BCS Standings 2013: Biggest Surprises in Initial Rankings

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistOctober 21, 2013

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Members of the Stanford Cardinal walk out of the tunnel for their game against the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Since this is the last season with the Bowl Championship Series, why not just have total chaos?

There are eight undefeated teams that could realistically argue they're worthy of a spot in the national championship game. Of those eight, six could be unbeaten after the conference championships. Doesn't a part of you want to see those six teams undefeated, with the BCS having to clean up the mess?

Imagine the bedlam that would erupt across the country.

Even the initial BCS rankings have gotten college football fans everywhere talking. There's still another six weeks left, but plenty of fans are up in arms because their school has been disrespected in a way you can't possibly fathom.

It's no shock that these rankings would create a buzz. After all, this is still how the national title spots are decided, along with the at-large bids for the BCS bowls. There's a lot of money and status on the line.

Here's what the BCS standings look like.

BCS Standings
1Alabama Crimson Tide7-0.9841
2Florida State Seminoles6-0.9348
3Oregon Ducks7-0.9320
4Ohio State Buckeyes7-0.8553
5Missouri Tigers7-0.8219
6Stanford Cardinal6-1.7414
7Miami Hurricanes6-0.7200
8Baylor Bears6-0.7120
9Clemson Tigers6-1.6249
10Texas Tech Red Raiders7-0.6220
11Auburn Tigers6-1.5058
12UCLA Bruins5-1.4807
13LSU Tigers6-2.4552
14Virginia Tech Hokies6-1.4408
15Oklahoma Sooners6-1.4204
16Texas A&M Aggies5-2.3666
17Fresno State Bulldogs6-0.3379
18Northern Illinois Huskies7-0.3032
19Oklahoma State Cowboys5-1.2687
20Louisville Cardinals6-1.2556
21South Carolina Gamecocks5-2.2161
22Michigan Wolverines6-1.1637
23UCF Knights5-1.1394
24Nebraska Cornhuskers5-1.1354
25Oregon State Beavers6-1.1042

These four developments are the most surprising and will surely have lots of fans talking.


Florida State Leapfrogs Oregon

CLEMSON, SC - OCTOBER 19:  Kenny Shaw #81 of the Florida State Seminoles celebrates with the band after defeating the Clemson Tigers 51-14 at Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Clemson, South Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

You have to give the BCS credit in recognizing real-time results and not basing so much of the rankings off what the voters had in the preseason. You learn a lot more about a team by watching it play rather than from whatever your preconceptions of said team are.

The Florida State Seminoles hammered the Maryland Terrapins, 63-0, on October 5 and followed that up with a 51-14 win on the road against the Clemson Tigers. If that's not enough to make you the No. 2 team in the nation, then nothing is.

However, it was a bit surprising that FSU was able to jump ahead of the Oregon Ducks, who are undefeated and have won by an average of 40.3 points. They've done nothing to warrant taking a drop, but you can see why Florida State would jump to No. 2, based on those Clemson and Maryland wins.

Also, the Ducks could get back into the national title game with wins over UCLA and Stanford, their next two opponents. So calm down, Oregon fans.


Missouri's in the Top 5

COLUMBIA, MO - OCTOBER 19:  Quarterback Maty Mauk #7 of the Missouri Tigers carries the ball upfield during the game against the Florida Gators at Faurot Field/Memorial Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Columbia, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Image
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Much like Florida State actually getting a deserved jump, it's shocking to see Missouri in the top five of a football poll. SportsPickle decided to have some fun at the Tigers' expense.

That win over the Florida Gators was a sign that Missouri is for real. That upset over Georgia was great and all, but the real test for the Tigers was whether they could do it again.

Sure, that was Florida's third loss of the season. Maty Mauk torched what had been of the best pass defenses in the country, and the Tigers defense shut down the Gators offense.

Missouri deserved to take a major jump. Between the wins over the Gators and Bulldogs, the Tigers have at least earned some consideration as one of the best teams in the country. The fact that they got that deserved recognition is the surprising part.


Stanford at No. 6?

PALO ALTO, CA - OCTOBER 19:  Kevin Hogan #8 of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates after the Cardinal scored a touchdown against the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium on October 19, 2013 in Palo Alto, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

One of the more negative surprises is the Stanford Cardinal. Sure they beat the previously unbeaten UCLA Bruins, but how do you justify putting them ahead of unbeaten Miami, Baylor and even Texas Tech?

Stanford lost to unranked Utah. If this is Oregon we're talking about, that's one thing. But the Utes aren't that kind of team with which you can just write off one loss.

Meanwhile, you've got the Hurricanes and Bears sitting there, having gotten through everybody in their path, and they're still looking up at the Cardinal. Like the Chewbacca defense, it doesn't make sense.

Until Stanford can beat the Ducks, they don't deserve to be hovering around the top five.


Fresno State and Northern Illinois are Knocking on the Door

IOWA CITY, IOWA- AUGUST 31: Defensive tackle Zach Anderson #51 of the Northern Illinois Huskiescelebrates with teammates after defeating the Iowa Hawkeyes on August 31, 2013 at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Northern Illinois won 30-27.(Photo by Matt
Matthew Holst/Getty Images

Fresno State and Northern Illinois just need to get five and six spots up, respectively, and they'll be looking a BCS berth. Per the rules, any team from a non-AQ conference gets a bid if it finishes in the top 12 of the rankings.

Normally you see one non-AQ school hovering near that top-12 threshold and possibly in the top 10. Rarely do you see two of them that close at this point in the season. Either the Huskies or Bulldogs could be looking at a BCS berth at the end of the season.

Regardless of what the fans from bigger schools think, it's awesome to see the smaller schools get a crack at the big boys in a BCS bowl.

Sometimes you get that lopsided game, such as last year's Orange Bowl between Florida State and Northern Illinois. You can accept that if you get moments like Ian Johnson's two-point conversion in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl.


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