BCS Rankings 2013: How Early Saturday Games Will Shake Up Standings

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIISeptember 7, 2013

LOUISVILLE, KY - SEPTEMBER 07:  Teddy Bridgewater #5 of the Louisville Cardinals gives instructions to his team during the game against the Eastern Kentucky Colonels at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium on September 7, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The 2013 BCS rankings will be released come Week 8 of the college football season, per ESPN. Until that time, every game will shake up the potential standings, with teams moving up and down in accordance with their respective results.

The question is, how have Saturday's early games shaken up the BCS rankings?

Ranked teams were in action, and as a result, the hunt for the national championship was altered. Contenders were defeated, dark horses emerged and multiple squads managed to do wonders for their respective BCS futures.

Here's how Saturday's early games will shake up the standings.


ACC Looks Strong

No conference made as loud of a statement as the ACC during Week 1, as the Clemson Tigers defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 38-35. One week later, the ACC was presented with another opportunity to take down the SEC.

It succeeded.

The unranked Miami Hurricanes defeated the No. 12 Florida Gators 21-16 in a game that was played in an SEC type of manner. It was a guts-and-glory outing, as both teams attempted to run between the tackles and relied upon its respective defenses.

In the end, it was Miami that had enough firepower to walk away victorious.

As the season rages on, an ACC team that is undefeated or has one loss will be viewed more favorably by the BCS rankings. Wins over two of the top teams in the SEC will do wonders for any conference, and in 2013, its one of the most heavily criticized that has risen to the occasion.

Even if Clemson and Miami are to falter, other Atlantic Coast Conference squads will reap the benefits of Week 1 and Week 2 victories over the supposedly untouchable SEC.


Louisville Has a Chance

Even if the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals are to run the table, there's reason to believe that the BCS will favor teams with a more difficult schedule. Members of the American Athletic Conference, Louisville is currently slated to go the full season without playing a single Top 25 team.

At this point, the Cardinals' only chance to earn respect as a national title contender is if an individual player transcends the conference and becomes must-see television—fortunately for Louisville, it's happening.

Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is in position to go No. 2 in the 2014 NFL draft behind defensive end Jadeveon Clowney of the South Carolina Gamecocks. He's living up to the hype early in the season, dismantling lackluster defenses in dominant fashion.

Regardless of whom the opponent may be, the average quarterback doesn't pick up nine touchdowns on 76.7 percent passing through two games.

Bridgewater led the Cardinals to a 44-7 win over Eastern Kentucky, going 23-of-32 for 397 yards and four touchdowns. This is one week removed from Louisville's 49-7 win over Ohio that saw Bridgewater pull out 355 yards, five touchdowns and one interception on 23-of-28 passing.

If he keeps this up, Louisville may earn the respect it seems to deserve.

This isn't anything new, as Bridgewater accumulated 3,718 yards, 27 touchdowns and eight interceptions on 68.5 percent passing during his sophomore season in 2012. One year later, he's displaying signs of progression and has every tool necessary to continue this level of success.

Louisville's strength of schedule is damaging, but never underestimate the value of a Heisman Trophy candidate.


SEC Needs to Rebound

If anyone thinks that losses during the first two weeks of the season will derail the SEC, they're wrong. The BCS system favors strength of schedule, and according to recent history, no conference is more difficult to play in than the Southeastern Conference.

With that being said, the SEC needs to rebound.

With Miami's 21-16 win over the Gators, a Top 15 SEC team has lost to an ACC squad in consecutive weeks after Clemson defeated Georgia during Week 1. The Alabama Crimson Tide are the lone exception, owning a 35-10 victory over the Virginia Tech Hokies.

With that being said, Alabama only mustered 206 yards of total offense, with three of its five touchdowns coming defensively and on special teams. Even with the dominant defensive performance, the national champions are fielding questions of their own.

So what does this mean for the BCS rankings?

If the SEC is to rebound and prove that it's as strong as perception suggests, Week 1 and Week 2 slip-ups won't mean too much. The ACC will benefit, but there are multiple SEC teams in the running for 10-win seasons, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Texas A&M—losing early won't hurt the respect those squads receive.

If the conference thinks a two-loss team is going to reach a BCS bowl game, however, it better start praying that the rest of college football ends up collapsing. The competition is strong.