This just in—the Alabama Crimson Tide are still the best team in college football. But you already knew that, as did I, and the rest of the college football-watching society.
What was left to be answered after Week 8's chaotic slate of games is where the rest of the college football landscape stood. That answer finally came on Sunday night, as the initial BCS rankings were released in a special ESPN presentation.
Had you paid attention throughout the day, these rankings shouldn't have come as a shock. The three components of the rankings—the USA Today Coaches' Poll, the Harris Poll and the six computer rankings—have all been public information with the exception of the Wolfe computer rankings.
That said, it's hard to think of a more interesting time for the BCS to have its great unveiling. This past week's games could go down as the Red Saturday, with six of the Associated Press' Top 11 teams going down—half of which lost to unranked opponents. LSU, Louisville and South Carolina each came into Week 8 with an outside shot at the national title game and left scrambling to save their BCS bowl hopes.
Meanwhile, Florida State, Missouri and Auburn were each pulling off victories that announced their arrival to the national conversation. The Seminoles' abject destruction of Clemson was unquestionably the most impressive of those wins, and led to some discussion calling them the nation's best team.
With Jameis Winston and Co. coming in ahead of Oregon, though, the BCS did not waste any time creating controversy. Not that the Seminoles' second-place standing was alone.
Let's take a look around the Twittersphere and see what everyone is saying about the Week 9 BCS rankings.
In obviously a celebratory mood, Florida State football's official Twitter feed noted it's been more than a decade since the Seminoles ranked this high in the BCS standings:
#Noles debut at No. 2 in BCS standings - highest BCS ranking since Dec. 3, 2000.— FSU Football (@FSU_Football) October 21, 2013
Tomahawk Nation's Twitter feed was the first to fire shots in this BCS rivalry, throwing shade toward the Ducks' shaky offensive and defensive lines:
Not only do I want to go to Pasadena, but I don't want to see Oregon's weak offensive and defensive lined get wrecked by another SEC team— TomahawkNation.com (@TomahawkNation) October 21, 2013
That's not the only thing going for Florida schools. Miami may not have looked great in its victory over North Carolina on Thursday, but the Hurricanes come in at No. 7 two weeks before their matchup with Florida State.
Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press pointed out it's been a very long time since these two schools have been relevant at the same time:
Another stat you can steal: This is the first time Miami and Florida State have been together in top 7 of BCS since week of Oct. 24, 2004.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) October 21, 2013
But don't fret too much, Oregon Ducks fans. Brad Edwards of ESPN makes the very astute observation that being No. 1 or No. 2 in Week 8 is rarely a guarantee of future success:
The No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the initial BCS Standings have both run the table only once in 15 years (USC & Texas, '05)— Brad Edwards (@JBradEdwards) October 21, 2013
Meanwhile, Bleacher Report's Barrett Sailee gives a stat that proves again that Alabama is good. Very, very, very good:
Alabama has been ranked No. 4 or higher in the BCS for 17 consecutive weeks.— Barrett Sallee (@BarrettSallee) October 21, 2013
Outside the oft-discussed jumble atop the rankings is another controversy that won't get nearly as much coverage. UCF, which upset Louisville on Friday, comes in ranked behind the Cardinals in the initial BCS standings. Howie Lindsey of Rivals thinks that could mean good things for Teddy Bridgewater and Co. if they win out:
It is important that Louisville ranks ahead of UCF in the first BCS rankings. Cards 20. UCF 23. UofL still needs UCF to lose once or twice— Howie Lindsey (@howielindsey) October 21, 2013
Mark Ennis of ESPN 680 has more good news, pointing out that the Cardinals' BCS bowl hopes are far from over:
Good news for Louisville is they'd almost certainly win a three-way tie scenario if the BCS rankings are the tiebreaker.— Mark Ennis (@Mengus22) October 21, 2013
Moving beyond the controversy, there are two of the season's most interesting stories: Missouri and Baylor. The Tigers are the fifth-ranked team in the nation, which ESPN's Paul Finebaum points out is a far cry from where they began the season:
Mizzou was picked to finish No. 6 in the SEC East at Media Days. In the first BCS, the Tigers are No. 5 ... in the nation.— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) October 21, 2013
The Bears weren't treated so kindly. They're the second-lowest ranked of all the BCS conference undefeateds, ahead of only Big 12 cohort Texas Tech. It's safe to say quarterback Bryce Petty thinks more of his teammates than the computers:
Keep doubting #Baylor. We love it— Bryce Petty (@b_petty14) October 21, 2013
And, to be fair to Baylor, at least its Top 10 ranking didn't lead to this tweet from Sports Pickle:
Missouri has football now? RT @SportsCenter BCS Standings: 1) Alabama 2) Florida St. 3) Oregon 4) Ohio St. 5) Missouri 6) Stanford— SportsPickle (@sportspickle) October 21, 2013
Also likely walking away disappointed with its ranking is Ohio State, which comes in as expected at No. 4 but looking vulnerable. Missouri is nipping at the Buckeyes' heels, and is very likely to overtake them if both sides win out.
The reason: schedule strength. The Buckeyes' best win of the season came against Wisconsin, and they have only one more game against a ranked opponent. Greg Swaim noted that Urban Meyer's squad may even have trouble once the college football playoff begins:
yes, the BCS will die, but we'll still have the conference SOS issue in a four team playoff. 13-0 #Buckeyes would still not get in (1/2)— Greg Swaim Show (@GSwaim) October 21, 2013
Still, Ohio State is seemingly sitting prettier than any Big 12 school now and going forward. CBS Sports Bruce Feldman was told as much by colleague Jerry Palm:
Northern Illinois has no such expectations of going to the national championship game. Even if they went undefeated, the Huskies would need a historic miracle to even get consideration. But don't tell that to Jeremy Guy, the MAC's director of communications:
CFB playoff would be Ohio St vs. Alabama & Florida St vs. Oregon. Would anyone complain if we ditched BCS 1 year early?— LostLettermen.com (@LostLettermen) October 21, 2013
USA Today's George Schroeder is also looking ahead—only in an advisory sense. He'd like the playoff committee to avoid in-season rankings to avoid the hysteria that the weekly BCS rankings provide:
This unwarranted hysteria - though predictable - over BCS standings is exactly why the selection committee should not do in-season rankings.— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) October 21, 2013
Even if college football will be better off with a playoff, the controversy surrounding the initial BCS rankings is overblown. About half of the 2013 season remains, a period in which the standings will fluctuate on a weekly basis. If there's anything that this past Saturday taught us, it's that anything can and will happen—even to ranked teams.
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