The past weekend was certainly a crazy one, and with the Week 15 BCS rankings released, the BCS bowl picture looks quite different than it did in Week 14.
Upsets, near losses and pretty much anything you could imagine happened this past week. The top of the BCS standings looks completely different, and if we've learned anything from the past few years, it's bound to change once again after the upcoming conference championships.
Based off likely outcomes for the conference championship games, let's take a look at the projected teams that will be playing in the BCS bowl games.
|Florida State Seminoles||BCS National Championship||Ohio State Buckeyes|
|Stanford||Rose Bowl||Michigan State|
|Auburn Tigers||Sugar Bowl||UCF Knights|
|Clemson Tigers||Orange Bowl||Alabama Crimson Tide|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys||Fiesta Bowl||Northern Illinois Huskies|
The obviously big move was the Alabama Crimson Tide falling from the No. 1 spot. At the moment, that would put the Florida State Seminoles against the Ohio State Buckeyes, but that's certainly no guarantee.
The Buckeyes will be playing in a very tough game against the Michigan Spartans, who are allowing just 11.8 points per game. Ohio State had a scare last week against Michigan, and if it struggles again this week, it could spell disaster for its title hopes.
Speaking of the Spartans, there's a good chance that they go to the Rose Bowl. They just have to play well in that title game. They could go as the Big Ten champions, or they could go as an at-large bid, but that would all depend on if they can play well enough to be inside the top 14 teams after that game.
Stanford is the favorite to win the Pac-12 title game, but much like Ohio State, it's no guarantee that it wins. The Arizona State Sun Devils would take their spot if that's the case, but either one of these teams would be fun to watch in the Rose Bowl.
The Sugar Bowl will feature the SEC champion, provided it doesn't go to the national championship. That means that it could be either Auburn or Missouri, and both teams are certainly good enough to pull out a win.
The fun story would be for Auburn to go to the national championship, but it will still be huge if it wins the SEC title. The Tigers didn't win a single game in the conference last season, but now they're one of the best teams in the country, taking down Alabama just this past week.
After nearly falling to the South Florida Bulls, the Central Florida Knights are alive. As the AAC champions, they would get an automatic bid to a BCS bowl game, and much like Louisville, that would likely put them in the Sugar Bowl against the SEC champion.
The Orange Bowl would certainly be interesting, as it could possibly put Alabama against Clemson, which is the team replacing the Seminoles, whom the Crimson Tide could have played in the national championship. Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins would be playing against the toughest defense they've played all year, and that would show us just how good they really are.
Finally, for the Fiesta Bowl, the Big 12 champions would be playing another at-large bid. Thanks to that upset win over Baylor, the Oklahoma State Cowboys would be going to this game, and they certainly have enough talent to pull off a win.
The most underrated story from this week's rankings is that the Northern Illinois Huskies were able to hold onto a No. 14 ranking. If they were one spot lower, they wouldn't be eligible to go to a BCS bowl, but since they are in the top 14, that makes them a non-automatic qualifier, giving them a shot. As long as they can win the MAC championship, they should be OK.
If this is the way the BCS plays out, which is no guarantee, it would feature some awesome games to watch, and I would be very happy with them. Sure, watching Alabama play Florida State would have been great, but now we can see a national championship without the Crimson Tide for a change.