The 2013 college football campaign concluded on Saturday night with a bang. A number of teams were able to make things interesting heading into bowl season by pulling off unexpected, upset victories against their opponents in Week 15.
Fortunately, the Associated Press recently released the latest Top 25 poll. This not only gives fans a clearer picture of how the BCS standings may look when they are released on Sunday evening, but will also help determine the organization’s national champion next month.
Let’s take a look at the updated Week 16 poll, compare the results to the Week 16 official Bleacher Report rankings and recap the biggest moments that helped shape the standings this week.
|Associated Press Top 25 Poll Week 16|
|1||Florida State (56)||13-0||1,496||1||1|
Florida State remained on top of the polls after a blowout victory against Duke in the ACC Championship. The No. 1 Seminoles are poised to contest for the national title after shaking off a slow start to earn a 45-7 victory over the Blue Devils.
Auburn leaped to No. 2 after a thrilling SEC Championship win over Missouri, who fell to No. 9 after the loss. This battle of Tigers was an offensive clinic, with Auburn star running back Tre Mason breaching the 300-yard rushing mark by himself.
After the victory, head coach Gus Malzahn told the media that he believes his squad deserves a chance to contest for the national championship, as per Phillip Marshall of AuburnTigers.com:
Yeah, we're the SEC champ, I believe we (the SEC) won it the last seven years. We play the toughest schedule of any of the other teams. A lot of teams aren't getting better each week. This team is. We're playing our best football right now. I like our chances against anybody.
The Tigers have a very good chance of contesting for that title thanks to Ohio State. The Buckeyes fell five spots to No. 7 after a disappointing outing in the Big Ten Championship. Michigan State’s defense was just too much for OSU to overcome, as the Spartans snapped a 24-game winning streak that began at the start of the 2012 campaign and climbed to No. 4.
MSU will be facing off against Stanford in the Rose Bowl. The Cardinal took care of business against Arizona State in the Pac-12 Championship and are now poised to contend in the 100th edition of The Granddaddy of Them All.
Other notable results from the week include Baylor’s victory over Texas, as well as Oklahoma’s defeat of Oklahoma State in the Bedlam Series. This allowed the Bears to outright claim the Big 12 title, the first in school history.
Northern Illinois had its BCS dreams crushed by Bowling Green. The Huskies were simply outmatched in the Mid-American Conference Championship and suffered their first defeat of 2013.
UCF was able to secure a BCS berth coming out of the American Athletic Conference with a 17-13 win over Southern Methodist. The Knights, who come in at No. 15, finished the year with a respectable 11-1 record.
It was a thrilling week of college football with yet another multitude of changes to both the national championship and BCS bowl pictures.
The latest AP poll reflects that, and now the voters have to watch each upcoming game with a careful eye in order to cobble together the final AP Top 25 standings. It’s an exciting task, but an unenviable one if the results of these playoff contests are anywhere near as crazy as the last few weeks of the regular season have been.