There are sure to be a few teams ranked higher than they should be when the BCS Rankings are released on Sunday, Oct. 20, whatever happens in Saturday's slate of games.
Strength of schedule is such a key element in the calculations when tallying up BCS points. Teams that are in strong conferences inevitably end up being ranked higher than small-conference schools—even when the little school is undefeated.
Here's a look at where teams are likely to land when the standings are revealed, followed by a closer look at a few teams that are ranked high simply because of their association with a strong conference.
Here's a hint: They're all from the SEC.
|Rank||Projected BCS||AP Poll||USA Today Coaches Poll|
|1||Alabama (6-0)||Alabama (6-0)||Alabama (6-0)|
|2||Oregon (6-0)||Oregon (6-0)||Oregon (6-0)|
|3||Clemson (6-0)||Clemson (6-0)||Ohio State (6-0)|
|4||Ohio State (6-0)||Ohio State (6-0)||Clemson (6-0)|
|5||Florida State (5-0)||Florida State (5-0)||Florida State (5-0)|
|6||LSU (6-1)||LSU (6-1)||Louisville (6-0)|
|7||Texas A&M (5-1)||Texas A&M (5-1)||Texas A&M (5-1)|
|8||UCLA (5-0)||Louisville (6-0)||LSU (6-1)|
|9||South Carolina (5-1)||UCLA (5-0)||South Carolina (5-1)|
|10||Louisville (6-0)||Miami (FL) [5-0]||UCLA (5-0)|
|11||Missouri (6-0)||South Carolina (5-1)||Miami (FL) [5-0]|
|12||Stanford (5-1)||Baylor (5-0)||Baylor (5-0)|
|13||Miami (FL) [5-0]||Stanford (5-1)||Stanford (5-1)|
|14||Georgia (4-2)||Missouri (6-0)||Missouri (6-0)|
|15||Baylor (5-0)||Georgia (4-2)||Texas Tech (6-0)|
|16||Texas Tech (6-0)||Texas Tech (6-0)||Georgia (4-2)|
|17||Oklahoma (5-1)||Fresno State (5-0)||Oklahoma State (4-1)|
|18||Oklahoma State (4-1)||Oklahoma (5-1)||Oklahoma (5-1)|
|19||Florida (4-2)||Virginia Tech (6-1)||Fresno State (5-0)|
|20||Auburn (5-1)||Washington (4-2)||Virginia Tech (6-1)|
|21||Virginia Tech (6-1)||Oklahoma State (4-1)||Nebraska (5-1)|
|22||Fresno State (5-0)||Florida (4-2)||Florida (4-2)|
|23||Northern Illinois (6-0)||Northern Illinois (6-0)||Northern Illinois (6-0)|
|24||Michigan (5-1)||Auburn (5-1)||Michigan (5-1)|
|25||Washington (4-2)||Wisconsin (4-2)||Washington (4-2)|
AP Rank: No. 7
Coaches Poll Rank: No. 7
The Aggies live and die by Johnny Manziel's right arm.
If Johnny Football isn't on point, then his team doesn't win.
Texas A&M features one of the nation's worst defenses. The Aggies give up 32 points per game, which ranks No. 96 in the country. Thankfully, the team's offense puts up points in bunches.
Sounds just like another school—albeit one with a reduced chance of making it to one of the big bowl games this year.
Fresno State, led by Derek Carr, is a mirror image of Texas A&M this year. Neither team can stop anyone from running up the score, but thankfully they both feature one of the nation's best quarterbacks.
The biggest difference between Texas A&M and Fresno State is that the Bulldogs haven't lost a game. Oh, and the Aggies also play in the SEC—not the Mountain West.
AP Rank: No. 11
Coaches Poll Rank: No. 9
South Carolina was abused by Georgia earlier this year, 41-30, in its only game against a ranked opponent to date.
Jadeveon Clowney is undoubtedly one of the most talented players in the nation, but he can't defend the entire field by himself. South Carolina's defense hasn't impressed this year, allowing at least 25 points to inferior opponents in three of the last four games.
Connor Shaw has been impressive this year, playing an efficient brand of football. He has 10 touchdowns and zero interceptions. His lack of turnovers has been a big reason why South Carolina is 5-1 right now, but he doesn't run an explosive passing attack.
When engaged in a shootout with a top team, South Carolina doesn't have the offense or the defense to come away with the victory.
AP Rank: No. 15
Coaches Poll Rank: No. 16
Aaron Murray has been brilliant in all but two games for Georgia. When he's hot, Georgia can hang with any team in the country.
Unfortunately, when he's not hot, Georgia's defense can't pick up the slack like it did last year.
This defense is atrocious.
Only 18 teams in the nation allow more points per game than the Bulldogs.
Heck, if it weren't for a freak play in which Alton Howard lost the ball just inches before scoring what would have been the game-winning touchdown for Tennessee in overtime, Georgia would be 3-3 instead of 4-2.
Teams like Baylor, Texas Tech and Fresno State should be ranked higher, but they play in weaker conferences.
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