BCS Rankings Week 9: How Will Current Rankings Change By Year's End
With a new week comes a new batch of BCS Rankings. Just like last week's, there are some teams who may be lower or higher than everyone predicted.
On Saturday we saw another No.1 team fall as the Oklahoma Sooners lost to the No. 11 Missouri Tigers 36-27.
We also saw the No. 19 Texas Longhorns, No. 20 West Virginia Mountaineers and the No. 22 Kansas State Wildcats get upset by the Iowa State Cyclones, Syracuse Orange and the Baylor Bears respectively.
There were matchups of ranked teams: No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers over No. 15 Iowa Hawkeyes, No. 16 Nebraska Cornhuskers over No. 14 Oklahoma State Cowboys and the highlight of the week, No. 4 Auburn Tigers over No. 6 LSU Tigers.
Now teams have moved up, down, in and out of the rankings, and I will tell you where all of these 25 teams will end up when the college football season is over.
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No.25 Baylor Bears
Baylor is the first new team to enter into this week's BCS poll coming off a shootout win against the Kansas State Wildcats, 47-42.
The Bears rank fifth in the nation in passing yards per game, averaging 314.3 yards per game, and are led by quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Sitting at 6-2 and 3-1 in conference play, Baylor is currently atop the Big 12 South standings, and with games left against No. 17 Oklahoma State and No. 9 Oklahoma the Bears control their own destiny in the Big 12.
Where They Finish: Top 25. At best I see Baylor splitting the matchups against the Cowboys and Sooners.
No.24 Nevada Wolfpack
Nevada is the second new team to enter the BCS, and unlike Baylor, they enter the rankings coming off of a loss against the Hawaii Warriors, 27-21.
The Wolfpack have one of the best ground games in all of FBS. They are ranked sixth in the nation and average 288.6 yards per game. Their strength in the run game is due to star running back Vai Taua. Taua is sixth in the FBS with a total of 928 yards.
Nevada is in the middle of the WAC right now with a 1-1 record in the conference, but they have time to climb back to the top.
Where They Finish: Unranked. Nevada has a big game left against the No. 3 Boise State Broncos on November 26; but the Broncos will come out on top of that game, and the rest of Nevada's schedule isn't very strong.
No. 23 Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech got off to a rough start this year. A close loss to Boise State was followed up by a no-show defeat at the hands of James Madison. Since then however, the Hokies have gone 6-0, including 4-0 in the ACC.
Virginia Tech has finally gotten the chemistry they have been looking for and are now putting up points like people expected them to. The Hokies have scored over 40 points in five of their last six games.
At the moment the Hokies have one game left against a ranked opponent: at No. 22 Miami (FL).
Where They Finish: Top 15. I can see Virginia Tech winning the remainder of their games with the streak they are on currently, but I think the damage was done with their two losses early in the season.
No.22 Miami (FL) Hurricanes
The Hurricanes are another new team to enter the BCS and are 5-2 on the year.
Miami has won the games it was supposed to, with its only two losses coming against Ohio State and Florida State.
The main problem for Miami is the lack of a consistent offensive threat. Jacory Harris has been up and down this year and that has hurt the Hurricanes.
Miami ranks 54th and 46th in the FBS in pass and rush offense. If they can find something to hang their hat on offensively Miami could finish the season on a high note.
Where They Finish: Top 25. I see the Hurricanes losing their game against Virginia Tech, even though the game is in Coral Gables.
No.21 Mississippi State Bulldogs
Mississippi State moved up three spots in the rankings this week after their close 29-24 win over UAB.
Mississippi State has rushed their way to an impressive year so far: They are 15th in the FBS, averaging 219.3 yards per game
The Bulldogs, however, are in the middle of the tough SEC West with a 2-2 record in conference. They still have meetings with No. 7 Alabama in Tuscaloosa and No. 19 Arkansas at home left on their schedule.
Mississippi State was able to upset the Florida Gators two weeks ago, so they are not a team that should be overlooked by anyone anymore.
Where They Finish: Unranked. I know I just mentioned the upset against Florida, but I can't see the Bulldogs beating Alabama or Arkansas.
No.20 South Carolina Gamecocks
South Carolina has had impressive games this year, defeating then No. 1 Alabama and playing the now No.1 Auburn Tigers close in a 35-27 loss.
The Gamecocks are sitting pretty atop the SEC East which, unlike the SEC West, doesn't have as many great teams (as shown by the fact that South Carolina's 3-2 conference record is the best in the division).
Michael Lattimore, Alshon Jeffery and Stephen Garcia lead South Carolina on offense in one of the more balanced attacks in the FBS, though the numbers don't represent it. If you slack off the run Lattimore is capable of putting up huge numbers, and the Garcia Jeffery connection is lethal...just ask the Crimson Tide.
Where They Finish: Top 20. South Carolina has one more game left against a ranked opponent, Arkansas, and if they win that they should remain atop the SEC East.
No.19 Arkansas Razorbacks
Arkansas saw an increase of four spots in the new BCS rankings. The Razorbacks are the third SEC team to appear in the Top 25 so far, a theme that doesn't stop here.
Ryan Mallet is back playing for Arkansas now but had an sub-par game compared to his others, as he went 13/24 for 196 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
However, the Razorbacks running back Knile Davis lead the team to a win—if Davis can keep producing three touchdown games then Arkansas will be a tough team for the rest of the season.
Where They Finish: Top 25. I don't expect Davis to have another three touchdown outburst, and with Mallet still looking to find his grove post-concussion it may be a tough end for Arkansas.
No.18 Iowa Hawkeyes
Iowa has one of the toughest defenses in the FBS and ranks 11th in points ,only giving up 15.7 points per game.
A better stat to show their dominance on that side of the ball is that in only three of their seven games has their opponent scored over seven points.
But the Hawkeyes are coming off a close loss at home to the No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers, 31-30.
Iowa now sits in the middle of the highly contested Big 10 at 2-1 with games left against No. 5 Michigan State and No. 11 Ohio State.
Where They Finish: Top 20. The Hawkeyes defense will carry them through this season, but I think the Buckeyes will come out on top of Iowa in their games.
No.17 Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State is the first team that saw their ranking drop Sunday night. The Cowboys lost a high-scoring affair against the No.14 Nebraska Cornhuskers, 51-41.
The main reason for Oklahoma State's offensive outburst is quarterback Brandon Weeden and the No.3-ranked passing game that averages 349.9 yards per game. Weeden is third in passing yards and second in touchdowns thrown in all of the FBS.
Running back Kendall Hunter is also having an impressive year, coming in third in the FBS in rushing yards.
The Cowboys' fatal flaw is their defense, which is allowing 30.9 points per game.
Where They Finish: Top 25. I see the Cowboys winning their game against No. 25 Baylor, but I don't see the same outcome in their game against No. 9 Oklahoma.
No.16 Florida State Seminoles
After an embarrassing loss against No. 9 Oklahoma, 47-17, in the second week of the season, Florida State has finally adjusted to head coach Jimbo Fisher's and new defensive coordinator Mark Stoops' offensive and defensive schemes.
The Seminoles are undefeated since their meeting with the Sooners and rank in the top 25 in rushing yards per game, points per game and points allowed per games.
Florida State is currently at the top of the ACC Atlantic division at 4-0 and faces no more currently ranked opponents for the rest of the season.
Where They Finish: Top 10. If the Seminoles can keep up the run they have going now they should easily make it out of the ACC undefeated.
No.15 Arizona Wildcats
Arizona has shown great signs of being a team to be reckoned with this year, with their only slip up coming in a 29-27 loss to Oregon State at home.
The Wildcats have a tough defense of their own, ranking seventh in points allowed with only 13.4 points per game.
They also like to put the ball in the air, coming in at 14th in the FBS by averaging 298 passing yards per game.
Arizona is in the tough Pac-10 and has their work cut out for them if they want to turn this season into a conference championship and Rose Bowl appearance.
Where They Finish: Top 25. The schedule doesn't lighten up for Arizona, as they face Southern Cal, the No. 13 Stanford Cardinal, and the No. 2 Oregon Ducks in consecutive weeks. I see the Wildcats going 1-2 in those three games.
No.14 Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska survived a game full of offensive onslaught against No. 17 Oklahoma State and are second in the Big 12 North behind the No. 6 Missouri Tigers.
The Cornhuskers are a great run team thanks to quarterback Taylor Martinez and running back Roy Helu Jr. Both average over 6.5 yards per carry, with Taylor Martinez averaging an FBS best 8.7 yards per carry.
Nebraska's toughest game left is against No. 6 Missouri, and it looks to be a great game.
Where They Finish: Top 20. The Cornhuskers are a good team, but after watching the Tigers and the energy and execution they showed against the Sooners I can't pick against them just yet.
No.13 Stanford Cardinal
Stanford dropped back a spot in the latest BCS rankings despite a 38-28 win over Washington State.
The Cardinal are tied for second in the Pac-10 with No. 15 Arizona at 3-1 and trail the undefeated No. 2 Oregon Ducks.
The Cardinal can put up their fair share of points, as they come into this week averaging 42.6 points per game.
Jim Harbaugh has this team playing beautifully in his fourth year at the helm, and teams in the Pac-10 know to no longer overlook Stanford.
Where They Finish: Top 10. The Cardinal's last challenge comes in their game against the Wildcats, and I see Andrew Luck and Stanford moving right through that game and the rest of their schedule.
No.12 LSU Tigers
LSU lost its first game of the season to newly the No. 1 Auburn Tigers, 24-17, on Saturday. The Tigers have had their fair share of close games this season but have found ways to come out on top in each until the game against Auburn.
The Tigers' defense has been their calling card, only allowing 15.6 points per game—good for 10th in the FBS.
LSU has only allowed teams to score over 14 points three times the whole season and are 2-1 in games when their opponent scores that much.
The Tigers get no time to rest, however, as they have a matchup against No. 7 Alabama awaiting them this week.
Where They Finish: Top 20. I think the Crimson Tide will get the better of the Tigers, but I don't see LSU losing another game the rest of the year.
No.11 Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State went into Saturday's game against the Purdue Boilermakers with something to prove after being upset by No. 10 Wisconsin—they did just that, winning 49-0.
The Buckeyes have a great offense and a stout defense. They average 40.8 points per game and allow only 14.0 points per game, which rank sixth and ninth in the FBS respectively.
Ohio State is tied for second in the Big 10 and don't face the top team, No. 5 Michigan State, at all this season, though they do have a matchup with No. 18 Iowa remaining.
Where They Finish: Top 10. I think the Buckeyes finish their season without another loss.
No.10 Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin has been on a roll the past couple weeks with wins over then No. 1 Ohio State and No. 15 Iowa.
The Badgers took it to the Buckeyes in their 31-18 victory but pulled out a nail-biter against the Hawkeyes in a 31-30 win thanks to an eight-yard touchdown run by Montee Ball.
Wisconsin has a relatively easy schedule left, with the Michigan Wolverines being the toughest team they have to face. The Badgers have a chance to win the Big Ten if Michigan State were to falter down the stretch of the season.
Where They Finish: Top 10. The Wolverines and Northwestern Wildcats are the two best teams left on their schedule, and they are 5-2 while everybody else is 4-3.
No.9 Oklahoma Sooners
Oklahoma was the latest No.1 team to suffer defeat with their 36-27 loss to the newly ranked No. 6 Missouri Tigers.
The Sooners are still 2-1 in the Big 12 and definitely in the race to win the Big 12 North division. Landry Jones and Oklahoma's 12th-ranked pass offense are the keys to their early success this season.
If the Sooners can get back to playing the type of football they were before their game against Missouri, then Oklahoma could make its way into the Big 12 Championship game.
Where They Finish: Top Five. The Sooners should win the rest of their games. As long as they are able to avoid another upset, Oklahoma will be one of the top teams in the nation.
No.8 Utah Utes
Utah started off the season with a bang by defeating the then-ranked No.15 Pittsburgh Panthers 27-24 in overtime.
The Utes are one of the highest-scoring teams in all of the FBS, averaging 47.7 points per game ranking them third.
Utah is tied for first in the MWC along with the No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs, and the momentum is building up for their November 6 meeting in Salt Lake City.
Utah's defense is also one of the top in the ,coming in fourth in all of the FBS by only allowing 12.9 points per game.
Where They Finish: Top 15. I don't think the Utes will be able to get the better of the Horned Frogs this year, and even though they'll finish the season with one loss their strength of schedule will drop them down in the polls.
No.7 Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama is the highest ranked one-loss team in the BCS polls at No.7 and rightfully so.
The Crimson Tide have impressive wins over Penn State, when they were ranked No. 18; against Arkansas, when they were ranked No. 10, and over Florida when the Gators were No.7 in the country.
However, they lost to South Carolina a couple weeks back, and it knocked them down from the No.1 ranking they had held onto for the first five weeks of the season.
Alabama still has games against No. 12 LSU, No. 21 Mississippi State and No. 1 Auburn, so getting back to the top of the college football world won't be easy.
Where They Finish: Top Five. Alabama is the best one-loss team in the country, and I think the loss to the Gamecocks woke the Crimson Tide up and showed them they weren't just going to be handed the National Championship trophy.
No.6 Missouri Tigers
Missouri starts off the list of undefeated teams left in college football. The Tigers are 7-0 and atop the Big 12 North standings.
The Tigers have relied on the strength of their defense this year, which is allowing 13.1 points per game, good for fifth in the country.
Missouri played an excellent game against the Sooners on Saturday. They aren't completely home free now: They have a game coming up this week against the No. 14 Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Where They Finish: Top 15. The Tigers are on a high right now, but it isn't certain how long they can keep playing at the level they are now.
No.5 Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State has been the surprise team of the year. People expected them to be good, but there weren't many who were saying that the Spartans would be undefeated and the No.1 team in the Big Ten.
The Spartans have had some adversity this season—following their 34-31 overtime win against Notre Dame head coach Mark Dantonio suffered a heart attack.
After a few weeks away in the press box, Dantonio returned to the sidelines in Saturday's 35-27 win over Northwestern.
Michigan State has one game left against a currently-ranked opponent when they travel to Iowa City to take on the No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes.
Where They Finish: Top 10. The Spartans are off to a great start and have continued to prove doubters wrong week in and week out and kept on piling on the wins, but I think the Hawkeyes provide a test too tough for the Spartans.
No.4 TCU Horned Frogs
TCU is no longer just a BCS buster: They are definite National Title contenders. The Horned Frogs are undefeated on the year and do not look to slow down anytime soon.
Thanks to the No.1 defense in all of the FBS, only allowing 9.0 points per game, they have held an opponent scoreless twice so far this season.
The Horned Frogs don't only rely on their defense to win games, as they are also one of the top scoring teams in the nation. TCU is seventh in scoring, averaging 39.9 points per game.
Where They Finish: Top Five. The Horned Frogs have one test remaining on their schedule in a matchup against No. 8 Utah, but TCU is clicking on all cylinders and doesn't look to slow down anytime soon.
No.3 Boise State Broncos
Boise State is another team that was once considered a BCS buster, but, like TCU, they have kept proving that they are able to live up to the expectations and capable of playing against any team that comes their way.
The Broncos have defeated Virginia Tech and Oregon State this year, with the win over the Hokies coming on a neutral field.
Also like the Horned Frogs, Boise State has both a strong offense and defense. The Broncos are only allowing 12.3 points per game, placing them right behind TCU for second. Their offense scores more than TCU's, coming in fourth in the FBS by averaging 47.5 points per game.
Where They Finish: Top Five. The Broncos are one of the three best team in all of college football easily, but will the computers be able to see that with them not being in one of the power conferences? If they keep winning we will see how that turns out.
No.2 Oregon Ducks
Oregon is the most prolific offensive team in college football. The Ducks are averaging 55.1 points per game, and no team has shown the slightest progress at trying to slow them down so far this season.
The Ducks also have one of the better run games in the nation, ranking third with 308.4 yards per game. The main player responsible for Oregon's explosive rush offense is running back LaMichael James.
James ranks fifth in the FBS with 971 yards (third amongst running backs) and is seventh in the FBS with 11 rushing touchdowns.
Oregon is ranked No.2 in the BCS for the second consecutive week but has tough games left against Southern Cal, Washington, No. 15 Arizona and Oregon State.
Where They Finish: No.1. I don't see the Ducks losing a game this year. Chip Kelly has worked his magic with the offense this year, and the defense isn't just going to lay down either. Oregon is my pick to win the National Championship this year.
No.1 Auburn Tigers
Auburn is the fourth team to be ranked No.1 in the last four weeks. The Tigers are coming off a strong win against No. 12 LSU and have jumped from No.4 to the top of the BCS this week.
The Tigers have been carried this season by Junior quarterback Cam Newton. Newton's 172.1 QB Rating ranks third in the FBS, and his 1077 rushing yards rank second in the nation behind Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.
Newton has pushed his name into the Heisman conversation with his play this year, and he deserves it. However, he has been the lone bright star for the Tigers this season.
Auburn's defense is 53rd in the FBS and giving up 23.5 points per game. With the Iron Bowl against Alabama still left on the schedule, the Tigers better tidy up their defense if they hope to stay atop the BCS rankings.
Where They Finish: Top 15. I don't think Cam Newton can continue to carry this team solely on his shoulders the rest of the year, especially against Alabama. Unless the defense and other players can start to contribute more, Auburn won't be the last team ranked No.1 this season.