The first BCS rankings of 2013 were released on Sunday, and the results were downright shocking.
There were a number of controversies stemming from this all-important Top 25 list, as a few percentage points can be the difference between a mid-tier postseason game, a prestigious bowl appearance or a shot at the national championship.
It’s a high-stakes list to say the least, and it’s only going to get more divisive as the final weeks of the 2013 campaign play out. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the major controversies from the initial rankings.
Florida State at No. 2
The biggest shock of the BCS rankings revealing was that Florida State—coming off a convincing win over the Clemson Tigers—is the No. 2 team in the nation.
Whilst Alabama was able to maintain its stranglehold on the top position, Oregon was forced down a peg to No. 3 after the Seminoles catapulted up. Considering the Ducks were making a case to surpass the Crimson Tide—having destroyed every opponent they have faced—it’s safe to say that fans around Eugene aren’t happy.
Fortunately for Oregon, the team is mere percentage points behind and will easily have a chance to make up ground against No. 12 UCLA and No. 6 Stanford in back-to-back weeks.
ESPN’s Brad Edwards also noted that the only time the No. 1 and No. 2 programs in the initial standings have run the table was back in 2005.
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
As long as the Ducks keep soaring and winning games, they should have no issues climbing back into the national title picture.
Ohio State May Get Left Behind
Despite starting the season as the No. 2-ranked team and remaining undefeated up to this point, the Buckeyes aren’t positioned to make a run to the national championship.
Will Ohio State make the national championship game if it goes undefeated?
Head coach Urban Meyer’s squad is far behind both FSU and Oregon, meaning there is much work to do over the remainder of the Big Ten schedule. The Buckeyes simply cannot afford to drop a single game and still remain in contention in 2013, as they aren’t getting respect from the computers or human voters.
With a relatively soft schedule up until the regular-season finale against Michigan, OSU will have to do some campaigning to try and convince the voters that it deserves better than the No. 4 ranking in the USA Today and Harris poll.
Barring a stumble from the squads ahead, it currently looks unlikely that Ohio State will get a crack at the title for a second straight season.
Stanford Far From Dead
The Stanford Cardinal were the first team to drop out of the Top Five of the AP and USA Today Coaches polls once the season kicked off—after a loss to Utah—but are once again sniffing that lofty ranking.
This group is coming off a solid win against then-No. 9 UCLA, and it seems to have appeased the computers. Despite being ranked in both the Harris and USA Today polls at No. 8, the machines believe that Stanford is something between a No. 4 and No. 15 team, with the consensus coming out to be approximately the No. 6.
The Cardinal caught a break with a number of teams losing ahead of them and should be thankful that the Pac-12 is actually getting a fair amount of respect in 2013.
With matchups against Oregon State and Oregon on the horizon, Stanford has a chance to completely atone for its early failures against the Utes or sink down the rankings and out of the BCS picture.