After one of the wildest college football seasons in recent memory, the final BCS rankings have finally been released. Most are probably going to focus on the top two teams since they will play for the national championship, but there are intriguing teams scattered throughout.
|Week 16 BCS Rankings|
|1||Florida State (13-0)||.9957||1|
|4||Michigan State (12-1)||.8600||10|
|7||Ohio State (12-1)||.7705||2|
|9||South Carolina (10-2)||.7152||8|
|13||Oklahoma State (10-2)||.5233||6|
|14||Arizona State (10-3)||.4416||11|
|15||Central Florida (11-1)||.4343||16|
|20||Fresno State (11-1)||.1675||23|
|21||Texas A&M (8-4)||.1663||24|
|23||Northern Illinois (12-1)||.1572||14|
Speaking of the top two, however, it is fitting that two of the most dominant teams in college football over the course of the season will meet in the BCS National Championship Game. Checking in at No. 1 after its ACC title win over Duke is Florida State, while Auburn is No. 2 after an impressive victory over Missouri in the SEC Championship Game.
The Seminoles have taken college football by storm this year thanks largely to the play of freshman quarterback Jameis Winston. It seems as though Winston is the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy, and it is for good reason. Few expected Florida State to be as good as it has been, but it has played at an Alabama-esque level this season.
Jimbo Fisher's squad has destroyed nearly every team it has faced, and it ranks near the top of the nation in both total offense and total defense. Auburn will have a tough test on its hands in the National Championship Game, but it shouldn't be counted out, either.
The Tigers have been the talk of the country over the past couple weeks by virtue of their wins over Alabama and Missouri. The combination of running back Tre Mason and quarterback Nick Marshall gives them arguably the best rushing attack in the nation, and they will easily pose the biggest threat Florida State has faced all season long.
Ohio State entered Saturday simply needing a win over Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game in order to reach the BCS National Championship Game, but the Buckeyes lost their first contest under Urban Meyer by a 34-24 score. Braxton Miller, Carlos Hyde and the rest of the OSU offense was stymied by Michigan State's defense at times, and it ended up costing the Buckeyes in the end.
Alabama received an at-large bowl berth, and even though it won't be going for yet another national title, it still has plenty to play for. Nick Saban's squad can't afford to let its guard down or it could end the season on a two-game losing streak.
With beloved quarterback AJ McCarron set to play his final game as a member of the Crimson Tide, though, the Alabama players should be motivated to perform well.
Speaking of the SEC, a couple of BCS-worthy teams in No. 8 Missouri and No. 9 South Carolina were left out due to the fact that each BCS conference can only have two BCS representatives at most. It's unfortunate since both teams had a great campaign, but such is life under the BCS system.
A couple of other teams worth noting are conference champions No. 6 Baylor and No. 5 Stanford. Both programs have been in the mix all season long, and they earned their way into the BCS by winning their respective (Big 12 and Pac-12) conference championships.
Perhaps the most intriguing storyline aside from the BCS National Championship Game entering the final week of the regular season related to Northern Illinois. The Huskies crashed the BCS party last season, and they needed a win over Bowling Green in the MAC Championship Game in order to do so again this year. But it didn't come to fruition as the Falcons came away with a 47-27 victory.
Heisman Trophy candidate and No. 23 Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch had another strong performance, but it wasn't enough to lift the Huskies. Northern Illinois must now settle for a lesser bowl, and there will be no non-BCS schools in a BCS bowl this season.
Now that the BCS standings are finally settled, it's time to stop letting the computers dictate things and start letting college football's best teams battle it out on the field.
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