The BCS system is never going to be perfect. Fans are constantly clamoring about teams that are ranked too high or too low, teams that are in the Top 25 standings that shouldn’t be or those on the outside that should be ranked.
I’m here to focus on the latter, as there are a number of intriguing programs lurking just outside the Top 25 of the latest BCS rankings that seem close to breaking through.
With only a few weeks left on the season, here are a few schools to keep an eye on down the stretch, as they look poised to make a run into the Top 25.
|2||Florida State (8-0)||.9525|
|4||Ohio State (9-0)||.8720|
|11||Miami (FL) (7-1)||.5246|
|12||South Carolina (7-2)||.5111|
|14||Oklahoma State (7-1)||.4395|
|15||Texas A&M (7-2)||.4365|
|16||Fresno State (8-0)||.3675|
|17||Michigan State (8-1)||.3394|
|18||Northern Illinois (9-0)||.3169|
|22||Arizona State (6-2)||.1770|
|23||Notre Dame (7-2)||.1662|
|25||Texas Tech (7-2)||.0986|
Texas Longhorns Lurking
The Longhorns stumbled out of the gate, with many calling for Mack Brown’s job as the head coach of this program.
However, since the back-to-back losses to BYU and Ole Miss—plus a referee-gifted win over Iowa State—Texas has been rock solid.
With wins over then-No. 12 Oklahoma, TCU and Kansas in the rearview, the Longhorns are now primed for a late surge up the rankings. The team has a very winnable matchup with West Virginia on tap this Saturday, but soon things get more difficult.
Should Texas navigate its way past No. 14 Oklahoma State, No. 25 Texas Tech and No. 6 Baylor to cap off the 2013 regular campaign, the school will be crowned the champion of the Big 12 and near the very top of the standings.
It’s an extremely tough road, but this squad is firing on all cylinders right now and shouldn’t be counted out yet.
Ole Miss Rebels Down But Not Out
The Rebels’ record isn’t pretty on paper—they are just 5-3 with a 2-3 record in the SEC—but this team has faced the toughest opponents and fared well.
Besides an ugly 35-0 loss to No. 1 Alabama, Ole Miss put up a fight in each one of its losses. The Rebels fell to now-No. 9 Auburn by just eight points and now-No. 15 Texas A&M squeezed out a narrow 41-38 victory back on Oct. 12
Will Ole Miss finish the season ranked?
A huge win over then-No. 6 LSU put the Rebels back on the map, proving that this young roster has plenty of heart and continues to improve on a weekly basis.
As long as this program doesn’t fall apart against Arkansas on Saturday and takes care of business against Troy the following week, it should find itself ranked in time for a showdown with the No. 8 Missouri Tigers on Nov. 23.
The Rebels are an underrated team that have only had one bad performance in 2013, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see them with a number next to their name in a week or two.
Brigham Young Cougars Could Make a Run
The Cougars may be the most under-the-radar squad in all of college football.
While BYU admittedly struggled in the early portion of the campaign—falling to Virginia and Utah—it put together a quality win over the aforementioned Longhorns.
Since the 20-13 defeat to the Utes, BYU has yet to drop a contest and has faced some respectable opponents. However, the school’s true test comes this Saturday against ranked Wisconsin.
Should the Cougars edge the No. 24 Badgers, they will almost certainly be within the confines of the Top 25.
The BCS system loves their body of work, with Jeff Sagarin ranking them No. 13, the Colley Rankings awarding them a No. 18 spot and Anderson & Hester doling out a No. 19 ranking for this group.
No. 23 Notre Dame poses another threat on Nov. 23, but it also gives the Cougars yet another shot at making a significant leap up the polls.
If BYU can knock off both Wisconsin and the Fighting Irish, it may be a Top-15 team at year’s end.