Sunday evening marked the third release of the 2013 BCS standings, and while there was some movement in the Top 25, the most notable change came near the top of the rankings.
Four of the top six teams had bye weeks, including the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, who remain atop the rankings. The Oregon Ducks, who were ranked second last week, were also not playing, and it cost them.
The Florida State Seminoles were in action, making a big statement in a dominant 41-14 victory over the previous No. 7 Miami (Fla.) Hurricanes. It was enough to leapfrog the Ducks and position themselves for a possible national championship matchup.
Here is a glance at the rankings as they currently stand:
Source: ESPN broadcast
Ohio State held firm in fourth, but beating a poor Purdue team 56-0 on the road, while important for a Big Ten championship run, won't earn the Buckeyes any style points that the BCS computers covet:
#Buckeyes - 21-0 record - remain #4 in BCS poll behind Alabama, FSU & Oregon.— Jim Heath (@JimHeath10TV) November 4, 2013
Head coach Urban Meyer may be 21-0 to kick off his tenure in Columbus, but Ohio State will be excluded from national title discussions as long as the teams ahead of them remain undefeated.
With the modest amount of turbulence in college football, the reaction on social media didn't reflect any revelatory sentiment. The BCS is often not short on controversy, but this week is a different matter.
The idle Stanford Cardinal and Baylor Bears didn't move out of their previous fifth or sixth slots respectively. However, this coming Thursday will go a long way in determining their fates moving forward.
Stanford hosts Oregon in a Pac-12 clash, with the Ducks hoping to avenge last year's loss, while the Bears do battle in the Big 12 with the No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners in Waco.
If Oregon is able to emerge with a win away from Eugene, it is likely the Ducks will return to the No. 2 slot in next week's standings.
As for the social media reaction, ESPNU personality Danny Kanell brought up an excellent point concerning the Crimson Tide's schedule, which is comparable to that of Oregon and Florida State:
It is shocking to me that Oregon and FSU's schedules are the only ones debated for strength. Has anyone seen Alabama's schedule??? #weak— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) November 4, 2013
Ira Schoffel of the Tallahassee Democrat, perhaps with a bit of home bias, believes that the Seminoles have proven themselves enough to be a legitimate No. 2 team, and it will be up to Oregon to prove otherwise:
If FSU keeps playing at this level, I still think the voters will get them in the game. I think the onus will be on Oregon to look better.— Ira Schoffel/TDO.com (@IraSchoffel) November 4, 2013
That isn't likely to be a popular opinion, but it is at least food for thought considering Florida State's resume to date.
To foster the debate among the top-flight teams, ESPN's College Football Twitter account posted those programs' remaining schedules:
1 BAMA: vs #13 LSU, @ MSST, CHAT, @ #9 AUB 2 FSU: @ WAKE, CUSE, IDHO, @ UF 3 UO: @ #5 STAN, UTAH, @ ARIZ, ORST 4 OSU: @ ILL, IND, @ MICH— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 4, 2013
Brent Sobleski of USA Today believes that Baylor will defeat Oklahoma and jump over the Buckeyes for the No. 4 spot in next week's rankings as a result:
Saw the BCS rankings recently released. I'll say this, Baylor beats Oklahoma then the Bears leapfrog Ohio State for No.4 spot.— Brent Sobleski (@brentsobleski) November 4, 2013
As for some of the other teams not among college football's elite, B/R BCS guru Samuel Chi provided his take on why Northern Illinois isn't placed higher despite a 9-0 record:
My take on voter antipathy toward NIU: Came from bad Orange Bowl loss. Don't want them in BCS game again.— BCS Guru (@BCSGuru) November 4, 2013
Fresno State noted its superiority in its spot in the Top 25, and the No. 21 spot for UCF marks the Knights' highest ranking ever:
The No. 21 ranking for UCF tonight is the Knights' highest showing in the history of the BCS standings #ChargeOn— UCF Football (@UCF_Football) November 4, 2013
In a look to the future, CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd provided his projections for which teams will play in the BCS bowl games:
BCS projections from 35,000 feet. champ: Alabama-Ore. Sugar: Auburn/Miss-Clemson, Orange: FSU-UCF, Rose: Stan-Ohio St, Fiesta: Baylor-Fresno— Dennis Dodd (@dennisdoddcbs) November 4, 2013
The real winner overall, though, was yet again the two-time reigning national champion Crimson Tide. Head coach Nick Saban had a segment about him building the Alabama powerhouse on 60 Minutes while the BCS standings were being revealed:
This may be the first time in history Alabama fans have bounced back and forth incessantly between BCS Countdown and "60 Minutes."— Paul Finebaum (@finebaum) November 4, 2013
Until any team proves capable of knocking off Alabama, Saban and Co. will remain in the top spot, leaving a second prospective opponent in the national championship game to be determined.