri, 59-29

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 10 at Alabama, 29-24

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A

    Bowl Game: Jan. 4 Cotton Bowl

    After the Aggies pulled off the upset of the 2012 season when they went into Tuscaloosa and knocked off the No. 1 team in the country, they will get rewarded with a short trip to the Cotton Bowl to take on their biggest rival, the Texas Longhorns.

    However, the BCS at-large selectors could do something strange when the bowl games are announced and take the Aggies because of freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel.

    I don't expect Texas A&M to get picked for one of the BCS bowl games, but like I said, stranger things have happened with the BCS.

No. 8 Stanford

19 of 26

    Record: 10-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 at UCLA, 35-17

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 17 at Oregon, 17-14 OT

    Next Game: Nov. 30 vs. UCLA Pac-12 Championship 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 30 vs. UCLA 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Rose Bowl

    In previous installments of this slideshow, I had predicted Stanford for the Rose Bowl. 

    However, I did so with the thought that Oregon would be playing in the BCS championship game and Stanford would then earn an at-large bid. 

    Boy was I wrong.

    Instead, Stanford has won its last six games, with five of those games seeing the Cardinal defense allowing no more than 17 points. The defense will shine in the Pac-12 Championship Game, which will clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl against Nebraska. 

No. 7 LSU

20 of 26

    Record: 10-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 23 at Arkansas, 20-13

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 20 at Texas A&M, 24-19

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Chick-fil-A Bowl

    LSU won its final two games of the season to finish with 10 victories. However, because of losses to Alabama and on the road to Florida back on October 6, the Tigers will finish outside of the SEC Championship Game and a chance at playing in a BCS bowl game.

    Instead of seeing the Tigers in the Sugar or Fiesta Bowl, expect them to head to Atlanta to take on a talented Clemson squad in the Chick-fil-A Bowl.

No. 6 Kansas State

21 of 26

    Record: 10-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 10 vs. TCU, 23-10

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 at Oklahoma, 24-19

    Next Game: Dec. 1 vs. Texas 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 1 vs. Texas 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl

    The Wildcats have Oklahoma breathing down their necks for the conference title. If the Wildcats stumble against Texas, then not only will they lose the conference title but also a BCS bowl game. 

    However, because of Texas' problems on offense and Kansas State wanting to get senior quarterback Collin Klein one last big game for the Heisman Trophy voters, I'd expect Kansas State to win and clinch a berth in the Fiesta Bowl. 

No. 5 Oregon

22 of 26

    Record: 11-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 at Oregon State, 48-24

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 24 at Oregon State

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 3 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl

    One loss will keep Oregon from playing for the BCS title against Notre Dame. If it wasn't for one bad game against Stanford, then we would see Chip Kelly's dynamic offense go up against Brian Kelly and the stout Notre Dame defense.

    And one loss will keep the SEC's consecutive streak of BCS championships alive. 

No. 4 Florida

23 of 26

    Record: 11-1

    Latest Victory: Nov.24 at Florida State, 37-26

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 6 vs. LSU, 14-6

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A

    Bowl Game: Jan. 2 Allstate Sugar Bowl

    Florida had a great 2012 season, despite a lackluster offense that averaged 26.8 points per game, good enough for 76th in the nation.

    However, the defense, which ranked third in the nation, held this team together, and the Gators rode them to 11 wins. Because of that defense, Florida will head into the Sugar Bowl, since the loser of the SEC Championship Game will be sent to the Outback Bowl.

No. 3 Georgia

24 of 26

    Record: 11-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 vs. Georgia Tech, 42-10

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 vs. Florida, 17-9

    Next Game: Dec. 1 vs. Alabama, SEC Championship

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 1 vs. Alabama

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Outback Bowl

    Georgia will play in the SEC Championship Game for the second straight year. And just like last year when they lost to LSU, the Bulldogs will lose to Alabama. If Georgia had a mobile quarterback, like Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, then the Bulldogs would be able to keep the Crimson Tide defense off balance like the Aggies did.

    However, the Bulldogs will lose in the SEC Championship Game again and miss out on another BCS bowl game.

    The loss in the title game will send the Bulldogs to the Outback Bowl to take on another Big Ten team. 

No. 2 Alabama

25 of 26

    Record: 11-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 vs. Auburn, 49-0

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 at LSU, 21-17

    Next Game: Dec. 1 vs. Georgia, SEC Championship

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 1 vs. Georgia

    Bowl Game: Jan. 7 BCS Championship

    Alabama's running game, plus its hard-hitting defense, will propel the Crimson Tide into their second straight BCS Championship Game. 

    On top of the Tide's rushing attack and defense, Alabama has better special teams and will be able to play mistake- and penalty-free. Quarterback A.J. McCarron will make enough plays to carry them to a victory should the running game stumble.

    There they will meet Notre Dame in a championship game that will feature two of college football's biggest fanbases and most historic programs. 

No. 1 Notre Dame

26 of 26

    Record: 12-0

    Latest Victory: Nov. 24 at USC, 22-13

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 at Oklahoma, 30-13

    Next Game: N/A

    Biggest Stumbling Block: N/A

    Bowl Game: Jan. 7 BCS Championship Game

    There's not much else that can be said about this Notre Dame team. It finished the regular season with a perfect record, its defense ranks second in the nation in points allowed per game, and the rushing game has averaged 202.5 yards. 

    The Fighting Irish will finish the season as the No. 1 team in the BCS standings and will go on to play Alabama in the title game on January 7.

     

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