College Football Rankings 2013: Week 16 AP and USA Today Standings Revealed

Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 07:  Head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers celebrates after their 59-42 win over the Missouri Tigers during the SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 7, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The conference titles have been settled. The two top teams in the country are agreed upon. The only major questions left to be answered is which teams will end up in what bowls and, perhaps more importantly, which schools will receive at-large BCS bids.

All in time, folks—all in time.

For now, let's take a look at this week's Associated Press and USA Today coaches polls, the last time they'll change before the final polls at the end of the season. It's been a wild and crazy ride in college football this year—here's how it looked once it ended. 

Week 16 Associated Press Rankings
RankTeamRecord
1Florida State13-0
2Auburn12-1
3Alabama11-1
4Michigan State12-1
5Stanford11-2
6Baylor11-1
7Ohio State12-1
8South Carolina10-2
9Missouri11-2
10Oregon10-2
11Oklahoma10-2
12Clemson10-2
13Oklahoma State10-2
14LSU9-3
15UCF11-1
16Arizona State10-3
17UCLA9-3
18Louisville11-1
19Wisconsin9-3
20Texas A&M8-4
21Fresno State11-1
22Duke10-3
23Georgia8-4
24Northern Illinois12-1
25Notre Dame8-4
http://collegefootball.ap.org/poll
Week 16 USA Today Coaches Poll
RankTeamRecord
1Florida State13-0
2Auburn12-1
3Alabama11-1
4Michigan State12-1
5Baylor11-1
6Ohio State12-1
7Stanford11-2
8South Carolina10-2
9Missouri11-2
10Oklahoma10-2
11Clemson10-2
12Oregon10-2
13Oklahoma State10-2
14LSU9-3
15UCF11-1
16Louisville11-1
17Arizona State10-3
18UCLA9-3
19Wisconsin9-3
20Fresno State11-1
21Texas A&M8-4
22Duke10-3
23Northern Illinois12-1
24Georgia8-4
25Miami9-3
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/ncaaf/polls/

Analysis

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - DECEMBER 07:  Darien Harris #45 of the Michigan State Spartans celebrates after Michigan State beat Ohio State Buckeyes 34-24  in the Big Ten Championship at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by And
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The truly interesting thing left to debate in this college football season is which schools deserve at-large bids. Alabama and Ohio State are virtual locks, and it seems like a safe bet that the Orange Bowl will select Clemson. So who will that fourth team be?

At this point, it seems likely to come down to three teams—Oregon, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State—and will more than likely be a decision made by the Sugar Bowl. A chance to finally see Alabama face Oregon is enough to get any college fan excited, even if the potential matchup has lost some of its luster with each team losing games this season.

Oklahoma State's loss to Oklahoma not only dropped it down both sets of rankings, it likely ensures that the Big 12 will get just one team into a BCS Bowl. Oklahoma probably isn't sexy enough for the Sugar Bowl this season over Oregon, despite the big win on Saturday. 

STILLWATER, OK - DECEMBER 7:  Quarterback Blake Bell #10 hugs head coach Bob Stoops of the Oklahoma Sooners after the game against the Oklahoma State Cowboys December 7, 2013 at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Oklahoma defeated Oklahoma Sta
Brett Deering/Getty Images

Arizona State's big loss to Stanford, 38-14, also drops it down both rankings and likely removes it from the BCS discussion. 

Of course, none of this would have mattered if Northern Illinois had finished undefeated. The Huskies couldn't close out the season, however, and were hammered in both polls for their failure to do so.

Speaking of lamenting, the SEC is surely lamenting the rules that allow just two teams to play in BCS bowls. Both South Carolina and Missouri are fairly high up in the rankings, yet neither will be eligible for a BCS berth with Auburn heading to the national championship and Alabama the obvious choice for the team's at-large bid.

Beyond that, it was a great weekend for Stanford and Michigan State, as both schools earned a trip to the Rose Bowl and a bump in both sets of rankings. Football purists will surely love this game, as both schools play good defense, love to run the ball and win games in the trenches. 

Meanwhile, Ohio State's first loss in two seasons dropped them down both sets of rankings, but the Buckeyes will still likely be heading to the Orange Bowl to take on Clemson in a game that should be one heck of an offensive display. 

It isn't the national title shot they were hoping for, but a BCS at-large bid is still a pretty solid consolation prize.

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