BCS Rankings 2013: Who's Too High, Too Low in Week 14 Standings

Alex SimsCorrespondent IIINovember 25, 2013

BCS Rankings 2013: Who's Too High, Too Low in Week 14 Standings

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    Tyler Smith/Getty Images

    At the top of the Week 14 BCS rankings, two Top 10 battles were set up for the coming week: the Iron Bowl featuring No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 Auburn and the Palmetto Bowl between No. 6 Clemson and No. 10 South Carolina.

    With Missouri at No. 5, three Tiger teams are vying for the No. 4 spot—but which is most deserving?

    Elsewhere, Northern Illinois made a big splash, jumping up into the BCS bowl pond at No. 14, two spots ahead of fellow non-AQ hopeful Fresno State at No. 16.

    While the Huskies came in far too high given their pedestrian resume, which other teams were given too much credit, and which were slighted?

    Find out up ahead.


    Week 14 BCS Rankings

    1. Alabama
    2. Florida State
    3. Ohio State
    4. Auburn
    5. Missouri
    6. Clemson
    7. Oklahoma State
    8. Stanford
    9. Baylor
    10. South Carolina
    11. Michigan State
    12. Arizona State
    13. Oregon
    14. Northern Illinois
    15. Wisconsin
    16. Fresno State
    17. LSU
    18. Oklahoma
    19. Central Florida
    20. Louisville
    21. Texas A&M
    22. UCLA
    23. USC
    24. Duke
    25. Notre Dame

High: Northern Illinois

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    Week 14 Ranking: 14

    Northern Illinois is now front and center as Exhibit A in the case against the BCS and its computers.

    NIU is clearly disliked by human voters, coming in at No. 17 in the Harris Poll and all the way down at No. 20 in the USA Today coaches poll. However, the Huskies are benefiting from an incredibly high computer rating.

    With a computer average at No. 7, the Huskies come in with a better computer ranking than seven teams ahead of them in the actual BCS rankings.

    The disparity is puzzling, considering NIU's on-paper resume is extremely weak. Northern Illinois' signature win came in the opening week against Iowa, which has four losses on the year. NIU's 10 FBS opponents have a combined record of 41-70, and it will take on 1-10 Western Michigan on Tuesday to close the regular season.

    With that kind of record, Northern Illinois has no business being ahead of teams like Wisconsin, LSU, Oklahoma and Texas A&M or just slightly behind teams like Oregon, Arizona State and Michigan State.

    But somehow, NIU is on pace to make a BCS bowl. Thank you, BCS computers.

Just Right: Clemson

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    Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 14 Ranking: 6

    While some might argue that it is unfair for Clemson to be jumped by SEC teams Missouri and Auburn, it is actually just right.

    The argument for Clemson is that its loss, a defeat to No. 2 Florida State, is the best of the top one-loss contenders.

    However, the Tigers have an otherwise soft resume. All three Tigers—Mizzou, Auburn and Clemson—boast a win over Georgia, nullifying Clemson's top triumph. From there, Clemson's best win is a toss-up between Georgia Tech and Boston College—and either way it isn't good.

    Mizzou has just one three-point overtime loss to No. 10 South Carolina and wins over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt, which puts it slightly ahead of Clemson. Auburn has one road loss to No. 17 LSU and wins over Ole Miss and Texas A&M, slating it slightly ahead of Mizzou and Clemson.

    Of course, all three are incredibly close, and this whole situation will likely be straightened out this weekend. Clemson will take on South Carolina, Mizzou hosts Texas A&M and Auburn has its clash with Alabama.


High: Stanford

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Week 14 Ranking: 8

    Once again, Stanford, with two losses, is treated in the BCS as if it were a one-loss team.

    This is despite the Cardinal having one of the worst losses of any team in the BCS rankings, a defeat to unranked Utah. They also lost to No. 23 USC, which was unranked at the time of the loss.

    Stanford does boast a couple of impressive wins over Oregon, UCLA and Arizona State, though the UO and UCLA victories have lost a bit of their luster.

    The Cardinal aren't too high by much, but they shouldn't be ranked higher than Baylor, more on a par with South Carolina, the only team to beat No. 5  Missouri.

    In the end, Stanford's ranking is more or less irrelevant, as the Pac-12 title game will decide whether the Cardinal go BCS bowling.

Low: Texas A&M

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    Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sport

    Week 14 Ranking: 21

    With three losses, Texas A&M shouldn't be in the Top 15, but the Aggies were dropped much too far after their defeat to LSU.

    No three-loss team boasts a more impressive list of defeats than A&M, which fell to No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 Auburn and No. 17 LSU. The Crimson Tide and the two Tigers are three of the most talented teams in college football.

    With just those defeats, A&M should be ranked ahead of AAC contenders Central Florida and Louisville. While the Aggies were competitive with two of the best teams in college football, they also took care of business against several middle-tier SEC teams, demonstrating that they are capable of beating most teams around the country.

    A&M doesn't deserve a huge boost, as it hasn't been able to finish the job against top teams, but it should be higher than it is.

High: Louisville

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    Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

    Week 14 Ranking: 20

    The BCS computers have Louisville sniffed out. UL has the worst computer average (27) of any team in the BCS, and rightfully so.

    UL has several narrow wins against teams that could be considered mediocre at best. The Cardinals beat Kentucky (2-9) 27-13 and edged a decent Houston team 20-13.

    This past week, they notched a forgettable 24-17 victory over Memphis (3-9). UL was supposed to be a BCS lock and an outside national title contender with a top NFL draft prospect at quarterback, but it has just been ordinary, particularly on the offensive end.

    The Cardinals have a strong defense and are a fringe Top 25 team, but they shouldn't come in ahead of teams like Texas A&M, UCLA and USC that have been tested against difficult opponents.