College Football

BCS Rankings 2013 Projections: Predicting Top 25 Teams in First Release

Oct 5, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) warms up before the start of the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Doak Campbell Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports
Ryan RudnanskySenior Writer IOctober 14, 2013

The first BCS rankings of the 2013 college football campaign will be released on Oct. 20, and there is plenty that could happen between now and then.

Week 7 showed us that anything is possible, as a slew of Top 25 teams fell like dominoes. Stanford and Oklahoma may have suffered the most shocking defeats, giving way to Utah and Texas, respectively.

Several publications have come out with their BCS rankings if the standings were to come out today, but I'm going to go a step further and prognosticate how they will look when they actually come out, bearing in mind some huge games on the slate in Week 8.

Here's my stab in the dark, complete with my predictions of some of the biggest games of Week 8. 

And, yes, I'm apparently one of the few people in the entire country who thinks Florida State will knock off Clemson this week. 

*Statistics courtesy of CFBStats.com

 

Projected BCS Standings—Week 9

RankingProgram
1Alabama
2Oregon
3Florida State
4Ohio State
5LSU
6Clemson
7UCLA
8Texas A&M
9Louisville
10Baylor
11Stanford
12Miami 
13Missouri
14South Carolina
15Georgia
16Texas Tech
17Oklahoma
18Fresno State
19Northern Illinois
20 Virginia Tech
21Oklahoma State
22Washington
23Wisconsin
24Auburn 
25Michigan State

 

Predictions of Top Clashes in Week 8 

No. 5 Florida State at No. 3 Clemson

Oct 5, 2013; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston (5) celebrates with tight end Nick O'Leary (35) after throwing a touchdown pass during the second half of the game against the Maryland Terrapins at Doak Campbell Stadiu
Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

I know Clemson pulled off a dramatic victory over what has turned out to be an overrated Georgia team in Week 1, but I'm more interested in how Clemson and Florida State are playing now.

It didn't take long for the Seminoles to knock Maryland off of its Top 25 perch in Week 6. In fact, it was an absolute thrashing, as Jameis Winston and Co. rolled to a 63-0 victory.

In the meantime, Clemson is coming off a so-so performance against Boston College at home, eventually winning 24-14.

Beyond that, Florida State outshines Clemson in terms of each team's running game and run defense. The Seminoles rank ninth in the nation in yards per carry and 23rd in yards per carry allowed, while the Tigers rank 84th and 49th in the two categories, respectively.

I know this game is being played in Clemson, but Florida State is simply a better overall team in my mind.

Prediction: Florida State 33, Clemson 30

 

No. 9 UCLA at No. 13 Stanford

Oct 12, 2013; Pasadena, CA, USA; UCLA Bruins quarterback Brett Hundley (17) throws a pass during the fourth quarter against the California Golden Bears during the Bruins 37-10 win at Rose Bowl.  Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sport

It's safe to say at this point that Stanford's 2013 squad isn't on the same level as the 2012 team.

The Cardinal rank 31st in points per game and 24th in points allowed per contest this season. The offense has been able to make do without former star running back Stepfan Taylor, but the defense isn't as strong (Stanford ranked fifth in the country in points allowed per game last season). Allowing 27 points to Utah is proof.

UCLA, meanwhile, ranks in the top 20 in points allowed per game. That includes ranking 12th in yards allowed per pass attempt and 25th in yards allowed per carry.

That's not to mention an explosive offense averaging 45.8 points per game (seventh in the country).

The Cardinal may be 3-0 at home this season, but they barely edged Washington in Week 6, and the Bruins outclass the Huskies significantly.

Prediction: UCLA 31, Stanford 27

 

No. 22 Florida at No. 14 Missouri

ATHENS, GA - OCTOBER 12:  Michael Sam #52 of the Missouri Tigers recovers a fumble for a touchdown against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on October 12, 2013 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Watch out, folks. Missouri is soaring up the rankings.

The Tigers didn't even reach the bottom of the AP Top 25 bubble until Week 5 this season. They weren't ranked No. 25 until Week 7. 

But the resounding victory over Aaron Murray and Georgia last week was all Missouri needed to gain the nation's attention.

In the 41-26 win in Athens, Ga., the Tigers held off a late surge by the Bulldogs to pull away at the end. It marked the first time they had beaten a Top 10 team on the road in 32 years.

The Tigers are brimming with confidence now. Yes, electric quarterback James Franklin will miss at least the next six weeks with a separated shoulder, but I still think the Tigers will be able to pull it off against Florida at home this week.

Frankly, Florida's offense disappointed me in the 17-6 loss to LSU. Sure, Tiger Stadium isn't the most enjoyable place for foes to spend a Saturday afternoon, but I thought the emergence of dual-threat quarterback Tyler Murphy would boost the Gators to victory.

Well, that didn't happen, and I'm wondering if Florida can edge Missouri on Saturday, even with the absence of Franklin.

Allowing only 26 points to Georgia in Athens is no easy feat. I think the Missouri defense is getting stronger by the week, evidenced by the four forced turnovers against the Bulldogs.

Prediction: Missouri 21, Florida 18

 

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