BCS Rankings: Teams Ready to Rise Up Standings with Key Wins

Tim Keeney@@t_keenContributor INovember 29, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 01: Tyler Pitt #67 of the Northern Illinois Huskies waits for the start of play against the Iowa Hawykeyes at Soldier Field on September 1, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. Iowa defeated Northern Illinois 18-17. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There may only be one week of regular season college football left, but there are still multiple key victories to be had. 

As we enter championship week, everything is still wide open. Notre Dame is sitting pretty at No. 1, but after that, it's mayhem.

The SEC championship is basically a national championship play-in game. Georgia Tech, at 6-6, can still make a BCS bowl. Kent State could conceivably push Oklahoma out of a BCS bowl. The Big East championship-but-not-really-a-championship will decide which non-ranked team makes it to a BCS bowl.

And as would be expected considering the fact that all of those scenarios are actually still possible, the Top 25 is ever in flux.

Let's take a look at which schools have a chance to move up in the rankings with important victories this weekend. 


No. 21 Northern Illinois

Oddly enough, the mighty Golden Flashes of Kent State will have the biggest impact on the BCS this week, and thus have the most pressure.

If they win, they will likely move up to No. 16 (assuming No. 16 UCLA falls to No. 8 Stanford) and earn a BCS bowl bid, thus taking away an at-large bid for a school like Oklahoma. If they lose, normalcy will—kind of—be restored in the BCS.

Despite being at home, that pressure is going to be too much against Northern  Illinois in the MAC championship. 

Both squads have good defenses and dominant run games, but the Huskies, led by quarterback Jordan Lynch, have the passing game to establish a necessary balance. The junior is averaging 8.62 yards per attempt and has thrown a ridiculous 23 touchdowns to just four interceptions.

Don't expect the Huskies to move up the five spots they need for a BCS bowl, but they will prevent some BCS mayhem with an upset win. 


No. 6 Kansas State

One loss and Kansas State is suddenly, well, Kansas?

The Wildcats may be out of national championship contention, but they still have Heisman candidate Collin Klein and still have plenty to play for. If they win, they'll lock up a Big-12 title and earn a spot in the Fiesta Bowl. 

Yet, plenty of people are expecting No. 18 Texas to pull off the upset in Manhattan.

The Longhorns, however, are coming off a disappointing home loss to TCU and have been incredibly up-and-down this season. They reeled off four straight wins before their last defeat, yes, but that also followed a 42-point thrashing at home against Oklahoma.

Texas has the talent to pull off the upset, but it's susceptible on the defensive side of the ball. The Wildcats, who average 40.5 points and 415.7 yards per game, have the tools to take advantage and continue their ascent back to the top five by winning the Big-12 title. 


No. 11 Oklahoma

Speaking of the Big 12, Oklahoma has a sneaky tough matchup in front of it with TCU, which has played very well as of late.

After beating West Virginia in overtime on the road three weeks ago, the Horned Frogs lost to Kansas State but held the Wildcats to just 23 points before earning an impressive victory against Texas on the road. 

Most people assumed TCU's season to be over when it lost quarterback Casey Pachall for the season, but Trevone Booker has played well in his place and the defense, which is giving up just 23.0 points per game, has picked up all the extra slack. 

Still though, the Sooners still have an outside shot at the Big-12 title with a win and the Landry Jones to Sterling Shepard Jalen Saunders Justin Brown Kenny Stills pretty much every receiver he throws to has been deadly this year. Even TCU's stout defense will struggle to keep up.

A win over a better-than-you-think TCU team should boost the Sooners back to the Top 10. 


Here are the BCS standings after 13 weeks.

 1. Notre Dame
 2. Alabama
 3. Georgia
 4. Florida
 5. Oregon
 6. Kansas State
 7. LSU
 8. Stanford
 9. Texas A&M
 10. South Carolina
 11. Oklahoma
 12. Nebraska
 13. Florida State
 14. Clemson
 15. Oregon State
 16. UCLA
 17. Kent State
 18. Texas
 19. Michigan
 20. Boise State
 21. Northern Illinois
 22. Northwestern
 23. Oklahoma State
 24. Utah State
 25. San Jose State



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