Week 9 of the 2013 college football regular season is upon us, and it’s time to break down the BCS rankings and which so-called championship contenders are nothing more than pretenders.
Here are the full BCS rankings and the teams that will struggle to live up to the expectations of contending for a national title.
Stats via ESPN.
Texas A&M Aggies
The Texas A&M Aggies came into the 2013 regular season as one of the consensus preseason BCS Championship contenders. Led by defending Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Johnny Manziel, the program looked unstoppable.
We’re now nine weeks into the season, and Texas A&M is ranked 16th overall. The team has amassed a mediocre 5-2 record with two heartbreaking losses to the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Auburn Tigers.
The offense is not the issue, though. Manziel has led the Aggies’ fifth-ranked pass offense to plenty of late drives to win games, but the defense has been unable to make key stands when the program needed them.
Despite having a bona fide star like Manziel on offense, a defense that is ranked 104th in the nation and allows an average of 33.9 points per game will not be able to hold up to the rigors of the tough SEC schedule and the BCS hunt.
The LSU Tigers are perennial contenders for a national title, and that is typically because of the stellar defense head coach Les Miles has always put on the field.
That hasn’t been the case this season, though.
LSU is allowing 22.6 points per game this season (38th in the nation) and coming up short in big situations. With two key losses to Ole Miss in Week 8 and Georgia earlier this season, the Tigers are a shell of the team that was expected to be a legitimate contender.
While LSU will have a chance to get healthy and build some rapport as the program squares off against a lackluster Furman team in Week 9, the meeting with No. 1 Alabama is looming on Nov. 9. The Tigers must win the next two games to remain relevant in the championship picture; it's that simple.
South Carolina Gamecocks
The South Carolina Gamecocks were another team that many believed could shock the SEC and the college football landscape with senior quarterback Connor Shaw and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney leading both talented units.
Instead of dominating the competition as many expected, the Gamecocks and their star players have been mediocre on both sides of the ball.
With the offense only scoring 32.6 points per game (50th in the nation) and the defense allowing the 39th-worst points-per-game average, the program has not excelled in any facet of the game in 2013.
Add in that South Carolina goes up against a stellar Missouri team this week, and the illusion that the Gamecocks could be a viable BCS contender would be completely shattered with the third loss of the season.