BCS Rankings 2013: Predicting the Final BCS Rankings

Sebastian Lena@SP7988Analyst INovember 19, 2013

BCS Rankings 2013: Predicting the Final BCS Rankings

0 of 25

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

    In the Big 12, Baylor keeps continuing its improbable charge toward an undefeated season. However, neither Florida State nor Alabama look prone to drop a game anytime soon. In other news, with a loss to unranked USC, Stanford makes a strong case for the birth of a new term: Stanfording.

    It all goes to hint at a rather unpredictable and controversial finish in 2013.

    But instead of waiting until all of the games are completed to see where each team stacks up, why not take a stab at predicting the full final Top 25?

    Join B/R as we make a prediction of the final BCS rankings.

25. LSU

1 of 25

    Current Record: 7-3

    Current BCS Ranking: 22

    Projected Record: 8-4

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


    The Skinny

    The Tigers had a bye week to regroup.

    It’s a break that was much needed after the team lost to Alabama, 38-17, on Nov. 9. Especially because LSU has now lost two straight contests to FBS opponents while not looking too great against FCS foe Furman in between.

    Things will not get any easier against Heisman hopeful Johnny Manziel and the Aggies this weekend.

    Given Texas A&M’s ability to put up points in bunches, the Tigers will have to rediscover the punch to their offense that helped them average 45.5 points per game over the first six games. Since then, the team has only mustered 26.5 points per game.

    It’s a season full of “what ifs” for LSU.

24. Georgia

2 of 25

    Current Record: 6-4

    Current BCS Ranking: n/a

    Projected Record: 8-4

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Aaron Murray and the Bulldogs are probably still having nightmares about the loss against Auburn. 

    After rallying for 21 points in the fourth quarter, Georgia looked poised to steal a win from the Tigers. More importantly, the team positioned itself for a long-shot chance at capturing a berth into the SEC title game.

    It would have been an impressive turnaround for a Bulldogs squad that had their season collapse around them due to several injuries.

    Instead, the team received even more heartbreak and now has to settle for a likely pre-New Year's Eve bowl game.

    Not exactly the high hopes that Georgia entered the season with.

23. Duke

3 of 25

    Current Record: 8-2

    Current BCS Ranking: n/a

    Projected Record: 10-3

    Projected Losses: vs. Florida State (ACC title game)


    The Skinny

    Wait…this is the college football rankings, right? What are the Blue Devils doing on here?

    Yes, this is the same team that, prior to this season, hadn’t won eight games since 1994. In fact, Duke hasn’t really had a string of success since Steve Spurrier was roaming the sidelines from 1987-89.

    That looks set to change this year.

    Following the team’s surprising 48-30 win over Miami last weekend, the Blue Devils have now won six consecutive games. The team also topped Virginia Tech on the road, 13-10, back on Oct. 26.

    While Duke may not impress anyone statistically, the team is doing enough to win.

    With a closing slate that includes two opponents with a combined record of 9-11, it isn’t far-fetched to believe the Blue Devils will make an appearance in the ACC title game.

    Eventually, the team will fall to the Seminoles. But then again, crazier things have happened in college football.

22. Oklahoma

4 of 25

    Current Record: 8-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 20

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Oklahoma State (Dec. 7)


    The Skinny

    In a season that has quickly begun to unravel, the Sooners received even more troubling news over the weekend when starting quarterback Blake Bell was knocked out of the game after taking a hit.

    Surprisingly, backup Trevor Knight—who began the season as the starter—played pretty well in relief to lead Oklahoma to a 48-10 win. The redshirt freshman threw for just 61 yards on 8-of-14 passing but also added another 123 yards and a score on the ground.

    Head coach Bob Stoops has kept the seriousness of Bell’s injury and who will start this weekend a secret, per The Norman Transcripts’ John Shinn.

    But regardless of who starts, the Sooners lack the firepower on offense to keep up with the Cowboys during the season finale. Not to mention, the game is also on the road.

    A season that began with uncertainty at the quarterback position seems likely to end the same way.

21. Fresno State (MWC Champion)

5 of 25

    Current Record: 9-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 15

    Projected Record: 11-1

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


    The Skinny

    The Bulldogs have one of the nation’s most prolific offenses.

    Led by quarterback Derek Carr (69.5 CMP%, 3,421 YDs, 32 TDs, 4 INTs, 152.3 RAT), the team has averaged 546.6 yards and 44.3 points per game. That includes scoring 40 or more points in every contest but one.

    Conversely, Fresno State’s defense has been slacking, conceding 416.1 yards and 26.9 points per game.

    Expect that to be a problem against a Spartans offense that ranks No. 34 in total yards (458.3 YPG).

    On paper, this is a game the Bulldogs should have no problem winning. However, the contest is on the road and is likely going to be the only remaining obstacle in the way of a perfect season for the team.

    The pressure will ultimately prove to be too much to handle for Fresno State.

20. Arizona State

6 of 25

    Current Record: 8-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 17

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at UCLA (Nov. 23)


    The Skinny

    The Sun Devils are arguably the hottest team in the Pac-12 right now.

    Following a 30-17 victory over Oregon State last weekend, the team has now won five games in a row. That includes scoring 50 points in three of them.

    To date, Arizona State has been pretty impressive on both sides of the ball. The team ranks No. 10 in scoring offense (42.3 PPG) and No. 45 in scoring defense (24.4 PPG).

    The play of quarterback Taylor Kelly (62.4 CMP%, 3,150 TOT YDs, 31 TDs, 10 INTs, 141.2 RAT) has been a large part of the Sun Devils’ success.

    At the beginning of the season, who would have thought it was possible for this team to make an improbable run to the Pac-12 title? Not to mention, Arizona State is closing in on a remarkable 10-win season.

    However, a date to face the Bruins might prove to be a little too much for the Sun Devils.

    All in all, the 2013 season can be chalked up as a positive one for the team.

19. Ole Miss

7 of 25

    Current Record: 7-3

    Current BCS Ranking: 24

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Don’t look now, but the Rebels are making quite the late-season charge.

    After losing three consecutive games, the team has now won its past four. Moreover, Ole Miss has done so in impressive fashion.

    A victory over then-No. 6 LSU has seemingly turned things around. Since then, the Rebels have looked better on both sides of the ball.

    Just last weekend, the team put up an impressive 751 total yards of offense while limiting Troy to minus-13 rushing yards.

    Expect Ole Miss to use that momentum to upset No. 8 Missouri at home this weekend.

18. Louisville

8 of 25

    Current Record: 9-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 21

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Cardinals are still haunted by their 38-35 loss to UCF back on Oct. 18. It was a game the team once led 28-7 in the second half.

    Not only did the defeat cost Louisville a shot at the BCS title, but it also left quarterback Teddy Bridgewater with too much ground to make up in the race for the Heisman Trophy.

    But don’t expect the Cardinals to feel sorry for themselves.

    Since the loss, the team has won three straight games by a combined score of 85-26. That includes an impressive 20-13 victory over Houston just last weekend.

    Now, Louisville is just fighting to retain its slim hopes of winning the conference, a feat that would require the Knights to lose not once, but twice in their last three games.

    Although it will most likely wind up being just another disappointing season for the Cardinals, you can’t fault the effort in recent weeks. 

17. Texas A&M

9 of 25

    Current Record: 8-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 12

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Missouri (Nov. 30)


    The Skinny

    If only the Aggies had a respectable defense.

    Through 10 games, the team ranks No. 106 in total defense (454.4 YPG) and No. 88 in scoring defense (30.9 PPG). In fact, seven opponents have already scored 28 points or more on Texas A&M this season.

    Even a bye week couldn’t help this unit get it together.

    How much do the Aggies think quarterback Johnny Manziel can do?

    Although the sophomore has been pretty impressive this season (73.0 CMP%, 3,924 TOT YDs, 39 TDs, 11 INTs, 186.9 RAT), his decision-making has been questionable as of late. Manziel has thrown six interceptions over the past four games. 

    It all leads to an inevitable setback against the Tigers during the season finale, a team that ranks No. 17 in total offense (492.6 YPG) and No. 7 in interceptions (17).

    Did we mention the game would be played on the road?

16. UCLA

10 of 25

    Current Record: 8-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 14

    Projected Record: 10-3

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


    The Skinny

    The Bruins haven’t been doing themselves any favors recently.

    After dominating opponents over the first five games, the team has struggled over the past five. UCLA has lost two games by a combined margin of 42 points and struggled to win its past three.

    For a team that once averaged 500 total yards of offense with ease, the Bruins are finding it difficult to just top 400.

    The loss of running back Jordon James could be responsible for that.

    Through the team’s first four games, the junior racked up 463 yards and five touchdowns on 80 carries. However, he has missed five of UCLA’s past six contests.

    Although linebacker Myles Jack has appeared to be a proficient replacement, the offense is still not the same.

    Expect the team to have no issues winning its final two regular-season games before falling to the Ducks in the conference title game.

15. Oklahoma State

11 of 25

    Current Record: 9-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 10

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: vs. Baylor (Nov. 23)


    The Skinny

    The Cowboys are finally starting to play up to their preseason expectations.

    Not only has the team won six games in a row, but Oklahoma State has also rediscovered its offensive prowess. The team has now scored 38 or more points for the fourth consecutive week.

    More importantly, with a 38-13 win over Texas last weekend, the Cowboys now control their destiny in the Big 12.

    After a slow start, quarterback Clint Chelf has finally made the most of his time as the starter. Over his past three games, the senior has thrown for 673 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions while adding another 200 yards and four scores on the ground.

    Although a date with the Bears this weekend should all but exterminate the team’s hopes for a Big 12 title, expect Oklahoma State to keep it close.

    A convincing win against rival Oklahoma in the season finale will allow the team to close out the season on a positive note.

14. Missouri

12 of 25

    Current Record: 9-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 8

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: at Ole Miss (Nov. 23)


    The Skinny

    The Tigers had a bye week to prepare themselves for a grueling two-week stretch that will go a long way in deciding the fate of the team.

    If Missouri can win its final two games—at the Rebels and home versus Texas A&M—the team will secure a berth in the SEC title game. More importantly, it’ll give the Tigers a slim shot at making the BCS title game.

    However, in a loss to South Carolina on Oct. 26, several vulnerabilities of the team’s defense were exposed.

    It will be what ultimately leads to a loss against a resurgent Ole Miss squad this weekend.

    With the Gamecocks already wrapping up their SEC play at 6-2, the loss will be enough to drop Missouri out of the conference title match.

    Regardless, a two-loss season a year after winning just five games is hardly something to be disappointed about.

13. UCF (AAC Champion)

13 of 25

    Current Record: 8-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 18

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Knights looked vulnerable against 1-9 Temple last weekend.

    Although the team ultimately won, UCF needed a last-second field goal to put the Owls away. In fact, if it weren’t for a spectacular one-handed grab by J.J. Worton in the end zone, it’s very likely the Knights would be sitting at two losses right now.

    But a win is a win.

    Look for UCF to use the contest as a wake-up call and run the table the rest of the way. It certainly helps that the team’s final three opponents only have 11 wins combined.

    It would be surprising if the Knights didn’t secure the AAC title.

12. Wisconsin

14 of 25

    Current Record: 8-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 19

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Badgers put an exclamation point on their season during their 51-3 victory over Indiana last weekend.

    Three different running backs topped the century mark for Wisconsin as the team put up 554 yards of rushing. That includes six touchdowns on the ground. 

    Senior James White (20 CAR, 205 YDs, 1 TD) and sophomore Melvin Gordon (13 CAR, 146 YDs, 1 TD) led the way.

    More impressively, the Badgers held a Hoosiers offense that came in averaging more than 500 yards per game to just 224 total yards.

    Although a loss to Ohio State has all but eliminated Wisconsin from a berth into the Big Ten title game, the team is still well in contention for an at-large bid to a BCS bowl.

    A road trip to face No. 25 Minnesota this weekend is the last remaining obstacle in the Badgers' way.

11. Northern Illinois (MAC Champion)

15 of 25

    Current Record: 10-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 16

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Faced with their biggest test of the season, the Huskies responded in impressive fashion, tossing aside Ball State 48-27 last Wednesday.

    Quarterback Jordan Lynch was especially impressive, putting in one of his finer performances of the season. The senior threw for 345 yards and two touchdowns on 26-of-32 passing while rushing for another 123 yards and two scores on 20 carries.

    It only adds to a stellar campaign for Lynch, who has accounted for 3,489 total yards and 35 touchdowns.

    Now, just a matchup with 7-3 Toledo stands in the way of Northern Illinois wrapping up a berth in the MAC title game.

    Expect Lynch and the Huskies to take advantage of a Rockets defense that has conceded 27.7 points per game on its way to securing a perfect regular season and its second consecutive BCS bowl appearance.

10. Clemson

16 of 25

    Current Record: 9-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 7

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: at South Carolina (Nov. 30)


    The Skinny

    To think, it was just a little over a month ago that the Tigers were the darlings of the college football world. The team was 6-0, ranked No. 3 in the polls and a favorite to sneak into the BCS title game.

    All that changed when Clemson was absolutely pummeled at home, 51-14, against Florida State.

    Since then, the team has won three straight. However, it hasn’t been pretty.

    The Tigers struggled to put away Maryland, needing 21 fourth-quarter points to secure the win. After beating Virginia with ease, the team conceded more than 400 yards of total offense and 31 points against Georgia Tech.

    It makes the season finale against the Gamecocks somewhat of a concern for Clemson, especially because the game happens to be on the road and the team has lost four straight to South Carolina.

9. South Carolina

17 of 25

    Current Record: 8-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 11

    Projected Record: 10-3

    Projected Losses: vs. Alabama (SEC title game)


    The Skinny

    It may have not been pretty, but the Gamecocks wrapped up their SEC schedule with a 19-14 win over slumping Florida.

    With the win, the team moves to 6-2 in conference play. Due to South Carolina’s win over Missouri, all the Gamecocks need is a loss by the Tigers to earn a berth into the SEC title game.

    It’s a place nobody expected South Carolina to be following its disappointing 23-21 loss to Tennessee back on Oct. 19.

    But thanks to the heroics of quarterback Connor Shaw, who returned at halftime to help the Gamecocks rally from a 17-0 deficit in the fourth quarter against Missouri, and the impressive efforts of running back Mike Davis, South Carolina is back in the thick of things.

    Only a home contest against Clemson stands in the way of the Gamecocks’ bid to wrap up the season on a five-game win streak.

8. Stanford

18 of 25

    Current Record: 8-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 9

    Projected Record: 11-2

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    It’s impossible to make sense of this Cardinal squad.

    One week, the team looks impressive, beating a ranked team convincingly (Washington, UCLA and Oregon). The next week, Stanford looks more like a fish out of water than a football team, stumbling and fumbling its way to an unexpected loss (Utah, USC).

    Who knows how far this team could have climbed had it put it all together in 2013?

    Instead, the Cardinal will have to settle for what is likely to be a shot at an at-large BCS bowl. 

    Then again, given the team’s track record, games against Cal and Notre Dame don’t look like automatic wins anymore.

7. Auburn

19 of 25

    Current Record: 10-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 6

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: vs. Alabama (Nov. 30)


    The Skinny

    After last weekend’s miraculous win over Georgia, destiny seems to be on the Tigers’ side.

    Could a win over the Crimson Tide in the season finale be next?

    Not likely. Especially after the team’s performance in the game against the Bulldogs.

    Although the ending made for some exciting television, it was a contest that Auburn was leading by 37-17 in the fourth quarter. Not to mention, quarterback Nick Marshall and the offense looked absolutely anemic while trying to put the game out of reach.

    That kind of effort is unlikely to fly against the No. 1 team in the nation and the winners of the past two BCS titles.

    All in all, nobody even expected the Tigers to still be in contention this late in the season. 

    Did we mention Auburn has more than tripled its win total (three) from a year ago?

6. Ohio State

20 of 25

    Current Record: 10-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 3

    Projected Record: 12-1

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


    The Skinny

    With just contests against Indiana and Michigan remaining, it’s very likely the Buckeyes will record their second consecutive undefeated regular season.

    Unfortunately, that alone won’t be enough to guarantee the team a trip to the BCS title. In fact, it won’t be enough for Ohio State to earn head coach Urban Meyer his first Big Ten title, either.

    That’s because the team will fall to a very good Spartans team, one that has relied on a defense that ranks among the best in the nation. 

    Through 10 games, the unit ranks No. 1 in total defense (228.4 YPG) and No. 4 in scoring defense (13.2). Furthermore, Michigan State has limited all but two of its opponents to 17 points or less.

    To their credit, the Buckeyes are playing some of their best football as of late. The team has won its past three games by a combined score of 169-49 while topping 60 points in two of those contests.

    But don’t expect that to be enough to prevent Ohio State from another disappointing conclusion to the season.

5. Michigan State (Big Ten Champion)

21 of 25

    Current Record: 9-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 13

    Projected Record: 12-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Spartans have proved that defense can win championships.

    Through 10 games, the unit has been stifling. The team ranks No. 4 in scoring defense (13.2 PPG), No. 1 in total defense (228.4 YPG), No. 5 against the pass (171.1 YPG) and No. 1 against the run (57.3 YPG). Furthermore, Michigan State has held all but two opponents to 17 points or less this season.

    This is the same defense that held Michigan to an all-time low of minus-48 rushing yards while forcing five turnovers against Nebraska last weekend.

    It certainly helps that running back Jeremy Langford (199 CAR, 926 YDs, 13 TDs) seems to be getting hot at just the right time. The junior has topped the century mark in five consecutive games while finding the end zone nine times in that span.

    Showdowns against Northwestern and Minnesota shouldn’t trouble the team.

    It will all lead to an improbable upset over Ohio State in the Big Ten title game.

4. Oregon (Pac-12 Champion)

22 of 25

    Current Record: 9-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 5

    Projected Record: 12-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    All hope seemed to be lost for the Ducks following a loss to Stanford on Nov. 9.

    Fortunately, the Cardinal suffered a setback of their own, losing to unranked USC last weekend. It was a loss that put Oregon back in the driver’s seat in the Pac-12.

    Now, just matchups against Arizona and reeling Oregon State stand in the way of the Ducks' pursuit of a berth in the conference title game.

    Although quarterback Marcus Mariota suffered his second straight negative rushing performance against Utah last weekend, the sophomore still has yet to throw an interception all year. He’s thrown for 25 touchdowns thus far.

    Mariota may be all but out of the running for the Heisman Trophy, but don’t expect that to prevent him from putting up numbers.

    In fact, it should be expected from him, as the Ducks need Mariota to be at his best if they hope to cruise toward a Pac-12 championship and BCS bowl.

3. Baylor (Big 12 Champion)

23 of 25

    Current Record: 9-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 4

    Projected Record: 12-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    After a convincing victory over Oklahoma on Nov. 7, the Bears followed that up by dominating Texas Tech, 63-34, on a neutral field.

    The team’s offense continued its dominance. Baylor hung more than 60 points on an opponent for the sixth time this season while racking up 675 yards of total offense.

    But the play of quarterback Bryce Petty has been the real story.

    The junior accounted for five touchdowns while throwing for more than 300 yards for the eighth time this season. On the year, he’s racked up 3,119 total yards and 34 touchdowns and thrown just one interception.

    Petty has not only grown into the leader of this team, but he’s also managed to get himself into serious contention for the Heisman Trophy.

    Up next, the Bears will play Oklahoma State on the road in its biggest test of the season. But with Petty under center and a rushing attack that averages more than 300 yards per game, it shouldn’t prove to be too much of a challenge for Baylor.

    Unfortunately, a 12-0 record won’t be enough to get the team into the BCS title game.

    If only the playoffs started a year earlier.

2. Florida State (ACC Champion)

24 of 25

    Current Record: 10-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 2

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Can anyone stop the Seminoles?

    For the second consecutive week, the team thrashed an opponent 59-3. In fact, only Boston College can say they’ve came within 25 points of Florida State.

    That’s pretty darn impressive.

    With 1-9 Idaho and 4-6 Florida remaining, the Seminoles are all but assured a 12-0 record. A possible ACC title matchup against Duke doesn’t seem to be too much for the team to overcome, either.

    But none of this would have been possible without the play of quarterback Jameis Winston (70.9 CMP%, 2,938 YDs, 28 TDs, 7 INTs, 195.5 RAT).

    Any challenge that has been presented to him, he’s answered. Winston has helped Florida State embarrass then-No. 3 Clemson 51-14 and then-No. 7 Miami 41-14.

    Did we mention he’s just a redshirt freshman? 

    It would be surprising to see anything other than Winston lifting up the Heisman Trophy in December and the Seminoles marching out to face Alabama in the BCS title game in January.

1. Alabama (SEC Champion)

25 of 25

    Current Record: 10-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 1

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    How can you be the best without beating the best?

    Many have tried to unseat the Crimson Tide from atop the college football world, and many have failed. The team has tossed aside all competition this season and has won back-to-back BCS titles and three of the past four.

    Even on an off day, such as last weekend against Mississippi State, Alabama walks away with a double-digit victory.

    Backed by a defense that concedes just 10.2 points per game and an offense that has been surprisingly potent, it’s tough to imagine these guys losing anytime soon.

    However, that’s not to say the road to the BCS title won’t come without any obstacles. The Tide still have to travel to face No. 6 Auburn in the season finale and will then have to face either Missouri or South Carolina—both will likely be ranked in the Top 10 coming in.

    Then again, it’d be foolish to expect anything other than Alabama victories in those two games.

    It will set up the national championship we all want to see: Florida State vs. Alabama.

    Can’t get any better than that.


    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.