What a ruckus Week 14 of the college football caused with just one game. Much has changed at the top of the rankings, and so have the storylines.
Whether it's the SEC no longer having a guarantee to play for a national championship or certain teams proving they are the real deal, Week 14 might have shaped the rest of the college season as we know it.
Does the SEC Champion Deserve a Shot at the BCS Title?
Yes and no. The stronghold that the SEC had over the last seven years might finally be coming to an end, but that might only be if Missouri defeats Auburn in the SEC Championship game.
The Auburn Tigers have done everything possible except for go undefeated on the season against a rigorous SEC schedule. Yes, that argument is made every year, but one loss to LSU on the road has been followed by wins over Texas A&M, Georgia and, most notably, Alabama.
Two voters actually voted for Auburn as the No. 1 overall team in the AP Poll. One of those was Joe Giglio of The News & Observer, who used the Tigers' schedule as his defense:
When you look at the whole picture, no team has done more this season than Auburn (11-1) and that’s why I have the Tigers ranked No. 1. The Tigers have the best win, 34-28 over previous No. 1 Alabama on Saturday, and the best combination of wins (they also beat Texas A&M and Georgia).
If Auburn defeats a second straight opponent ranked inside the Top Five by taking care of Missouri, it will make a strong case against an Ohio State team that will have to knock off its first Top 10 team this season to earn a possible berth.
Duke Is the Best Team Nobody Knows About, but Won't Win ACC
Duke football—yes, the team that had never won double-digit games before this season—is in the ACC Championship as the Coastal Division winner. Its prize for winning: No. 1 Florida State.
The Blue Devils have improved defensively since being trounced by both Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh earlier in the season, but they might not be ready for what Jameis Winston and the No. 2 scoring offense in the country have to offer.
The two will meet in the ACC Championship played on Saturday, Dec. 7, at 8 p.m. ET at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. While it might appear this would give Duke the home-field advantage, Florida State fans travel well, and Duke, well, they're still not used to football success, as pointed out by Laura Keeley of The News & Observer:
CORRECTION: #Duke SID Art Chase said Cutcliffe misspoke, Duke has NOT sold out its 5,500 ticket allotment. Tickets remain— Laura Keeley (@laurakeeley) December 1, 2013
Can Northern Illinois Make It Back to Another BCS Game?
Following the departure of head coach Dave Doeren to N.C. State, it didn't appear Northern Illinois would continue its unprecedented success from last season when it made it to the Orange Bowl. Instead, the Huskies have played better this season and are undefeated heading into a showdown with Bowling Green for the MAC Championship.
The story inside of this story is whether or not Jordan Lynch, who leads NIU in both passing yards (2,457) and rushing yards (1,755), deserves an invite to the Heisman Trophy presentation. That exact question was brought up by ESPN's College GameDay Twitter account:
Jordan Lynch's 27 car, 321 yards, 3 TD performance last night earns him a trip to NYC for the Heisman Ceremony... True or False?— College GameDay (@CollegeGameDay) November 27, 2013
With a win over Bowling Green, the Huskies might just solidify themselves a shot at another BCS game. But after what fans saw last year when NIU played Florida State—a 31-10 beatdown—it might only get worse if it plays a team like Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.