The first BCS rankings of the year were released on Sunday, and the Top 25 has more than a few surprises.
Preseason rankings are fun, but these are the ones that really matter. With the College Football Playoff still a year away, teams at the top only care about reaching one of the top-two spots in order to secure a berth in the BCS National Championship Game.
Of course, this will not be easy with so many teams still undefeated. It makes checking the standings a dramatic event, beginning with this first release in Week 9.
via ESPN's release
To no surprise, Alabama checks in at No. 1 in the rankings after holding the top spot in the Coaches' Poll since the start of season.
The Crimson Tide have only two wins over ranked teams this season (Texas A&M and Ole Miss), but the two-time defending national champions have talent at every position and are seemingly getting better every week. Additionally, the opening win over Virginia Tech continues to look better.
This squad will have a chance to play for another title as long as it can make it through tough matchups like LSU, Auburn and whomever it would face in the SEC Championship Game.
Still, there are plenty of other squads outside of the SEC trying to make a run at the title.
No. 2 Florida State got a huge boost this week thanks to its impressive win over the Clemson Tigers. The ACC has not had too many national title contenders over the past decade, but this group has a legitimate shot if it can remain undefeated.
Jameis Winston continues to shine under center, and after passing for 444 yards and three touchdowns (and adding another rushing score) in his team's 51-14 dismantling of Clemson, he has the Seminoles rolling on all cylinders.
Oregon comes in at No. 3 thanks to some dominant performances this season. With a top-10 scoring offense and defense, it makes it easy to blow out opponents. The Pac-12 is also as deep as it has been in years, which should keep the computer numbers high throughout the year. The Ducks' next two matchups come against UCLA and Stanford.
Ohio State also remains in the title hunt after beginning the season 7-0. The Buckeyes went 12-0 last season but were ineligible for the postseason. They hope that another undefeated year will help get them a shot at the championship.
Then again, a relatively weak strength of schedule could end up hurting the squad currently ranked No. 4 in the BCS.
Plenty of other teams remain in the conversation for the top team in college football, such as undefeated Missouri at No. 5, but they will all have to hope for more help from either the voters or computers in the next BCS rankings.
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