BCS Rankings 2013: Predicting the Final BCS Rankings

Sebastian Lena@SP7988Analyst INovember 12, 2013

BCS Rankings 2013: Predicting the Final BCS Rankings

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    With just a month remaining in the college football season, the final BCS rankings are beginning to take shape.

    Oregon’s surprising loss has opened the door for several contenders. At the same time, it moved Stanford to the head of the class among one-loss teams.

    More specifically, it moved the BCS one step closer to ultimate chaos.

    But instead of waiting for the final month to unravel, why not take a guess as to how everything will unfold?

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


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

25. LSU

1 of 25

    Current Record: 7-3

    Current BCS Ranking: 21

    Projected Record: 8-4

    Projected Losses: vs. Texas A&M (Nov. 23)


    The Skinny

    It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the LSU Tigers.

    Following its 38-17 loss to Alabama last weekend, the team has now lost two straight games to FBS opponents. That includes struggling to beat FCS foe Furman in between.

    It’s a complete fall from grace for an LSU squad that raced out to a 5-1 record while averaging 45.5 points per game over that span. Since then, the team has only managed 26.5 per game.

    Don’t expect things to get better against the Texas A&M Aggies and quarterback Johnny Manziel, who has saved some of his best football for the stretch run.

    Head coach Les Miles can’t be pleased by how this season has turned.

24. Georgia

2 of 25

    Current Record: 6-3

    Current BCS Ranking: 25

    Projected Record: 8-4

    Projected Losses: at Auburn (Nov. 16)


    The Skinny

    The Georgia Bulldogs let out some frustration last weekend during their 45-6 victory over Appalachian State. It marked just the second game all season that had been decided by more than two touchdowns.

    It’s been that kind of year for Georgia.

    Things were looking up after four games. The team had won three of those contests—including two against Top 10 opponents—and the Bulldogs looked like a real threat to the SEC title.

    Instead, several key injuries derailed a rather promising season.

    Now, Georgia just looks to try to regain some respect by finishing out strong.

    A big win against the Auburn Tigers would go a long way towards that. However, quarterback Aaron Murray just doesn’t seem to have enough healthy weapons remaining to pull off the upset.

    That’s just how it’s gone in Athens this year.

23. Oklahoma

3 of 25

    Current Record: 7-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 18

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Oklahoma State (Dec. 7)


    The Skinny

    This would be a completely different season if the Oklahoma Sooners had even a decent quarterback.

    The defense has been the story of the year. The unit has been playing its heart out, even holding Baylor’s prolific offense to just three points in the first quarter of last weekend’s loss.

    Had the offense been able to convert a touchdown on just one of its three scoring chances in the first 20 minutes, Oklahoma might have walked out of Waco with an impressive upset win.

    Instead, we all got a glimpse at just how bad the offense is this year. The team totaled just 237 yards of offense—the Sooners’ lowest output since 2007.

    With inefficiencies on that side of the ball, don’t expect Oklahoma to be able to keep up with the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Bedlam game this year.

22. Fresno State (MWC Champion)

4 of 25

    Current Record: 9-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 14

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: at San Jose State (Nov. 29)


    The Skinny

    Behind the play of quarterback Derek Carr (69.5 CMP%, 3,421 YDs, 32 TDs, 4 INTs, 152.3 RAT), the Fresno State Bulldogs have had one of the nation’s most prolific offenses. Through nine games, the team averages 546.6 yards and 44.3 points per game.

    However, the defense hasn’t been keeping up its end of the bargain, conceding 416.1 yards and 26.9 points per game.

    That could be a problem against a San Jose State Spartans offense that ranks No. 29 in total offense (466.6 YPG). The team has also won four of its past five games.

    Did we mention the game was on the road and could likely be the last remaining obstacle standing in Fresno State’s way of a perfect season?

    The pressure will be a little too much for a team that has previously shown its vulnerabilities on the road. In fact, three of Carr’s four interceptions have come away from home.

    That spells trouble.

21. Arizona State

5 of 25

    Current Record: 7-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 19

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at UCLA (Nov. 23)


    The Skinny

    The Arizona State Sun Devils have been on quite a roll. The team has won four in a row while scoring 53 or more points in three of those games.

    Last weekend, Arizona State proved it can win with defense, securing a key, late-game interception to snuff out Utah’s upset bid in a 20-19 win.

    It all adds to what has been a pretty surprising season for the team. The Sun Devils rank No. 9 in scoring (43.7 PPG) and No. 55 in scoring defense (25.2 PPG).

    Led by the strong play of quarterback Taylor Kelly (62.8 CMP%, 2,961 TOT YDs, 31 TDs, 8 INTs, 146.7 RAT), the team will have a good chance to secure an improbable 10-win season.

    However, a road trip to face the UCLA Bruins might prove to be a little too much for Arizona State.

    All in all, it’s hard to look at this year as anything but positive.

20. Ole Miss

6 of 25

    Current Record: 6-3

    Current BCS Ranking: N/A

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Ole Miss Rebels had a first half of the season to forget.

    Following a 3-0 start, the team promptly lost each of its next three games. To add to that, Ole Miss suffered several injuries to key contributors on defense.

    Did we mention that four of the team’s first five games were on the road?

    Thankfully, six of the Rebels' last seven games are scheduled to be at home. The team is already 3-1 in that stretch.

    That includes a close 41-38 loss to Texas A&M and an impressive 27-24 victory over then-No. 6 LSU.

    Now, just a visit from Missouri is all that stands in Ole Miss’ way of finishing the season on a six-game win streak.

19. Louisville

7 of 25

    Current Record: 8-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 20

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Louisville Cardinals were rolling along smoothly, winning each of their first six games.

    Although a long shot, a shot at the BCS title was still in play. Furthermore, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was making a strong run at the Heisman Trophy.

    A 38-35 loss to UCF changed all of that.

    Now, the team is fighting just to remain inside the Top 20. Not to mention, Bridgewater is all but out of the running for the Heisman.

    But that doesn’t mean Louisville should be expected to collapse. Especially since the team has won its past two games by a combined score of 65-13.

    Unfortunately, it’s all just a little too late.

18. Texas A&M

8 of 25

    Current Record: 8-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 11

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Missouri (Nov. 30)


    The Skinny

    A lousy defense will be the undoing of the Aggies.

    Through 10 games, the team ranks No. 104 in total defense (454.4 YPG) and No. 89 in scoring defense (30.9 PPG). In fact, Texas A&M have allowed seven opponents to score 28 points or more thus far.

    Quarterback Johnny Manziel can only be expected to do so much.

    Although the sophomore has been terrific this season (73.0 CMP%, 3,924 TOT YDs, 39 TDs, 11 INTs, 186.9 RAT), he has also been more prone to mistakes over the last couple of weeks. Manziel has thrown six interceptions in the past four games.

    That, along with porous play from the defense, will be the Aggies’ downfall against a Missouri Tigers team that ranks No. 15 in total offense (492.6 YPG) and No. 4 in interceptions (17).

    It certainly doesn’t help that the contest will be played on the road.

17. Miami

9 of 25

    Current Record: 7-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 23

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: None


    The Skinny

    Two weeks ago, the Miami Hurricanes were one of college football’s biggest surprises. Now, the team is one loss away from being one of its biggest disappointments.

    How quickly things can change.

    While nobody expected Miami to beat Florida State back on Nov. 2, the team was supposed to at least put up a fight. Instead, the Hurricanes embarrassed themselves, falling 41-14 while losing running back Duke Johnson for the remainder of the season.

    Miami followed that up with a humiliating 42-24 loss to Virginia Tech at home.

    On the bright side, quarterback Stephen Morris looked better against the Hokies, throwing for 324 yards and two touchdowns. However, a road trip to a surprisingly decent Duke squad awaits.

    All things considered, the Hurricanes should manage to maneuver the rest of the season unscathed.

    But given the team’s 7-0 start, the second half can be chalked up to nothing more than utter disappointment.

16. UCLA

10 of 25

    Current Record: 7-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 13

    Projected Record: 10-3

    Projected Losses: vs. Stanford (Pac-12 title game)


    The Skinny

    The injury to running back Jordon James (80 CAR, 471 YDs, 5 TDs) has ruined what looked to be a very promising season for the Bruins.

    After looking impressive through the team’s first four games, the junior has missed four of the past five. Furthermore, he only managed eight yards on six carries against Colorado in his only appearance.

    Surprisingly, UCLA’s only successful performance on the ground since that injury has come from its defense. More specifically, linebacker Myles Jack, who rushed for 120 yards and a touchdown on six carries last weekend.

    But the Bruins can’t expect Jack to carry them the rest of the way. Others will need to step up in the backfield if James can’t return anytime soon.

    Fortunately, the play of quarterback Brett Hundley should be enough to get UCLA to its second consecutive Pac-12 title game.

    However, just like last year, the team will fall to the Stanford Cardinal.

15. Oklahoma State

11 of 25

    Current Record: 8-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 12

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: at Texas (Nov. 16)


    The Skinny

    Picked to be the preseason Big 12 favorites, the Cowboys are finally playing like it.

    The team has scored 42 or more points in each of its past three games. That includes an impressive 52-34 victory over then-No. 15 Texas Tech.

    All of that wouldn’t have been possible without the play of running back Desmond Roland. The junior has rushed for 359 yards and eight touchdowns in that span.

    Even quarterback Clint Chelf has played admirably.

    However, Oklahoma State still has far too many holes that will ultimately prove to be its downfall.

    Although the team should put an end to Baylor’s undefeated season on Nov. 23, the Cowboys will be caught looking ahead the previous week against a weak Texas Longhorns team.

14. Wisconsin

12 of 25

    Current Record: 7-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 22

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    A missed call by Pac-12 officials in a 32-30 loss to Arizona State back on Sept. 14 is still haunting the Wisconsin Badgers. In fact, it could be the only thing stopping the team from a spot in the Top 10 and a potential at-large berth into a BCS Bowl.

    Other than that, Wisconsin has been terrific.

    Led by running back Melvin Gordon, the team has one of the most high-powered rushing attacks in the nation. The sophomore has rushed for 1,160 yards and 11 touchdowns on 143 carries. That includes rushing for at least 140 yards and a score in six of the Badgers nine games.

    Besides a road trip to face Minnesota, Wisconsin shouldn’t have too much trouble the rest of the way.

    It’ll be a summer of “what-if” for the Badgers.

13. Missouri

13 of 25

    Current Record: 9-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 9

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: at Ole Miss (Nov. 23)


    The Skinny

    The Tigers are one quarter away from being 10-0 right now.

    During a 27-24, double-overtime loss to South Carolina on Oct. 26, the team entered the fourth quarter leading 17-0. Unfortunately, Missouri’s defense let up and the Gamecocks rallied to pull off an improbable upset.

    Not only did that loss cost the Tigers a shot at the BCS title, but it may also prove to be what keeps them out of the SEC title game as well.

    Sure, the team has looked impressive over the past two games, winning by a combined score of 79-20. However, Missouri’s vulnerabilities on defense were exposed against South Carolina.

    Expect a resurgent Ole Miss squad to take advantage of that on Nov. 23.

    All things considered, a 10-win season in the SEC is nothing to feel down about for head coach Gary Pinkel and his troops.

12. UCF (AAC Champion)

14 of 25

    Current Record: 7-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 17

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Life is good for the UCF Knights.

    The team pulled off a stunning 38-35 upset of then-No. 8 Louisville on Oct. 18. UCF followed that up by surviving its toughest remaining opponent in Houston last weekend, winning 19-14.

    Now, the team plays four opponents with a combined record of 11-22.

    The Knights’ biggest asset has been the strong play of their defense. The unit currently ranks No. 23 in total defense (351.3 YPG) and No. 12 in scoring defense (18.6). In fact, the team has held five of eight opponents to 17 points or less thus far.

    UCF could potentially ride its defense to a potential berth in a BCS bowl game.

    Wouldn’t that be something?

11. Northern Illinois (MAC Champion)

15 of 25

    Current Record: 9-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 15

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Over the next two weeks, we’ll get a real good glimpse of what the Northern Illinois Huskies are made of.

    The team is set to take on 9-1 Ball State and 6-3 Toledo next. Wins against those two would leave Northern Illinois just a win against 1-9 Western Michigan to wrap up a perfect regular season.

    With dual-threat quarterback Jordan Lynch under center, the team should be just fine.

    Through nine games, the senior has thrown for 1,871 yards, 19 touchdowns and five interceptions on 63.6 percent passing. He’s also added another 1,150 yards and 12 scores on the ground. That includes throwing for at least 150 yards and rushing for at least 80 yards seven times.

    It’s almost a lock that the Huskies will finish undefeated and earn a second straight at-large BCS berth.

10. Clemson

16 of 25

    Current Record: 8-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 8

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: at South Carolina (Nov. 30)


    The Skinny

    The Clemson Tigers have stayed out of the headlines since their loss to Florida State on Oct. 19. A game in which the team dropped in embarrassing fashion, 51-14, in front of its home fans.

    Since then, it’s been anything but pretty for Clemson.

    Although the team had no trouble tossing aside Virginia, 59-10, the Tigers struggled to put away Maryland on Oct. 26. In fact, the team had to rely on 21 fourth-quarter points to pull away.

    That gives reason for concern with matchups remaining against Georgia Tech and the South Carolina Gamecocks.

    While the Yellow Jackets shouldn’t prove to be too much of an obstacle for Clemson, South Carolina is another story. Especially with quarterback Connor Shaw and running back Mike Davis playing at such a high level.

    Still, it will be another 10-win season for the Tigers.

9. South Carolina

17 of 25

    Current Record: 7-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 10

    Projected Record: 10-3

    Projected Losses: vs. Alabama (SEC title game)


    The Skinny

    Following a 23-21 loss to Tennessee, the Gamecocks' season looked set to spiral out of control. The team didn’t help matters by falling behind 17-0 heading into the fourth quarter against Missouri the next week.

    Fortunately, quarterback Connor Shaw helped South Carolina climb out of that hole and pull off a sensational upset. The team capitalized on that effort by putting away Mississippi State, 34-16, the following week.

    Now, a Top 10 finish and a berth in the SEC title game look all but likely.

    The Gamecocks only have one conference game remaining, against Florida—losers of four straight. Win that and the team will need just a Tigers loss to win the SEC East.

    It all makes for a magical turn of events to a season that looked to be in real danger just a couple of weeks ago.

8. Michigan State (Big Ten Champion)

18 of 25

    Current Record: 8-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 16

    Projected Record: 11-2

    Projected Losses: at Nebraska (Nov. 16)


    The Skinny

    The Michigan State Spartans capped off their surge to relevancy by battering in-state rival Michigan, 29-6, on Nov. 2.

    In the win, the team limited the Wolverines to just 168 total yards of offense. That includes just minus-48 yards on the ground—the fewest in Michigan history.

    Don’t expect quarterback Connor Cook to strike fear in the hearts of opponents. However, the sophomore has played better as of late, throwing for 460 yards, four touchdowns and one interception on 33-of-49 passing. He’s also added another score on the ground.

    On the other hand, running back Jeremy Langford has been hitting his stride at just the right time. The junior has rushed for over 100 yards in four consecutive games, finding the end zone six times in that span.

    Michigan State will suffer a setback against Nebraska this weekend. But with all the pieces coming together at the right time, along with a late loss by the Cornhuskers, the Spartans will have just enough to propel themselves to a Big Ten title over Ohio State and a berth into the Rose Bowl.

7. Auburn

19 of 25

    Current Record: 9-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 7

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: vs. Alabama (Nov. 30)


    The Skinny

    The Tigers have had one heck of a season this year.

    Everyone expected first-year head coach Gus Malzahn to bring about improvement to the struggling program. But nobody expected the team to be this good. In fact, Auburn has the best shot of derailing Alabama’s quest for a third consecutive BCS title.

    Who would have ever thought?

    Through 10 games, the Tigers have been lighting up the scoreboard like it’s nobody’s business. The team has scored 30 points or more in six straight games.

    The nation’s No. 3-ranked rushing attack (320.0 YPG) is a big part of that.

    Running back Tre Mason (181 CAR, 1,038 YDs, 16 TDs) has been the core of the attack. The junior has rushed for at least 100 yards in four of the past five games while finding the end zone 11 times in that span.

    Quarterback Nick Marshall (104 CAR, 734 YDs, 7 TDs) has been just as impressive on the ground.

    But all the improvement in the world won’t be enough for Auburn to stop the run of the Alabama Crimson Tide. The team is just too good at this point.

    However, there’s nothing wrong with winning 10 games a year after recording just three.

6. Ohio State

20 of 25

    Current Record: 9-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 3

    Projected Record: 12-1

    Projected Losses: vs. Michigan State (Big Ten title game)


    The Skinny

    The Ohio State Buckeyes will pull off the improbable feat of recording back-to-back undefeated regular seasons. Furthermore, head coach Urban Meyer will become the first coach to accomplish the feat in his first two seasons with a new school.

    Unfortunately, all of that won’t be enough to secure a trip to the BCS title game.

    In fact, it won’t even be enough to help Meyer capture his first Big Ten title.

    Ohio State will fall to the surprisingly good Spartans. A team that has used a stifling defense—ranked No. 1 in total defense (210.2 YPG) and No. 3 in scoring defense (11.6 PPG)—to rise up the ranks.

    There’s no doubt the Buckeyes have played some of their best football as of late, winning its past two games by a combined score of 109-14. However, other than Wisconsin, who has the team really faced?

    Meyer will be set to get his first taste of what has become somewhat of a tradition at Ohio State in recent years: end-of-season disappointment.

5. Baylor (Big 12 Champion)

21 of 25

    Current Record: 8-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 5

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: at Oklahoma State (Nov. 23)


    The Skinny

    With many fans, critics and media members alike doubting their credibility, the Baylor Bears certainly proved a lot of folks wrong with a 41-12 win over Oklahoma last Thursday.

    The team looked dominant on both ends. The offense put up 459 yards on a Sooners defense that came in ranked in the top 10 while the defense was lights out, holding Oklahoma to just 237 total yards—the team’s lowest output since 2007.

    Not only did Baylor prove that it was for real, but the team also appears to be a viable threat for the BCS title.

    The rest of the schedule won’t be easy, with games remaining against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas. However, the Bears shouldn’t have too much trouble in those games.

    That is, except the game against the Cowboys.

    With only three games standing in its way of an undefeated season, expect Baylor to give into the pressure. Especially on the road against a team finally hitting its stride.

    All in all, a Top 10 ranking, a Big 12 title and a berth into the Fiesta Bowl is not that bad of a consolation prize for the Bears.

4. Oregon

22 of 25

    Current Record: 8-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 6

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    For the second straight season, the Oregon Ducks' perfect season and national title aspirations came to a halt thanks to Stanford.

    The final score of last weekend’s loss, 26-20, makes the game look a lot closer than it really was. In actuality, it was anything but that. In fact, Oregon was held scoreless for three quarters.

    An offense that came in ranked as one of the most explosive in the country was limited to just 312 yards of total offense. More surprisingly, a rushing attack that averaged over 300 yards per game only mustered 62 yards on 24 carries (2.6 YPC).

    Quarterback Marcus Mariota didn’t do much to help Oregon's chances, or his Heisman hopes, racking up just 234 yards of total offense.

    The Ducks shouldn’t have too much trouble finishing the season unscathed, but a Pac-12 title will once again be out of the picture.

3. Stanford (Pac-12 Champion)

23 of 25

    Current Record: 8-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 4

    Projected Record: 12-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Who saw this one coming?

    After losing to unranked Utah on Oct. 12, the Cardinal were as good as done. Especially since the team had three straight ranked opponents coming up next.

    Surprisingly, Stanford won all three of those games in impressive fashion.

    Entering that stretch, the team’s defense had been questionable at best. The secondary seemed prone to give up yards, and opposing quarterbacks had their way against the Cardinal.

    But in those three games, the team conceded just four passing touchdowns. Even more impressive when you consider that the quarterbacks that Stanford shut down were Brett Hundley (UCLA), Sean Mannion (Oregon State) and Marcus Mariota (Oregon).

    Not to mention, running back Tyler Gaffney has been playing out of his mind as of late.

    The senior rushed for 473 yards and six touchdowns in those three games. That includes performances of 171 and 157 yards.

    With games remaining against USC, Cal and Notre Dame, nothing seems to stand in the Cardinal’s way of another Pac-12 title.

    And if Florida State or Alabama somehow lose, a shot at the BCS title remains a real possibility.

2. Florida State (ACC Champions)

24 of 25

    Current Record: 9-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 2

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    When it comes to college football’s biggest surprise, people all want to point to Auburn, Missouri or Baylor.

    But what about the Florida State Seminoles?

    Sure, the team was projected to be a very good team. However, nobody expected quarterback Jameis Winston and Florida State to be playing the way they have.

    The team can thank tremendous play from both sides of the ball for its success.

    Through nine games, the Seminoles rank No. 2 in scoring (52.0 PPG) and No. 9 in total offense (521.0 YPG). On the other hand, the team’s defense has ranked No. 4 in scoring (12.0 PPG) and No. 4 in total defense (274.1 YPG).

    But the play of Winston, a redshirt freshman, has been the most impressive aspect of Florida State’s season.

    Every challenge that has been presented, he has answered. That includes dominating victories over then-No. 3 Clemson (51-14) and then-No. 7 Miami (41-14).

    With the team’s remaining three opponents having a combined record of 10-19, who is going to stop the Seminoles?

1. Alabama (SEC Champion)

25 of 25

    Current Record: 9-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 1

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Many have tried, but none have come close to unseating the Crimson Tide from the top of the rankings.

    Last Saturday, with a 38-17 victory over LSU, the team made one thing clear: Alabama has no plans to give up the top ranking anytime soon.

    The team proved dominant on both sides of the ball. On offense, the Tide managed to score at least 38 points for the fifth consecutive game. Defensively, the unit held an opponent under 20 points for the eighth time all year.

    While the rushing attack (208.8 YPG) and defense may get all of the credit, a lot of it really belongs to quarterback AJ McCarron.

    Through nine games, the senior has thrown for 2,041 yards, 19 touchdowns and just three interceptions on 69.4 percent passing. He also has registered a career-high adjusted QBR of 83.3.

    McCarron is making a serious, late-season push at the Heisman.

    For a quarterback looking to win his fourth BCS title and third in a row, who’s to say he doesn’t deserve it?


    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.