College Football Rankings 2013: BCS, AP and USA Today Standings Roundup

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College Football Rankings 2013: BCS, AP and USA Today Standings Roundup
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The final 2013 regular season college football rankings have been established, so it's worth looking at the deviations between the AP poll, the USA Today Coaches Poll and of course, the polarizing BCS standings.

Not much debate could be had as to who the best two teams in the country were, though, as the Florida State Seminoles were a clear-cut No. 1 across the board.

Thanks to a 59-42 win over Missouri in the SEC Championship Game, the Auburn Tigers earned the right to play for the national championship as the consensus second-ranked team after previous No. 2 Ohio State lost on Saturday.

Let's take a closer look at each poll, with an examination of the most notable movers and how they correspond to one another.

Note: Team statistics are courtesy of NCAA.com.

 

BCS Breakdown

Final BCS Standings
Rank Team AVG Previous
1 Florida State (13-0) .9957 1
2 Auburn (12-1) .9638 3
3 Alabama (11-1) .9061 4
4 Michigan State (12-1) .8600 10
5 Stanford (11-2) .8191 7
6 Baylor (11-1) .7722 9
7 Ohio State (12-1) .7705 2
8 Missouri (11-2) .7256 5
9 South Carolina (10-2) .7152 8
10 Oregon (10-2) .5811 12
11 Oklahoma (10-2) .5756 17
12 Clemson (10-2) .5553 13
13 Oklahoma State (10-2) .5233 6
14 Arizona State (10-3) .4416 11
15 Central Florida (11-1) .4343 16
16 LSU (9-3) .4322 15
17 UCLA (9-3) .3703 18
18 Louisville (11-1) .3199 19
19 Wisconsin (9-3) .2365 21
20 Fresno State (11-1) .1675 23
21 Texas A&M (8-4) .1663 24
22 Georgia (8-4) .1594 22
23 Northern Illinois (12-1) .1572 14
24 Duke (10-3) .1134 20
25 USC (9-4) .0672 NR

Source: ESPN.com

The most notable move is obvious—the Big Ten champion Michigan State Spartans vaulting all the way to No. 4 from the 10th spot after defeating Ohio State 34-24, as the Buckeyes sank to seventh.

A couple of the computers do have Auburn ahead of Florida State for first in the country, but the Seminoles are the overwhelming favorite.

One team that gets a little more love from the BCS is No. 8 Missouri—the ninth-ranked team in both the other two major polls.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Tigers hadn't lost a game this season with their starting senior quarterback James Franklin until the SEC title matchup with Auburn. Their only loss before then was with backup Maty Mauk under center, coming in double overtime to South Carolina, who is ranked ahead of Mizzou in the AP and USA Today polls.

Then again, Missouri's previously stout rush defense allowed 545 yards on the ground to Auburn and did deserve to take a bit of a hit in the rankings.

Auburn was led by junior running back Tre Mason, who ran for an SEC Championship single-game record 304 yards on 46 carries and four touchdowns.

 

 

AP Poll Analysis

Associated Press Top 25 Poll Week 16
Rank Team Record Votes Previous
1 Florida State (56) 13-0 1,496 1
2 Auburn (4) 12-1 1,444 3
3 Alabama 11-1 1,376 4
4 Michigan State 12-1 1,278 10
5 Stanford 11-2 1,217 7
6 Baylor 11-1 1,185 9
7 Ohio State 12-1 1,130 2
8 South Carolina 10-2 1,099 8
9 Missouri 11-2 1,066 5
10 Oregon 10-2 880 12
11 Oklahoma 10-2 878 18
12 Clemson 10-2 848 13
13 Oklahoma State 10-2 797 6
14 LSU 9-3 726 14
15 UCF 11-1 629 15
16 Arizona State 10-3 614 11
17 UCLA 9-3 544 17
18 Louisville 11-1 525 19
19 Wisconsin 9-3 383 21
20 Texas A&M 8-4 282 22
21 Fresno State 11-1 227 24
22 Duke 10-3 201 20
23 Georgia 8-4 196 25
24 Northern Illinois 12-1 144 16
25 Notre Dame 8-4 76 NR

Source: AP

Auburn received four of the 60 first-place votes, which hints at the perception that the SEC is the country's superior conference.

Head coach Gus Malzahn has just done a sensational job in his first season in charge, taking a 3-9 team that is rather one-dimensional offensively and molding the Tigers into a BCS national title finalist.

Beyond the mild South Carolina-Mizzou controversy, the next difference between the AP and the BCS comes at Nos. 14 and 16, where the AP has LSU and Arizona State slotted, respectively. The opposite is true in the BCS.

The Sun Devils were beaten handily for the second time this year, losing the Pac-12 Championship Game to Stanford, but two of the computers have ASU at No. 9. Overall, LSU has a computer average of .350 compared to .590 for Arizona State.

That doesn't really account for the big loss of LSU starting quarterback Zach Mettenberger, who tore his ACL in the regular-season finale against Arkansas.

 

USA Today Coaches Poll Analysis

Week 16 USA Today Coaches Poll
Rank Team (first place votes) Record Points B/R Rank
1 Florida State (62) 13-0 1550 1
2 Auburn 12-1 1486 2
3 Alabama 11-1 1414 3
4 Michigan State 12-1 1342 4
5 Baylor 11-1 1275 5
6 Ohio State 12-1 1211 T7
7 Stanford 11-2 1188 T7
8 South Carolina 10-2 1108 9
9 Missouri 11-2 1088 6
10 Oklahoma 10-2 913 14
11 Clemson 10-2 899 11
12 Oregon 10-2 887 10
13 Oklahoma State 10-2 845 12
14 LSU 9-3 719 13
15 Central Florida 11-1 658 15
16 Louisville 11-1 611 18
17 Arizona State 10-3 602 17
18 UCLA 9-3 520 16
19 Wisconsin 9-3 408 19
20 Fresno State 11-1 344 23
21 Texas A&M 8-4 247 20
21 Duke 10-3 247 22
23 Northern Illinois 12-1 149 24
24 Georgia 8-4 135 21
25 Miami (Fla.) 9-3 73 25

Source: USAToday.com

Arizona State is a spot even further down at No. 17 in the USA Today poll, but ahead of the Sun Devils in the 16th spot is the Louisville Cardinals, led by top-flight quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

The junior signal-caller led his team to a massive 31-24 victory in the Ohio River rivalry over Cincinnati in Week 15.

This play can't be appreciated enough, as Bridgewater scrambles away from Bearcats defenders and delivers a strike to the end zone to help the Cardinals keep pace in what was an overtime thriller.

Louisville's defense deserves appreciation as well, though, because it is No. 2 in total defense, allowing just 257.9 yards per game and 4.27 yards per play.

Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
UCF QB Blake Bortles has guided his team to an 11-1 record this year and a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.

Some of the season's surprise upstarts in Duke, Northern Illinois and Fresno State remain in the Top 25 of all three polls and will play in stellar bowl games, and UCF's 11-1 record garnered the program a No. 15 slot across the board. 

As a result, the Knights will take on the No. 6 Baylor Bears in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., as both programs make their maiden BCS appearances.

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