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BCS Rankings 2013: Predicting Where Top Contenders Stand Heading into Week 6

Sep 14, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide running back T.J. Yeldon (4) rushes against the Texas A&M Aggies during the first half at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Campbell-USA TODAY Sports
Patrick ClarkeCorrespondent ISeptember 30, 2013

College football fans will have to wait until mid-October to find out where every team stands in the 2013 BCS rankings.

But with five weeks of action already in the books, it's not too early to make some predictions.

Below, I'll project the top 25 teams in the BCS rankings heading into Week 6, highlighting the top national championship contenders through five weeks.

Note: BCS rankings aren't released until Week 8. The following rankings are projections. 

 

*AP and USA Today Poll rankings courtesy of ESPN.com. 

 

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0)

Sep 28, 2013; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban leads his players onto the field before their game against the Mississippi Rebels at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

AP Poll Ranking: 1

USA Today Poll Ranking: 1

The reigning national champions have made a trio of statements to start the year, throttling Virginia Tech, handing Texas A&M its only loss in College Station in Week 3 and shutting out Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa this past weekend. 

Alabama has only allowed six points over the past eight quarters. With upcoming games against Georgia State, Kentucky, Arkansas and Tennessee, the Tide should be a lock to reach 8-0 before Nov. 9's showdown with LSU.

 

2. Oregon Ducks (4-0)

Sep 28, 2013; Eugene, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) hands the ball off to Oregon Ducks running back Byron Marshall (9) at Autzen Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

AP Poll Ranking: 2

USA Today Poll Ranking: 2

Although Oregon hasn't been quite as dominant defensively as Alabama in recent wins over Tennessee and California, the Ducks have been lighting up the scoreboard, averaging just under 60 points per game this season and blowing out every opponent on the schedule.

While Oregon will be tested in upcoming conference tilts against No. 15 Washington and No. 12 UCLA, its Nov. 7 date with Stanford will likely be the game that determines whether the Ducks play for the title in January.

 

3. Clemson Tigers (4-0)

Sep 28, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers mascot celebrates with fans after a touchdown during the first quarter against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

AP Poll Ranking: 3

USA Today Poll Ranking: 4

There's no denying that Clemson's season-opening win over Georgia was massive. The Bulldogs have since knocked off South Carolina and LSU, adding to the significance of that result.

For the Tigers, Oct. 19's matchup with No. 8 Florida State will be colossal. The winner of that game will have a real shot at finishing the regular season undefeated in 2013. But with Clemson playing at home and Heisman candidate Tajh Boyd leading the way, the Tigers will likely be favored to win, per ESPN Stats & Info: 

 

4. Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0)

AP Poll Ranking: 4

USA Today Poll Ranking: 3

Ohio State's schedule has been far from difficult to start the year when compared to other top contenders, but you can't fault the Buckeyes for winning.

The Big Ten favorites have won 17 straight to begin the Urban Meyer era in Columbus and should easily run the table if they can pick up road wins at No. 16 Northwestern and No. 19 Michigan. The Buckeyes took the first big step by beating Wisconsin in Week 5.

 

5. Stanford Cardinal (4-0)

Sep 28, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Stanford Cardinal linebacker Trent Murphy (93) and linebacker James Vaughters (9) celebrate after Murphy intercepted and pass and scored a touchdown against the Washington State Cougars during the 2nd half at CenturyLink Fi
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

AP Poll Ranking: 5

USA Today Poll Ranking: 5

Stanford will continue to fly under the radar while Oregon keeps racking up the points. But you'll get your chance, Cardinal fans. Stanford will host Oregon on Nov. 7 in a game that will likely determine the Pac-12 champion in 2013.

Like Oregon, David Shaw's squad also has challenging matchups against No. 15 Washington and No. 12 UCLA on the horizon but will be favored to win. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.  

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