BCS Rankings 2013 Week 15: Predicting the Final BCS Standings

Sebastian Lena@SP7988Analyst IDecember 3, 2013

BCS Rankings 2013 Week 15: Predicting the Final BCS Standings

0 of 25

    As we head into Week 15 of the college football season, the BCS rankings have yet to be set.

    Conference championship weekend is upon us and who plays—or doesn’t play—for the BCS title will be decided by weekend’s end. There’s still a lot to be determined.

    Could a one-loss SEC champion leapfrog an undefeated Ohio State squad? Can Duke pull off the upset of all upsets? Will Alabama find a way to sneak into the BCS title yet again?

    All of this and more will be answered soon enough, but instead of waiting for the dust to settle, join me as we take a jab at how the final BCS rankings will pan out.

25. Texas A&M

1 of 25

    Current Record: 8-4

    Current BCS Ranking: 24

    Projected Record: 8-4

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Big things were expected from quarterback Johnny Manziel and the Aggies in 2013.

    After an epic battle with Alabama in Week 2, and a 49-42 loss. Manziel and the team seemed to back up that hype. Texas A&M raced out to a 5-1 record through its first six games.

    However, a slip-up against Auburn on Oct. 19 was just the beginning of the Aggies’ troubles. The team also lost its final two games to LSU and Missouri.

    To make matters worse, Manziel had two of the worst games of his career in both losses, throwing for a total of 419 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions on 52.7 percent passing. The sophomore only managed a combined 75 rushing yards on 23 carries (3.3 yards per carry).

    It has not exactly been the best final impression for Manziel, if he indeed decides to enter the 2014 NFL draft.

24. Duke

2 of 25

    Current Record: 10-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 20

    Projected Record: 10-3

    Projected Losses: vs. Florida State (ACC title game)


    The Skinny

    The Blue Devils have had a season to remember.

    On Saturday, Duke will play in its first-ever ACC title game with a chance to be crowned conference champion for the first time since 1989. Not to mention, Duke earned its first 10-win season in school history with a win over rival North Carolina last weekend.

    However, all good stories must ultimately come to an end. In this case, it should be a 30- to 40-point blowout loss to the mighty Seminoles.

    Then again, what other team in the nation could say that it could match up against Heisman Trophy frontrunner Jameis Winston and top-ranked Florida State?

    Regardless, the Blue Devils should be more than happy with their 2013 campaign.

    An ACC title would just be the icing on the cake.

23. Georgia

3 of 25

    Current Record: 8-4

    Current BCS Ranking: 22

    Projected Record: 8-4

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    It’s been a very trying year for the Bulldogs.

    The season began on a high note after the team rebounded from a 38-35 loss to then-No. 8 Clemson to win its next four games. Two of those wins came against Top 10 opponents.

    But then the season all came crashing down.

    After losing several key starters, Georgia suffered its biggest hit of the season when running back Todd Gurley suffered an injury against LSU on Sept. 28. He missed three games.

    Of those three contests, the Bulldogs won one in overtime and lost the next two.

    As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Bulldogs were on the losing end of Auburn’s miraculous Hail Mary on Nov. 16 and lost starting quarterback Aaron Murray to a torn ACL in the following game.

    No doubt about it, this is a season that Georgia will quickly want to forget.

22. Oklahoma

4 of 25

    Current Record: 9-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 17

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: at Oklahoma State (Dec. 7)


    The Skinny

    The Sooners seem to have finally found their quarterback in Trevor Knight. Unfortunately, the news comes a little over three months late.

    In sneaking past pesky Kansas State, 41-31, Knight played stellar. The redshirt freshman threw for a career-high 171 yards, a touchdown and an interception on 14-of-20 passing. He added another 82 yards rushing and a score on 14 carries.

    For the first time in a while, Oklahoma got dependable play from its quarterback position.

    Against the Cowboys, however, it might be all for naught.

    Oklahoma State enters its Week 15 showdown on a roll, averaging 47.8 points per game. That includes an impressive victory over then-No. 4 Baylor, 49-17, on Nov. 23.

    The Sooners will be facing a steep uphill battle on the road, one where they will likely fall short.

    However, given all the troubles the team has gone through in 2013, a nine-win season is nothing to be ashamed of at Oklahoma.

21. Texas

5 of 25

    Current Record: 8-3

    Current BCS Ranking: 25

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Don’t look now, but here come the Longhorns.

    After two losses in its first three games, many counted Texas out. Heck, head coach Mack Brown almost seemed guaranteed to lose his job by the end of the season.

    However, an upset over rival Oklahoma on Oct. 12 has fueled a furious second-half turnaround for Texas. Given the right circumstances, the Longhorns still have a shot at the Big 12 title.

    A road trip to face suddenly stumbling Baylor is all that stands in the way of an improbable finish for the Longhorns.

    Given that the Bears were severely exposed against Oklahoma State on Nov. 23 and needed a late interception to put away lowly TCU, the formula to beating Texas is out in the open.

    Look for Brown to have Texas ready to play and lead his squad to the upset.

20. Fresno State (MWC Champ)

6 of 25

    Current Record: 10-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 23

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Bulldogs saw their BCS hopes go up in flames with a stunning 62-52 loss to San Jose State last weekend.

    However, you can’t fault the offense for the defeat. The unit totaled 646 yards behind quarterback Derek Carr’s 519 yards through the air with six touchdowns and an interception on 38-of-50 passing.

    Instead of BCS aspirations, Fresno State must turn its focus to winning the MWC title this weekend.

    The Aggies will bring in one of the toughest defensive units the Bulldogs have faced, ranking No. 7 in scoring defense (16.8 PPG). Furthermore, only one team has scored more than 10 points against Utah State in the last five games.

    It will certainly be a challenge, but who’s willing to bet against a Fresno State squad that has averaged 52.5 points per game over the last four contests?

19. Wisconsin

7 of 25

    Current Record: 9-3

    Current BCS Ranking: 21

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Badgers seemed to be rolling along. The rushing attack was at its best and the defense was holding its ground.

    Then the inexplicable happened with a 31-24 loss to Penn State last weekend.

    Wisconsin’s defense, which had allowed just one team to top 10 points in the last four games, was exposed by freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg and the unranked Nittany Lions. Penn State racked up 465 yards of total offense and moved the ball with ease.

    On the opposite side of the field, the Badgers failed to score a rushing touchdown and quarterback Joel Stave threw three costly interceptions.

    The game eliminated Wisconsin from contention for a BCS bowl and added a sour ending to a season that began rather bitterly with a controversial 32-30 loss to Arizona State.

18. Louisville

8 of 25

    Current Record: 10-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 19

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Cardinals offense has lacked much firepower over the last three games.

    After only contributing 17 points against lowly Connecticut, the unit combined for just 37 points against Houston and Memphis over the next two games. Louisville won both by just seven points.

    A trip to face suddenly surging Cincinnati should be just the wake-up call that the team needs.

    Expect quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to snap out of his slump of having thrown just two touchdowns in his last three games to remind the Bearcats why he was an early-season Heisman Trophy favorite.

17. UCLA

9 of 25

    Current Record: 9-3

    Current BCS Ranking: 18

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Bruins’ season was slowly slipping out from underneath them.

    Following its 38-33 loss to Arizona State on Nov. 23, the Bruins were denied a chance to play for the Pac-12 title against Stanford next weekend. It also marked UCLA's third consecutive loss to a Top 25-ranked opponent.

    Last weekend, the Bruins changed all that, topping then-No. 23 USC, 35-14.

    The Bruins celebrated the return of running back Jordon James by scoring all five of their touchdowns on the ground—none, though, by James—finishing with 188 yards rushing.

    If UCLA can’t celebrate playing for the conference title, it can settle for another honor: becoming the team to beat in Los Angeles.

    The win marked the Bruins’ second straight victory over the Trojans.

16. Central Florida (AAC Champ)

10 of 25

    Current Record: 10-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 16

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Only a road trip to face 5-6 SMU stands in the Knights’ way of an outright ACC title and a berth in a BCS bowl.

    Then again, judging by recent results, let’s not sing Central Florida’s praises just yet.

    Over the last four weeks, the Knights have won three games by a margin of five points or less. All three came down to big plays on either the offensive or defensive side of the ball in the closing minutes.

    Two of those opponents—Temple and South Florida—have a combined record of 4-19.

    Given that this game is on the road, it’s not a sure thing that UCF will come out unscathed. However, with quarterback Blake Bortles playing impressively as of late, expect the Knights to pull through.

    It will cap off a sensational 2013 campaign for the Knights.

15. Baylor

11 of 25

    Current Record: 10-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 9

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: vs. Texas (Dec. 7)


    The Skinny

    Talk about spiraling out of control.

    A week after being embarrassed by Oklahoma State, 49-17, on Nov. 23, the Bears struggled to put away lowly TCU, 41-38, last Saturday. The team relied on a late-game interception and was outgained in total yardage, 410-370, on the day.

    That’s a far cry from the Baylor squad that raced out to a 9-0 record while averaging more than 60 points and 700 yards of total offense per game.

    That can only mean trouble with the resurgent Longhorns coming to town.

    After allowing just two opponents to top 14 points in their first seven games, the Bears have given up 34 points or more in each of the last three games.

    Don’t be surprised if Texas’ rushing attack (200.7 YPG) has its way with Baylor on Saturday.

14. Michigan State

12 of 25

    Current Record: 11-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 10

    Projected Record: 11-2

    Projected Losses: vs. Ohio State (Dec. 7)


    The Skinny

    The Spartans have been fortunate to benefit from having one of the best defensive units in the nation.

    Entering Week 15, the unit ranks No. 4 in scoring (11.8 PPG), No. 1 in total defense (237.7 YPG), No. 1 against the run (64.8 YPG) and No. 9 against the pass (172.9 YPG). Furthermore, Michigan State has held five of its last six opponents to six points or less.

    That feat will be hard to match against a Buckeyes team that averages 48.2 points per game.

    Running back Jeremy Langford has been the Spartans’ lone support offensively. The junior has topped 100 yards in seven consecutive games while finding the end zone 12 times along the way.

    He might not find yards too easily against an Ohio State run defense that ranks No. 5 in the nation in allowing an average of 100 yards per game.

    The unit has allowed just seven rushing touchdowns while conceding a meager 3.02 yards per carry.

    Unless quarterback Connor Cook can have the game of his life, it looks as if Michigan State will fall just short of a Big Ten title in what should be a low-scoring defensive struggle.

13. LSU

13 of 25

    Current Record: 9-3

    Current BCS Ranking: 15

    Projected Record: 9-3

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    As tough as it is to say, 2013 was a disappointing year for the Tigers.

    With both SEC and BCS aspirations to begin the season, the team hasn’t lived up to expectations. A 27-24 loss to Ole Miss on Oct. 19 is evident of that.

    However, LSU managed to regain some bit of respectability for its season by dominating then-No. 12 Texas A&M, 34-10, on Nov. 23. The Tigers defense managed to throttle quarterback Johnny Manziel by holding him to a raw QBR of just 14.9.

    LSU followed that up by needing a late-game rally to put away slumping Arkansas last Friday.

    All in all, nine wins and significant improvement under first-year offensive coordinator Cam Cameron have given the Tigers a lot to be optimistic about heading into its bowl game.

12. Northern Illinois (MAC Champ)

14 of 25

    Current Record: 12-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 14

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Huskies owe the majority of their success to quarterback Jordan Lynch.

    Through 12 games, the senior has thrown for 2,457 yards, 22 touchdowns and five interceptions on 64.4 percent passing while rushing for another 1,755 yards and 20 scores on 248 carries. That includes breaking the FBS rushing record for a quarterback with 321 yards against Western Michigan on Tuesday—he set the previous record earlier this season.

    Lynch’s play has earned him some hype as a Heisman Trophy contender and has Northern Illinois one win away from securing back-to-back berths for a BCS bowl.

    Although the team’s MAC title game opponent, Bowling Green, might boast the best defense the Huskies have seen thus far—No. 5 in scoring defense (13.8 PPG)—Lynch has stepped up to any and all challenges in 2013.

    This one should be no different.

11. Stanford

15 of 25

    Current Record: 10-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 7

    Projected Record: 10-3

    Projected Losses: vs. Arizona State (Pac-12 title game)


    The Skinny

    It’s been quite the up-and-down season for the Cardinal.

    One minute, the team is boasting impressive victories over a ranked opponent (i.e. Washington, UCLA, Oregon), the next minute, Stanford is losing a contest to an unranked foe (i.e. Utah, USC). Not to mention, the team struggled to put away Notre Dame last Saturday, committing two turnovers in the process.

    That’s bad news for the Cardinal with the red-hot Sun Devils up next in the Pac-12 title game.

    Arizona State has won seven straight games and has looked like a viable BCS contender. The team has averaged 44.0 points per game in that stretch.

    Furthermore, the defense has forced a turnover in every game this season while collecting 19 turnovers in the last seven contests.

    This has all the makings of another setback for Stanford.

10. Clemson

16 of 25

    Current Record: 10-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 13

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    If you’re the Tigers, you’ve got to be disappointed in your 2013 campaign.

    The season began with a promising  38-35 victory over then-No. 5 Georgia back on Week 1. However, that win has lost most of its credence, as the Bulldogs have stumbled to an 8-4 record.

    In a game that could have handed Clemson the inside track to the ACC title, and a berth into the BCS title game, the team was embarrassed by Florida State, 51-14, on Oct. 19.

    Finally, after flying under the radar for five weeks, the Tigers had a chance to cap off their season with an impressive road victory against South Carolina.

    Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be, as the Gamecocks capitalized on six Clemson turnovers to roll, 31-17, marking the team’s fifth straight victory over the Tigers.

    It proved to be a dismal end to a promising season.

9. Oregon

17 of 25

    Current Record: 10-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 12

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Just under a month ago, the Ducks were thinking BCS title, or at the very least, a Pac-12 title was all but assured.

    Instead, the team lost two games in a span of three weeks—the second to unranked Arizona—and is now left on the outside looking in.

    If it weren’t for a late touchdown last Friday, Oregon would be looking at a third loss in four games. The team just barely escaped the Civil War with a 36-35 win over Oregon State.

    Quarterback Marcus Mariota’s performance down the stretch has got to be the most disappointing. 

    After tossing zero interceptions over the Ducks' first 10 games, the sophomore has thrown four in the last two games. Furthermore, he hasn’t scored a rushing touchdown in five consecutive games. 

    Oregon is hurting from all different angles, so the Ducks should just feel fortunate to add another 10-win season to their resume.

8. Missouri

18 of 25

    Current Record: 11-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 5

    Projected Record: 11-2

    Projected Losses: vs. Auburn (SEC title game)


    The Skinny

    The Tigers will come up just short of reaching their ultimate goal.

    Following an impressive 28-21 victory over Texas A&M last weekend, Missouri capped off its fourth win over a Top-25 opponent this season, going 4-1 against teams in the Top 25.

    Only a late-game collapse against South Carolina has kept the Tigers from being undefeated heading into the SEC title game.

    Regardless, a win against No. 3 Auburn could go a long way in possibly landing Missouri in the BCS title game.

    Unfortunately, Auburn may just be too much to handle.

    With a rushing attack that ranks No. 5 in the nation (318.3 YPG), expect Auburn to punish Missouri at the line of scrimmage. Quarterback Nick Marshall (140 CAR, 922 YDs, 10 TDs) and running back Tre Mason (237 CAR, 1,317 YDs, 18 TDs) will both lead the charge.

    The duo will prove to be too much for the Tigers to handle.

    All in all, an 11-win season a year after winning five games is something to be proud about.

7. Arizona State (Pac-12 Champs)

19 of 25

    Current Record: 10-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 11

    Projected Record: 11-2

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Who would have thought the Sun Devils would be Pac-12 champions at the beginning of the season?

    On Sept. 21, Arizona State rolled into Stanford Stadium and was trounced by the Cardinal, 42-28. It was a game that was a lot more lopsided than the score suggests—it was 39-7 entering the fourth quarter.

    The game reminded us that the Sun Devils were still a year or two away from competing for the conference title.

    Fast forward two months and Arizona State has won seven consecutive games. Not only that, but the team is also 8-1 in Pac-12 play for the best record in the conference.

    Against a Stanford team that has been up and down all season, it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to consider the Sun Devils as the favorite for Saturday’s showdown.

    With revenge on its mind, expect Arizona State to make good on that distinction.

6. South Carolina

20 of 25

    Current Record: 10-2

    Current BCS Ranking: 8

    Projected Record: 10-2

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    For the Gamecocks, it’s a little bit too late.

    Trailing, 17-0, heading into the fourth quarter on the road against Missouri, South Carolina stormed back to take the game into overtime where it escaped with a 27-24 win.

    Since then, the Gamecocks have won four straight and tossed aside then-No. 6 Clemson, 31-17, last Saturday.

    However, a collapse against unranked Tennessee is what keeps the team out of Saturday’s SEC title clash.

    Instead, South Carolina can take solace in that it might be the single-handed reason that Clemson won’t be playing for a BCS title.

    That’s something, right?

5. Oklahoma State (Big 12 Champs)

21 of 25

    Current Record: 10-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 6

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Guess the preseason expectations were right all along.

    After being dubbed Big 12 favorites, the Cowboys played like anything but that. A loss to West Virginia on Sept. 28, followed by struggles against TCU the following week, didn’t help matters much.

    However, over the last five games, Oklahoma State has seemingly straightened things out.

    During that stretch, the team has averaged 47.8 points per game. That includes an impressive 49-17 trashing of then-No. 4 Baylor on Nov. 23.

    Old rival Oklahoma stands in the Cowboys way of a Big 12 title. 

    With the Sooners playing Russian roulette at the quarterback position, expect Oklahoma State to take advantage and impose its dominance.

4. Alabama

22 of 25

    Current Record: 11-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 4

    Projected Record: 11-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    A 109-yard field-goal return for a touchdown by Auburn all but ended the Crimson Tide’s vice grip on the college football landscape.

    With the way Alabama has been playing, it figures it would take a miracle play to finally defeat the Tide. It marked just the sixth time that Alabama has lost since 2009.

    Although disappointing, the team has nothing to be ashamed of after winning 10 or more games for the sixth straight season. With a bowl win, Alabama will have won 12 or more in five of those seasons.

    The Tide can also take pride about having one of the most dominating defenses in the nation. The unit ranked No. 5 in total defense and No. 2 in scoring.

    Even with a new starting quarterback in 2014, Alabama will still be the team to beat.

    These guys aren’t going anywhere.

3. Ohio State (Big Ten Champs)

23 of 25

    Current Record: 12-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 2

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Surprise, surprise. 

    The Buckeyes will finish undefeated, yet still be jumped by a one-loss Auburn team for a spot in the BCS title game. It will mark the first time such an occurrence would happen in BCS history.

    It’s only fitting that the BCS system bids farewell in the same way that it began—with absolute chaos.

    Although Ohio State will complete back-to-back perfect seasons, the team will miss out on the national title because of a sluggish performance against Michigan State in the Big Ten title game.

    Yes, we know the Buckeyes can score. They rank No. 3 in the nation in scoring (48.2 PPG). 

    However, the Spartans are No. 1 in total defense in the nation, allowing only an average of 237.7 yards per game.

    Furthermore, the unit could be just the defense that slows down Ohio State and the nation’s second-ranked rushing attack. Michigan State ranks No. 1 against the run (64.8 YPG) and has only conceded five rushing touchdowns on an average 2.23 yards per carry this season.

    In what should be a low-scoring affair, the Buckeyes will escape, but a spot in the BCS title game won’t be waiting for them.

2. Auburn (SEC Champ)

24 of 25

    Current Record: 11-1

    Current BCS Ranking: 3

    Projected Record: 12-1

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    The Tigers have easily been college football’s feel-good story of the year.

    First-year head coach Gus Malzahn has inherited a team that won just three games last season. Now, he has his team in line to win not only an SEC title, but also a BCS title.

    That’s the kind of story that has major motion pictures made about it.

    Besides boasting one of the nation’s most lethal rushing attacks—No. 5 in the nation (318.3 YPG)—Auburn has found ways to win when all hope seemed to be lost. Just look at the Tigers' last two wins for proof.

    However, this weekend, expect Auburn to leave no doubt about the result. Against a Missouri secondary that ranks No. 112 against the pass (266.3 YPG), Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall should have no problem in moving the ball through the air. That in turn should open up holes for the team’s rushing attack.

    With a defense that is playing better in recent weeks, what’s to say the Tigers won’t win?

1. Florida State (ACC Champ)

25 of 25

    Current Record: 12-0

    Current BCS Ranking: 1

    Projected Record: 13-0

    Projected Losses: none


    The Skinny

    Expect anybody else?

    The Seminoles have been downright dominant since Week 1. In fact, their smallest margin of victory has been 24 points this season.

    Quarterback Jameis Winston is playing out of his mind while Florida State's defense and rushing attack are backing him up.

    As of now, Florida State is a near mortal lock to have a Heisman Trophy winner and a berth in the BCS title game.

    Could Duke, of all teams, really be the team to toss a wrench into those plans?

    Although the Blue Devils' accomplishments in the second half of the season have been impressive, a lot of that has been inflated by the lack of talent in the ACC. Not to mention, this is the same Duke team that needed a late field goal to beat North Carolina and had to rally from a 14-point deficit against Wake Forest.

    The Seminoles should roll easily. Anything less than a 20-point victory would be a major surprise.


    All stats and rankings are courtesy of NCAA.com.

    For complete coverage and everything college football, you can reach Sebastian on Facebook, on Twitter and via email at Sebastian.LenaBR@gmail.com.