The initial BCS rankings have been released (access them here via bcsfootball.org), and while the Top 25 teams listed are all deserving, there were multiple teams that were snubbed.
The Top 25 drops off significantly after Texas A&M at No. 10, but that's not to say that Nos. 11 through 25 aren't deserving. Each team has had a strong season to this point. That being said, such a drop-off often leaves room for many teams to make a run at the rankings.
Such was the case with the initial rankings. There were three schools snubbed, all three of which have legitimate cases to be made. They may end up cracking the rankings at some point in the future, but the fact that they were snubbed now is worth noting.
Ole Miss may have a pedestrian 4-3 record, but the Rebels are coming off a three-point win over the LSU Tigers. They also had a strong game against Texas A&M, losing by just three.
Ole Miss deserved a more serious look at potentially No. 24 or No. 25 in the rankings given the team's success against very good teams in recent weeks. The Rebels are by no means a flashy or strong team in any one category, although their rushing and passing attacks each rank within the top half of the nation.
The team's problem is that its offense and defense are almost too balanced. The offense averages just 1.4 points per game more than the defense allows, and this could prove to be a legitimate problem as the season closes out.
If the Rebels can win four of their remaining five games this season, then there's no reason why they shouldn't be in the BCS Top 25. Even now a case could be made.
Aside from a heart-wrenching 17-13 loss to Notre Dame, the Michigan State Spartans have had a very successful season. At 6-1—and with wins over Iowa and Indiana—they deserve a Top 25 ranking just as much as anybody.
Michigan State's offense isn't anything special. Its running game ranks 48th in the nation, and its passing game ranks just 105th overall. The team's defense is something special, however, as it allows the fourth-lowest points-per-game average in the country.
The Spartans' stout defense allows opponents to score just 13.6 points per game. Indiana is the only team to put up over 20 points against them, and that game was clearly an anomaly. This team is strong on defense, and it's that defense that should have earned Michigan State a Top 25 berth.
The Spartans do have an exceptionally tough schedule ahead with games against Northwestern, Nebraska and Michigan, so it will be up to their offense to pick up their production and put enough points on the board to reward their defense.
The 5-2 Arizona State Sun Devils have a potent offense and a defense that makes stops when it needs to. Their offense—ranked sixth in the country—is far better than their defense as a unit, but both play well enough to warrant a Top 25 spot in the BCS.
With wins over Wisconsin, USC and Washington, the Sun Devils have proven themselves against worthy adversaries. They also came within three points of defeating Notre Dame and put up a decent fight against Stanford.
Washington State and Oregon State are two tough opponents on Arizona State's upcoming schedule, and it will be imperative to win one of those games if the Sun Devils have hopes of cracking the BCS Top 25. Winning against big-time opponents is always the best way to get recognized in that way.
This team has the potential to upset top teams given its offensive firepower, so it wouldn't be surprising if either the Cougars or Beavers fell to them in the coming weeks. A win against one of them should give them a ranking somewhere near No. 20.
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