The initial 2013 BCS rankings will be released next Sunday, Oct. 20. With the top of the college football landscape not shifting much in several weeks, even the pesky computers shouldn't depart too much from the other polls' perceptions.
Even a big win for the Oregon Ducks on the road against Washington should not be enough for them to leap over the perpetual No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, who haven't relinquished that ranking all season.
One team that may be in trouble is the AP No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes. They did notch a key victory at Northwestern last week, but the rest of their schedule has been lackluster to say the least.
With the release just over a week away, here are some last-minute predictions for how the BCS will place the nation's top 10 teams, along with more detailed analysis on the standout developments to come.
|1||Alabama Crimson Tide|
|5||Ohio State Buckeyes|
|7||Texas A&M Aggies|
|9||Florida State Seminoles|
|10||Miami (FL) Hurricanes|
Source: Predictions are strictly opinion
Alabama Beats Oregon for Top Spot
Who is the biggest threat to dethrone Alabama?
This is rather predictable, but it is nevertheless noteworthy to headline the prohibitive favorites to win college football's ultimate prize.
Nick Saban's powerhouse will not lose to Kentucky on Saturday evening, which would be the only way Alabama could possibly fall out of the No. 1 slot as two-time reigning national champions.
The defense has been stout with the exception of matching up with last year's Heisman Trophy winner, Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M. A balanced Tide attack on the other side of the ball is driven by super sophomore running back T.J. Yeldon and seasoned senior quarterback AJ McCarron.
Oregon definitely made up ground as QB Marcus Mariota took the 2013 Heisman race by the horns with 454 yards of total offense against the Huskies.
However, a home victory in Week 8 over Washington State isn't of strong enough quality to leapfrog the Tide.
Ohio State Opens at No. 5
Whoever wins next Saturday's marquee ACC showdown between Florida State and Clemson will have a firm grip on the No. 3 spot in the BCS in all likelihood.
Then there's Stanford, which lost to Utah 27-21 this week but should beat a quality UCLA Bruins team next week at home.
That cocktail of circumstances drops Columbus' beloved team ever so slightly, as opposed to the current No. 4 slot the Buckeyes enjoy in the AP poll. Winning in Evanston was huge, but the Wildcats did Ohio State no favors in being blown out by Wisconsin in Week 7.
Wow. Northwestern looks terrible today. Letdown from Ohio State?— Ed Sherman (@Sherman_Report) October 12, 2013
Although the Buckeyes did beat the Badgers at Ohio Stadium, it diminishes the quality of what was supposed to be their biggest win of 2013 at Northwestern.
Beating unranked Iowa in the 'Shoe will not help Urban Meyer's bunch in the computer portion of the BCS, adding another blowout win to a list of opponents that includes California, San Diego State and Florida A&M.
Miami (FL) Sneaks Into Top 10
To stick with the Sunshine State in this transition, the Hurricanes will benefit from several Week 7 upsets and almost by default ascend into the top 10.
UCLA would be a good candidate to get a bump upward by the time the BCS comes out, but a loss on the road to Stanford will thwart the Bruins' bid.
Oklahoma was No. 12 in the AP, but it lost to Texas in the Red River Rivalry clash on Saturday, resulting in a huge setback for its BCS bowl hopes.
A short-handed Georgia team fell to the AP No. 25 Missouri Tigers, too, which leaves the 13th-ranked Hurricanes as the logical team to keep moving up. All Miami did was rest up on a bye after beating Georgia Tech last week:
It's not as long of a break as many teams enjoy, though, because Thursday night is a road trip to take on North Carolina.
Still, a high-octane offense led by dynamic QB Stephen Morris and running back Duke Johnson—who's run for 572 yards in just five games and is an electric returner—make Miami a dangerous foe for anyone.
The defense is filled with athleticism, too, and ranks 11th in the nation in points per game allowed.