The newest BCS rankings are out, and they have the college football world talking.
With four teams undefeated, there's so much talk about which two teams should be playing in the national title. And then there's the discussion about who should be next in line should the either of the top two teams falter.
You can't forget about the battles for the few at-large spots in the BCS, either. Plenty of teams have strong arguments to earn invitations to college football's most prestigious games at the end of the year.
Since it's the final year before the four-team playoff is implemented, it's only appropriate that there's plenty of chaos.
Here's what the standings look like headed into Week 13.
|2||Florida State (10-0)||.9661|
|3||Ohio State (10-0)||.8869|
|10||Oklahoma State (9-1)||.5890|
|11||South Carolina (8-2)||.5883|
|12||Texas A&M (8-2)||.5394|
|13||Michigan State (9-1)||.4646|
|15||Fresno State (9-0)||.4134|
|16||Northern Illinois (10-0)||.3729|
|17||Arizona State (8-2)||.3414|
|18||Central Florida (8-1)||.3033|
|23||Southern California (8-3)||.1070|
The two most contentious spots were Nos. 3 and 4. It's not a foregone conclusion that either Alabama or Florida State will finish the season undefeated. That could open up a place for either Baylor or Ohio State. For the time being, the Buckeyes get the edge, according to the standings.
ESPN College Football had a breakdown between Ohio State and Baylor:
Tale of the Tape: #3 Ohio State vs #4 Baylor pic.twitter.com/jG30UVCGkr— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) November 18, 2013
Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel also looked ahead to whom the two schools have left on the schedule:
Ohio St and Baylor's remaining schedules are virtually identical. OSU's opponents (assuming MSU) are 20-10, Baylor's 19-11.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 18, 2013
Using Jerry Palm's expanded BCS rankings, Baylor's last 3 foes are ranked 10th, 75th and 28th. Ohio State's are 72nd, 30th and 13th.— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 18, 2013
Buckeye Nation thinks OSU isn't getting enough credit for its 12-0 season last year:
Clearly the least-celebrated 22-game winning streak for a major BCS-level program in college football history. #NoRespect— Buckeye Nation (@Buckeye_Nation) November 18, 2013
At least the Bears can be satisfied with having the highest ranking in school history, via Baylor football's Twitter account. That's something to celebrate:
Baylor climbs to No. 4 in new BCS Rankings, highest rank in school history. Face No. 10 Oklahoma St. Saturday. #SicEm— Baylor Football (@BUFootball) November 18, 2013
Plus, as FoxSports.com's Clay Travis points out, surely Baylor will eventually get ahead of Ohio State in the standings. With games against Oklahoma State and Texas, the Bears have plenty of showcase games left:
Told y'all three weeks ago Baylor would pass Ohio State. It's a done deal if the Bears keep winning. Margin is now .001.— Clay Travis (@ClayTravisBGID) November 18, 2013
Bleacher Report's Samuel Chi reported how close it was between OSU and Baylor swapping positions:
How close was tOSU and Baylor? Had 3 coaches (out of 62) or 6 Harris (out of 105) flip votes, Baylor would've been ahead— BCS Guru (@BCSGuru) November 18, 2013
A lot of speculation also centered on how far Stanford would fall after its loss to USC. The Cardinal would end up being ranked ninth, the highest ranking for any two-loss team, via Stanford football's Twitter account:
The aforementioned Cowboys were bumped up into 10th. That means the game between the Cowboys and Baylor on Saturday night will feature two Top-10 teams, per ESPN.com's Jake Trotter. That game carries that added significance now:
Baylor-Oklahoma State will be a top 10 matchup; Cowboys 10th— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) November 18, 2013
As ESPNWisconsin.com's Zach Heilprin pointed out, it was a good week for the Big Ten, with both Wisconsin and Michigan State taking big jumps from last week. The Badgers went from 22nd to 19th, while the Spartans made the leap from 16th to 13th:
#Badgers jumped Oklahoma, LSU and Louisville. Tied with Michigan State for the biggest jump from last week.— Zach Heilprin (@ZachHeilprin) November 18, 2013
Minnesota also sneaked into the Top 25. The Golden Gophers have had a tough season, with Jerry Kill suffering a seizure back in October. ESPN.com's Austin Ward thinks it's a big accomplishment for Minnesota just to have cracked the rankings:
Minnesota isn't really in the conversation, but checking in at No. 25 is remarkable for that program. Gives Big Ten four in the standings.— Austin Ward (@AWardESPN) November 18, 2013
Lost in the shuffle a bit is Fresno State. The Bulldogs hold on to their automatic spot in the BCS, even after dropping to 15th. As the Bulldogs' Twitter account established, all that matters is remaining ahead of Northern Illinois and having UCF outside the top 16:
Fresno State moves down one spot in the BCS to #15 but most importantly, still ahead of NIU and Central Florida. #GoDogs— FresnoStateFootball (@FSfootbalIinfo) November 18, 2013
With so few weeks left in the regular season, it will be fun to see what surprises the BCS standings have left. There are so many big games remaining that you could see quite a bit of movement between now and bowl season.