BCS Rankings Week 14: Teams Getting Stronger as Season Winds Down

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BCS Rankings Week 14: Teams Getting Stronger as Season Winds Down
Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Will Sutton of Arizona State

The Week 14 BCS rankings, which came out Sunday night, provided another twist in the ongoing college football drama.

This week's rankings provided the reality that five teams are charging and will look to crash the BCS picture.

Auburn climbed to fourth and will have a chance to get higher when it plays Alabama this weekend.

Oklahoma State ruined Baylor's chances of a national title, beating the Bears 49-17. Oklahoma State moved to number seven in the rankings.

Arizona State moved up five spots after a huge 38-33 win over UCLA. They now sit in the 12th spot of the rankings, while UCLA dropped to 22.

Another shakeup in the BCS Bowl picture occurred this past weekend: Northern Illinois jumped Fresno State in the rankings, which means it has the advantage at a BCS bid over the Bulldogs right now.

Michigan State moved up two spots to 11 and will look to keep climbing. The Spartans have the opportunity because they play Ohio State in the conference championship game in two weeks.

 

Moving Forward

These five teams have some big games left on the schedule and will look to cause chaos in the BCS bowl picture.

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Auburn has a huge game against Alabama this weekend. Although Auburn is a team that is playing its best football of the year right now, Alabama will put Auburn's BCS Championship hopes to rest.

Auburn can run the ball very effectively, but Nick Saban is the best in the business when it comes to game-planning. Saban will probably put a spy on the quarterback, which will get the defense in the backfield often. Linebacker CJ Mosley is among the best in the country and will contain Nick Marshall's rushing game.

Oklahoma State has a big game against Oklahoma this week and will get the victory here because of Oklahoma's inconsistency from the quarterback position.

Oklahoma has struggled at times on offense. On the road against Baylor the offense was only able to score 12 points. Oklahoma State's defense is nothing to overlook either. The Cowboys have the 11th-best scoring defense in the country. This combined with Oklahoma's offensive struggles will be the difference in the game.

Michigan State is a team that has been defensively consistent pretty much all season. They will give Ohio State a very good game in the Big Ten Championship, but it will not be enough. Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde are just too much for Michigan State's defense.

Northern Illinois could very easily find itself in a BCS bowl with convincing wins to end the year. Quarterback Jordan Lynch is among the nation's best offensive players. Northern Illinois just gives off that feel-good vibe for which every fan can't help but pull.

Arizona State will look to do its part in shuffling up the rankings when it plays Stanford in two weeks for the Pac-12 championship.

The Sun Devils defense is led by Will Sutton, who is a force on that defensive line. Stanford will be forced to beat Arizona State through the air, but it won't be enough. Arizona State will pull the upset because of the ability to stop the run game.

 

BCS Bowl Outlook

This means a lot for the BCS bowls looking ahead.

With the wins in conference championship games, Arizona State and Ohio State will face off in the Rose Bowl.

Northern Illinois and UCF should be able to occupy spots in BCS bowls, but which one is not necessarily predictable at this point.

Auburn will still have a great opportunity at making the Sugar Bowl, thanks to Texas A&M's loss to LSU this past weekend. It is possible that Missouri could have two losses as well if they lose the SEC Championship game, but Auburn should get the nod here if it plays Alabama a close game. Auburn would likely be higher in the BCS Standings.

Oklahoma State would likely make the Fiesta Bowl because of the Big 12 ties there. Oklahoma State could finish the season very high in the rankings with a win in a BCS bowl.

All stats used in this article came from ESPN.com.

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