BCS Rankings 2013: Predicting the Final BCS Rankings

Sebastian LenaAnalyst IOctober 22, 2013

BCS Rankings 2013: Predicting the Final BCS Rankings

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    Can Bama make it three in a row?
    Can Bama make it three in a row?Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    With the release of the first official BCS rankings, college football fans across the nation have begun to wonder which teams will rise and which will fall.

    Who will crumble under the pressure of chasing an undefeated season? Which teams will rebound from a slow start and make a run at an improbable BCS bowl? Will this be the season where multiple undefeated teams could be left out of the BCS title game?

    These are just a couple of questions that the next couple of weeks will answer.

    But, why wait?

    Here’s a prediction of the final BCS rankings of 2013.

     

    Author’s Note: These rankings are BEFORE potential bowl games. The BCS does not release standings at the conclusion of bowl games.

25. Notre Dame

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    Rees has to play better if Notre Dame wants to crack the Top 14.
    Rees has to play better if Notre Dame wants to crack the Top 14.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Current Record: 5-2

    Current BCS Ranking: n/a

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Stanford (Nov. 30)

     

    The Skinny

    The Irish have been one of this season’s biggest disappointments.

    This was a squad that made an epic run to the BCS title game led by an elite defense, one that returned seven starters on that side of the ball for 2013.

    If anything, the defense was supposed to be just as good.

    However, the unit has been anything but. The team has fared drastically worse in almost every statistical category.

    It also played a part in both Notre Dame’s losses to Michigan and Oklahoma.

    Fortunately, the next four games are very winnable for the Irish. It gives the team an outside shot of cracking the top 14 in the BCS standings in an effort to earn a berth to a BCS bowl.

    However, a road trip to face the Cardinal during the season finale will prove to be the dagger to the team’s BCS aspirations.

24. Georgia

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    Murray has had to do it all on his own in 2013.
    Murray has had to do it all on his own in 2013.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Current Record: 4-3

    Current BCS Ranking: n/a

    Projected Record: 8-4

    Projected Losses: at Auburn (Nov. 16)

     

    The Skinny

    Injuries have ruined what was building up to be a promising season for the Bulldogs. Instead, the team is in the midst of a two-game slump with rival Florida up next.

    It’s an unfortunate situation for quarterback Aaron Murray (62.1 CMP%, 1,938 YDs, 17 TDs, 6 INTs) who has had one heck of a season.

    With the return of running back Todd Gurley still up in the air, it will be up to Murray to lead the charge. If he doesn’t, this season could quickly spiral out of control.

    Georgia should win its next two games, but a loss to a rejuvenated Auburn squad should squash any momentum the team gains.

    An 8-4 season is all that will be left for a Bulldogs team that had BCS title aspirations during the preseason.

23. Wisconsin

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    Wisconsin will try to close out the year on a positive note.
    Wisconsin will try to close out the year on a positive note.Michael Hickey/Getty Images

    Current Record: 5-2

    Current BCS Ranking: n/a

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Iowa (Nov. 2)

     

    The Skinny

    For the Badgers, it’s hard not to think about what would have happened had the officials not cost the team a win against Arizona State.

    But, there will be absolutely no excuses when Wisconsin is out-muscled by the Hawkeyes this weekend.

    With three of the following four games at home, the team will try to close out the season on a positive note. Expect Melvin Gordon (107 CAR, 1,012 YDs, 11 TDs) to lead the way.

    The sophomore has topped 140 yards and found the end zone four times in the last two weeks. Wisconsin will benefit from a lot more of that.

    At 9-3, the best the team can hope for is a solid bowl game.

     

22. Oregon State

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    Mannion has been a pleasant surprise for the Beavers.
    Mannion has been a pleasant surprise for the Beavers.Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 25

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Arizona State (Nov. 16), at Oregon (Nov. 29)

     

    The Skinny

    For a team that has won six straight games while boasting the nation’s top-ranked passing attack, the Beavers have gotten absolutely no respect.

    An opening-week loss to an FCS opponent will do that to you.

    Aside from that Week 1 loss to Eastern Washington, the team has looked great. Oregon State has put up 44 points or more in three straight contests, while allowing just 19.3 points per game during that span.

    With quarterback Sean Mannion (68.6 CMP%, 2,992 YDs, 29 TDs, 3 INTs) behind center, the Beavers are a sure bet to be in contention to win any game. That will include a stunning upset over No. 6 Stanford this weekend.

    However, expect Mannion and Oregon State to be out-dueled in a pair of road trips against the Sun Devils and Ducks.

21. LSU

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    The Tigers have been caged as of late.
    The Tigers have been caged as of late.Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 13

    Projected Record: 8-4

    Projected Losses: at Alabama (Nov. 9), vs. Texas A&M (Nov. 23)

     

    The Skinny

    After a 4-0 start, expectations were high for the Tigers. Instead, the team dropped two of its next four.

    The inconsistent play of quarterback Zach Mettenberger doesn’t help either. The senior has thrown four interceptions over his last three games after throwing just one in the first five.

    Not to mention, the defense has been less than stellar this year, allowing 20 or more points in five of eight games thus far.

    These shortcomings will lead to letdowns in back-to-back games against the Crimson Tide and Aggies.

    It will all lead head coach Les Miles to wonder what happened to such a promising season.

20. Arizona State

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    Kelly has been phenomenal for the Sun Devils.
    Kelly has been phenomenal for the Sun Devils.Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Current Record: 5-2

    Current BCS Ranking: n/a

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at UCLA (Nov. 23)

     

    The Skinny

    The Sun Devils can put up points with the best of them.

    Through seven games, the team is averaging 45.4 points per game. That includes scoring 50 points or more in three of the last four contests.

    Led by dual-threat quarterback Taylor Kelly (62.0 CMP%, 2,485 TOT YDs, 21 TDs, 7 INTs), Arizona State is set up for an impressive finish to 2013.

    Expect Kelly to out-duel quarterbacks from Washington State and Oregon State in high-scoring shootouts. However, Brett Hundley and the Bruins offense will be too much for the Sun Devils to overcome.

    All things considered, a 9-3 campaign is better than what this team was expected to finish at.

19. Virginia Tech

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    Beamer can only wonder "what if" when it comes to Virginia Tech's season this year.
    Beamer can only wonder "what if" when it comes to Virginia Tech's season this year.Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 14

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Boston College (Nov. 2), at Miami (Nov. 9)

     

    The Skinny

    Don’t look now, but the Hokies have slowly crept inside the top 15 of the BCS Standings.

    Following a Week 1 loss to Alabama, the team has rode a stout defense to six straight wins. That includes holding all but one opponent to under 20 points.

    Through seven games, the defense ranks No. 5 in scoring (15.0 PPGA) and No. 2 in total defense (256.0 YPGA).

    Unfortunately, the Virginia Tech offense has been anything but potent. The team ranks No. 112 in total offense and only averages 23.1 points per game.

    That will cost the team in back-to-back road trips against the Eagles—who played both Clemson and Florida State tough—and the Hurricanes.

    It will leave head coach Frank Beamer wondering just how far his team could have gone had they had—at least—a decent offense. 

18. Ole Miss

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    The Rebels need Wallace to perform at a high level.
    The Rebels need Wallace to perform at a high level.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Current Record: 4-3

    Current BCS Ranking: n/a

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: none

     

    The Skinny

    The Rebels were declared down and out following their loss to Texas A&M on Oct. 12. It was the third straight loss for a team that didn’t seem capable of hanging with the top-tier squads in the SEC.

    However, that all changed when Ole Miss defeated then-No. 6 LSU 27-24 last weekend.

    Now, with just a visit from No. 5 Missouri remaining, running the table seems to be a very plausible option. Especially, given that the Rebels' other four opponents besides the Tigers have a combined record of 11-17.

    With four of its final five games at home, expect Ole Miss to build up some momentum leading up to the clash with Missouri. Then, look for Bo Wallace and the offense to pull off the upset, finishing off the season on a high note.

17. Fresno State

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    Carr has been unstoppable for the Bulldogs through the air.
    Carr has been unstoppable for the Bulldogs through the air.Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 17

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: at Wyoming (Nov. 9)

     

    The Skinny

    Behind the arm of Derek Carr (70.4 CMP%, 2,276 YDs, 23 TDs 4 INTs), the Bulldogs have been one of the most explosive offenses in college football. The team averages a whopping 45.8 points per game.

    Conversely, Fresno State also allows 30.2 points per game.

    Expect that to bite the team during its Nov. 9 road-trip to face the Cowboys, a team that ranks in the top 40 in both passing and rushing while registering at No. 13 in total offense.

    If you recall, Wyoming is the same squad that nearly knocked off Nebraska in Week 1.

    Although the Bulldogs should win the rest of their games, the one loss will be enough to prevent the team from sneaking into a BCS bowl.

16. Missouri

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    Mauk has the Tigers believing.
    Mauk has the Tigers believing.Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Current Record: 7-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 5

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: vs. Tennessee (Nov. 2), at Ole Miss (Nov. 23), vs. Texas A&M (Nov. 30)

     

    The Skinny

    Right now, everything seems to be going the Tigers’ way.

    After losing quarterback James Franklin, backup Maty Mauk stepped in and put in a performance better than any other quarterback has against Florida’s stout secondary. Back-to-back wins over ranked opponents coincided in a week where five Top 10 teams fell.

    It all leads to Missouri’s inclusion in the BCS title conversation.

    Unfortunately, a rough conclusion to the season awaits.

    The team should have no difficulty getting by a short-handed South Carolina team without quarterback Connor Shaw, via The Associated Press. However, visits from the Volunteers and Aggies—as well as a trip to face the Rebels—will ultimately do-in the Tigers.

    Regardless, it will be one heck of a campaign for a team that was 5-7 just a year ago.

15. Baylor

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    The Bears are having a season to remember.
    The Bears are having a season to remember.Cooper Neill/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 8

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: at Oklahoma State (Nov. 23), at TCU (Nov. 30)

     

    The Skinny

    Dare it be said, but the Bears offense is simply overrated.

    Sure, following a likely victory over Kansas this weekend, Baylor will be sitting at 4-0 in the Big 12. However, those victories come against four teams with a conference record of 1-12.

    Not to mention, the team struggled against lowly Kansas State in its only road game of the season, escaping with a 35-25 win.

    The Bears still have to play four of the top teams in the Big 12, teams with a combined conference record of 12-2. 

    That includes a three-week stretch where the team plays Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

    Expect Baylor’s credibility to be at a peak once the team tops the Sooners and Red Raiders in consecutive weeks. However, road trips against the Cowboys and TCU—who should have quarterback Casey Pachall back—will prove to be problematic.

14. Louisville

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    Bridgewater and the Cardinals must lower their sights onto a BCS bowl.
    Bridgewater and the Cardinals must lower their sights onto a BCS bowl.Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 20

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none

     

    The Skinny

    The damage has already been done for the Cardinals.

    After leading 28-7 in the second quarter, the team collapsed in a 38-35 defeat to unranked UCF. It was a game that washed away both Louisville’s BCS title hopes and any chance that quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had at the Heisman Trophy.

    Following the loss, the team dropped from No. 8 to No. 20 in the polls.

    But, just because their BCS title hopes are gone, don’t expect the Cardinal to simply go away.

    This is a team that has one of the elite quarterbacks in the nation in Bridgewater and one of the top defensive units in all of college football. Paired with a weak schedule, running the table the rest of the way isn’t out of the question.

    A BCS bowl is the best Louisville can hope for.

13. Auburn

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    Malzahn is doing the unthinkable at Auburn this year.
    Malzahn is doing the unthinkable at Auburn this year.Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 11

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Tennessee (Nov. 9), vs. Alabama (Nov. 30)

     

    The Skinny

    Head coach Gus Malzahn is rolling out one surprise after another.

    First, the Tigers surprised the nation by starting out 3-0—matching last season’s total for wins. Next, the team tallied two wins over ranked opponents in a three-week span.

    That includes the most impressive win of them all: A 45-41 road victory over Johnny Manziel and No. 7 Texas A&M.

    Already bowl-eligible, Auburn is easily the biggest surprise of the season. But Malzahn isn’t ready to stop exceeding expectations.

    However, expect some of that momentum to fade away as the Tigers drop a close one on the road to Tennessee.

    A win against Georgia the following week will have the team eyeing a monumental upset over top-ranked Alabama in the season finale, a win that would likely have fans clamoring for a statue in Malzahn’s name.

    Unfortunately, although the team will keep it close, it will ultimately be in a losing effort.

    Still, it will cap a very successful season for Auburn.

12. UCLA

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    The Bruins' hopes rest on James' return.
    The Bruins' hopes rest on James' return.Eric Francis/Getty Images

    Current Record: 5-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 12

    Projected Record: 10-3

    Projected Losses: at Oregon (Oct. 26), vs. Oregon (Pac-12 title game)

     

    The Skinny

    The Bruins were completely exposed against Stanford last weekend. The team managed just 266 yards of total offense while quarterback Brett Hundley characteristically turned the ball over twice.

    Needless to say, that game will serve as a wake up call for UCLA.

    Things will only get worse before they get better for the Bruins. This weekend, the team travels to Eugene to face undefeated Oregon while the status of running back Jordon James still remains up in the air, via Bruin247’s Evan Barnes.

    However, with a closing schedule that features five unranked opponents, UCLA should have no trouble navigating the rest of the way and earning the team a spot in its second-straight Pac-12 title game.

    Unfortunately, the Ducks will once again prove too much for the Bruins.

11. Northern Illinois

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    Lynch has the Huskies aiming for a second-straight berth in a BCS bowl.
    Lynch has the Huskies aiming for a second-straight berth in a BCS bowl.Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Current Record: 7-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 18

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none

     

    The Skinny

    Forget the hot starts by Miami, Auburn and Missouri. The biggest surprise of the season would arguably be if the Huskies were to lose a game this season.

    That’s because the team’s remaining opponents have a combined record of 13-24.

    Having a dual-threat quarterback, such as Jordan Lynch, also helps.

    Through seven games, the senior has thrown for 1,488 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions on 61.3 percent passing. He’s also added another 932 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.

    That includes breaking the FBS-record for rushing yards by a quarterback by accounting for 316 against Central Michigan last weekend.

    With just 7-1 Ball State in the way, Northern Illinois stands a good chance of cracking the BCS Top 16 and earning an at-large bid to a BCS bowl.

    It would be a magical conclusion for the type of career Lynch has put together with the Huskies.

10. Stanford

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    Shaw and the Cardinal will need to find an identity fast.
    Shaw and the Cardinal will need to find an identity fast.Stephen Lam/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 6

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Oregon State (Oct. 26), at USC (Nov. 16)

     

    The Skinny

    It’s been a rather unpredictable season for the Cardinal thus far.

    The team looked impressive in victories against Arizona State, Washington and UCLA—all ranked opponents at the time. However, Stanford seemed to struggle significantly in a loss against unranked Utah.

    In the victories, the team was careful with the ball and featured a defense that came up with the stops at all the right times. In the loss, the Cardinal looked vulnerable on defense and failed to make good decisions on offense.

    It makes you wonder which Stanford team we will see moving forward.

    Losses to the Beavers and USC will have the critics quick to doubt the team. On the other hand, the Cardinal will derail Oregon’s undefeated season.

    Needless to say, nothing more is expected from a team that has been rather inconsistent in 2013.

9. Oklahoma

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    Can Bell turn it around for the second half of the season?
    Can Bell turn it around for the second half of the season?Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 15

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: at Baylor (Nov. 7)

     

    The Skinny

    Quarterback Blake Bell was supposed to cure the Sooners’ issues at quarterback. And at first, the junior did just that.

    However, in recent weeks, he’s given us a glimpse as to why he was benched in the first place.

    After topping 210 yards and tossing six touchdowns (0 INT) in his first two starts, Bell has failed to throw for more than 160 yards and tossed just two touchdowns and three interceptions in his last three games. That includes a sub-par performance in Oklahoma’s only loss of the season—36-20 to Texas on Oct. 12.

    Fortunately, Bell has a defense that ranks in the Top 10 in several statistical categories that should bail him out.

    This weekend, the Sooners will get the second half of their season started right by knocking off undefeated Texas Tech in Norman.

    Beating the Bears at home on a Thursday night is nearly impossible for an offense that has fizzled lately. But after that, the schedule should be smooth sailing for Oklahoma.

    It should be enough for the team to earn a share of the Big 12 title.

8. Nebraska

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    The return of Martinez should save the Cornhuskers' season.
    The return of Martinez should save the Cornhuskers' season.Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 5-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 24

    Projected Record: 11-2

    Projected Losses: at Penn State (Nov. 23)

     

    The Skinny

    The Cornhuskers have to wonder why they are getting no respect in the polls.

    Sure, the team’s loss to UCLA was pretty embarrassing—giving up 38-straight points in a 41-21 loss. However, Nebraska has looked pretty dominant over the last three weeks.

    Even more impressive, the team has done so without starting quarterback Taylor Martinez (66.3 CMP%, 528 YDs, 9 TDs, 1 INT).

    With the senior closing in on a return, via ESPN’s Mitch Sherman, the Cornhuskers offense should receive a significant boost. That’s a scary thought considering the team already averages 42.7 points per game while boasting the nation’s No. 10-ranked rushing attack.

    It will be just enough to lead Nebraska on an improbable run to the Big Ten title.

    The team will slip up during its trip to Happy Valley. But other than that, the Cornhuskers will prove their worth by knocking off Big Ten giant Ohio State.

7. Miami

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    Golden and his Canes won't be able to navigate through two meetings with the Seminoles.
    Golden and his Canes won't be able to navigate through two meetings with the Seminoles.Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Current Record: 6-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 7

    Projected Record: 11-2

    Projected Losses: at Florida State (Nov. 2), vs. Florida State (ACC title game)

     

    The Skinny

    Everybody was quick to announce the Hurricanes’ return to prominence following the team’s stunning upset of then-No. 12 Florida.

    However, that Gators team is currently sitting at 4-3 and doesn’t look as formidable as they once did. Not to mention, Miami is coming off a game against a 1-4 North Carolina team where it needed a last-second touchdown just to survive.

    Were we quick to sing the praises of the Hurricanes?

    Although the team’s run game is solid behind the duo of Duke Johnson (92 CAR, 655 YDs, 4 TDs) and Dallas Crawford (58 CAR, 256 YDs, 9 TDs), the inconsistency of quarterback Stephen Morris (59.7 CMP%, 1,272 YDs, 9 TDs, 8 INTs) is a major concern.

    A Nov. 2 showdown with the Seminoles may end badly for Miami. But fortunately, the team’s schedule poses no remaining threats other than a Virginia Tech squad that has scored more than 20 points just three times in seven games.

    Expect the Hurricanes to run the table after the Florida State loss only to meet the Seminoles once again in the ACC title game.

    The result shouldn’t be any different the second time around.

6. Ohio State

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    The Buckeyes' hopes will slip out of their grasps at the last second.
    The Buckeyes' hopes will slip out of their grasps at the last second.Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Current Record: 7-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 4

    Projected Record: 12-1

    Projected Losses: vs. Nebraska (Big Ten title game)

     

    The Skinny

    Head coach Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes are both chasing feats.

    More specifically, they’re trying to put together back-to-back perfect regular seasons. For Meyer, he’s also trying to surpass Tommy Bowden’s 20-0 mark with Auburn (1993-94) as the best start by any coach with a new team.

    After beating Michigan in a close contest during the season finale, Meyer and Ohio State will both accomplish their goal. Unfortunately, a berth in the BCS title game won’t be awaiting them.

    The team can thank a Big Ten title game loss to Nebraska for that.

    The Wolverines are the only ranked opponent remaining on the Buckeyes' schedule. But for a team coming off a back-and-forth tilt with unranked Iowa and three straight wins decided by 10 points or less, any game could be a problem.

    Sure, Braxton Miller is playing some of his best football to date. However, the mistakes on defense will finally catch up to Ohio State when it comes face-to-face with a Nebraska team that is better than people give them credit for.

    All in all, it will be another disappointing season in Columbus.

5. Clemson

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    Boyd and the Tigers were hit by a brick wall last Saturday.
    Boyd and the Tigers were hit by a brick wall last Saturday.Tyler Smith/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 9

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: at South Carolina (Nov. 30)

     

    The Skinny

    The Tigers suffered the kind of loss that can derail a season last weekend.

    In front of a raucous Death Valley crowd on prime-time television, Clemson was thoroughly embarrassed by ACC rival Florida State. The team was out-gained, outplayed and out-hustled in a 51-14 thrashing.

    It’s one of those demoralizing defeats that make you wonder whether the Tigers can recover.

    Fortunately, a favorable schedule lies ahead. Only the Gamecocks on Nov. 30 remain as the sole ranked opponent on Clemson’s schedule.

    While it’s almost unfathomable that the Tigers get a chance to play for the BCS title—even the ACC title is a long-shot—the team still has a good chance to finish with its second straight 10-win season.

    However, the finale against South Carolina—winners of four straight in the head-to-head series—will serve as yet another letdown in a season that began with such high aspirations.

4. Texas A&M

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    Manziel will fight to get the Aggies to 10 wins.
    Manziel will fight to get the Aggies to 10 wins.Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images

    Current Record: 5-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 16

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: none

     

    The Skinny

    As long as the Aggies' defense continues to transform decent offenses into high-powered units, nothing quarterback Johnny Manziel does can prevent the team from losing. In fact, Texas A&M racked up over 600 yards of total offense in both of its losses.

    That’s pretty much unheard of.

    Through seven games, the team has given up an average of 33.9 points and 494.4 yards per game. The Aggies rank Nos. 104 and 120 in the categories, respectively.

    While it may not prove to be much of a problem against the team’s next three opponents, it could be all the difference in whether Texas A&M receives an at-large bid to a BCS bowl or not.

    That’s because the team wraps up the season with a pair of road trips to LSU and Missouri.

    Although the Aggies’ chances of victory may not be favorable in those contests, don’t expect Johnny Manziel to go down quietly.

    The sophomore should only continue his recent outburst—978 TOT YDs, 7 TDs—and lead Texas A&M on an impressive streak to close out the year. Even the defense might show up for a game or two.

3. Oregon

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    Mariota (center) and the Ducks will be on the outside looking in.
    Mariota (center) and the Ducks will be on the outside looking in.Steve Dykes/Getty Images

    Current Record: 7-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 2

    Projected Record: 12-1

    Projected Losses: at Stanford (Nov. 7)

     

    The Skinny

    In 2011, the Ducks stormed into Stanford Stadium and handed the 9-0 Cardinal their first loss of the season. The following year, Stanford made the trip to Eugene and ended 10-0 Oregon’s dream of a perfect season.

    This season, expect that tradition to continue.

    Sure, behind the nation’s No. 2-ranked offense that churns out 57.6 points per game, the Ducks look unstoppable. However, the team’s defense has looked a bit vulnerable over the last two weeks, conceding 31.0 points per game.

    Then of course, there’s the fact that since 2009, the Cardinal are 23-1 at home. 

    The loss will certainly be a letdown. But don’t expect the team to lose again.

    Quarterback Marcus Mariota will continue his Heisman campaign and lead Oregon undefeated the rest of the way, including the team’s fourth Pac-12 title in the last five years.

    Unfortunately, the Ducks will have to settle with a berth in the Rose Bowl instead of the BCS title game.

2. Florida State

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    Florida State has its fans thinking BCS title.
    Florida State has its fans thinking BCS title.Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Current Record: 6-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 2

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: None

     

    The Skinny

    The Seminoles proved their worth as a contender by trashing Clemson 51-14 on the road.

    Not only that, but it displayed that quarterback Jameis Winston has what it takes to lead a team to the national title. Picking up a Heisman Trophy along the way wouldn’t be too bad either.

    Backed by strong play on both sides of the ball, Florida State is a tough team to beat.

    On offense, the team ranks No. 3 in scoring (53.2 PPG), No. 5 in total offense, No. 10 in passing (341.3 YPG) and No. 28 in rushing (210.3 YPG). On the other side of the ball, the Seminoles rank No. 3 in scoring (12.3 PPGA), No. 6 in total defense (285.0 YPGA), No. 2 against the pass (158.0 YPGA) and No. 29 against the rush (127.0 YPGA).

    With a young quarterback, it will be interesting to see how the pressure of an undefeated campaign affects him as the season draws to a close. It will make almost every one of Florida State’s late-season contests one to keep an eye on.

    However, judging from early returns, Winston seems fully capable to navigate the team through all obstacles. That includes a Nov. 2 date with Miami and the ACC title game.

    But, can he top Alabama?

1. Alabama

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    Saban has turned winning into a lifestyle at Alabama.
    Saban has turned winning into a lifestyle at Alabama.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Current Record: 7-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 1

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: None

     

    The Skinny

    Through seven games, the Crimson Tide have done it better than anybody else.

    But as if opponents needed another reason to fear the team, consider this; Alabama has only gotten better as of late.

    Over the last five contests, the Tide have dominated opponents by an average score of 40.2-3.2. The team has allowed just 217.0 yards per game and held opponents under 100 yards on the ground in four of those games.

    But if a hard-nosed defense didn’t make Alabama tough enough, the team has been running up a storm as of late.

    Behind stellar play from running backs T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake, the team has racked up an average of 271.5 rushing yards per game in the last four contests. That includes gashing Arkansas for 352 yards just last weekend.

    Hosting LSU on Nov. 9, at Auburn on Nov. 30 and the SEC title game should all be tough outs. But, expect the trio to only battle test the Tide as they make a run for their third-straight BCS title and fourth in the last five years.

     

    All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of NCAA.com.

    For complete coverage and everything college football, you can reach Sebastian on Facebook, on Twitter and via e-mail at Sebastian.LenaBR@gmail.com