The college football regular season is starting to wind down, and the BCS bowl picture continues to change.
If you think the current BCS rankings will stay the same after Week 14, you haven't watched the past couple of seasons. Top-tier teams always fall near the end of the year, and we saw just that this past week with the Oregon Ducks and Baylor Bears both falling on Saturday.
Below is a look at the most recent BCS standings, followed by a look at which teams would likely be going to the BCS bowl games if the rest of the season plays out ideally. Of course, nothing ever works out the way it's supposed to in college football.
|Week 14 BCS Standings|
|Projections for BCS Bowl Games|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||BCS National Championship||Florida State Seminoles|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||Rose Bowl||Stanford Cardinal|
|Clemson Tigers||Orange Bowl||Michigan State Spartans|
|Auburn Tigers||Sugar Bowl||UCF Knights|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys||Fiesta Bowl||Northern Illinois Huskies|
It's not a surprise at all, but the Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State Seminoles are still the top two teams and will likely play each other in the BCS National Championship. At this point, as long as they both win out, it doesn't matter how poorly they play.
All that matters is that they keep winning and stay undefeated so that they can play in this exciting game. With how well they've both been playing, an epic showdown between Jameis Winston and AJ McCarron seems imminent.
As the other top-tier team that remains undefeated, the Ohio State Buckeyes are expected to win the Big Ten conference. As the winner, they would go to the Rose Bowl, where they will play the Pac-12 champion.
As it stands now, the Stanford Cardinal leads the Pac-12 after Oregon's loss. After falling to USC, it looked like Stanford was going to be out of the running, but thanks to the Ducks losing to the Arizona Wildcats, the Cardinal are now right back in it. If this is the case, it will certainly be interesting to see how Braxton Miller can handle that stingy Stanford defense.
The Orange Bowl will likely feature the Clemson Tigers, who would replace the Seminoles coming out of the Pac-12. The other spot in this bowl game would be an at-large bid, which could go one of two ways.
As it stands now, the second team would be the Michigan State Spartans; however, they will play against the Buckeyes in the Big Ten championship. If they play poorly in it, they could be knocked out of the running, giving the Wisconsin Badgers a spot in the Orange Bowl.
I think that the Spartans will hold their own in that one and be able to grab a spot in this game, though. Their defense is one of the best in the league, and it would certainly be entertaining to watch them try to stop Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins.
Alabama's likely trip to the national championship will leave their spot open in the Sugar Bowl, which means that either Missouri or Auburn could take it. Since both have to play Alabama by the end of the year, I'm going with Auburn, due to the fact that they're higher in the latest BCS rankings.
The other spot in the Sugar Bowl would be taken by the UCF Knights, considering they're on top of the AAC and earn an automatic bid to one of the BCS bowl games. Auburn would be the big favorite, but we've seen plenty of crazy things happen in the Sugar Bowl.
Baylor's big loss now has the Oklahoma State Cowboys at the top of the Big 12, which means that they'd be able to go to the Fiesta Bowl as conference champions. That's certainly quite a reward for taking down a previously undefeated team.
The last team to qualify for a bowl game would be the Northern Illinois Huskies, considering that they're a non-automatic qualifier that's eligible; however, if Northern Illinois falls, the Fresno State Bulldogs would likely take their spot.
Like I said earlier, these projections could certainly change over the next couple of weeks, but in the event that they stay the same, this would still be a terrific group of games to watch.
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