BCS Rankings Projections Week 12: How Will Top 25 Look After Saturday?
The BCS projections, where we college football writers get to put out our guesses as to how the polls will look when they are released on Sunday evening.
There were teams that weren't supposed to lose that did and teams that may have made more of a case this week than the last.
Could there be a new No. 1 team come Sunday night? Could the Oregon Ducks be bumped out of the top spot by Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers? If you look at the two teams' performances on Saturday, there are arguments to be made for that exact change.
What about Wisconsin's 83-point performance against Indiana? TCU almost getting upended by San Diego State could be reason enough for Boise State to pass them up.
There could be quite a few changes when the new BCS poll is released on Sunday. As for right now, here are my projections for how the new BCS poll will look after college football's 12th week.
25. Michigan Wolverines
Due to a few teams in front of them losing and due to the fact that Michigan had received votes after the last AP and USA Today poll was released, the Wolverines have a shot to sneak in come tomorrow night after a convincing 27-16 win over Purdue.
They are 7-3 and there are some that don't believe this is a top 25 team, but don't be surprised if their name comes up.
24. Miami Hurricanes
The Miami Hurricanes have been here once before and, after a blowout win over Georgia Tech, look to be back in again.
If you look at their schedule, two of their losses came against Ohio State and Florida State, though their loss to Virginia isn't looking all that good at the moment.
23. Texas A&M Aggies
Texas A&M looks like they made a genius move benching Jerrod Johnson and bringing in Ryan Tannehill as their quarterback.
Since then, the Aggies are unbeaten including a 42-30 win over Baylor on Saturday night. They're playing great football and could be a huge thorn in the side of Nebraska, who's hoping to get into a BCS bowl.
But not only has Tannehill become a problem, now teams have to match up against running back Cyrus Gray, who ran for 134 yards and four touchdowns against Baylor.
22. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Alabama got pushed out of any shot at a back-to-back BCS titles but they did the pushing around on Saturday against Mississippi State in a 30-10 win.
The Bulldogs were 19th in the last BCS poll but could be taking a few steps back when the new poll is released on Sunday.
The games don't get easier as they have Arkansas and Mississippi left on their schedule. The slip may not be over here.
21. Arizona Wildcats
The Arizona Wildcats couldn't have had a worse match up against USC.
Their defense had carried them to some big wins but it wasn't enough against the Trojans tonight in a 24-14 loss at home.
They won't take that big of a drop in the polls, but it wouldn't shock me if they were lower than this.
20. South Carolina Gamecocks
We all thought South Carolina proved a heck of a point when they knocked off Alabama when they were the top-ranked team in the country.
A week later, the Gamecocks went to Kentucky and lost. Left me scratching my head as to how that works from one week to the next. How do you beat the No. 1 team in the nation then lose on the road to Kentucky the following week?
Anyway, the Gamecocks put up another impressive performance and on the road no less. The Florida Gators are definitely not what they were.
19. Nevada Wolfpack
I've been critical of the Nevada Wolfpack, especially a team who got to stay in the top 25 even though they have a loss to Hawaii on their record.
However, they do have one of the more underrated quarterbacks in college football. I won't say he's in the top 20 at his position, but he's close. I'm speaking, of course, about Colin Kaepernick.
They are in Fresno taking on the Bulldogs in a conference showdown, one week before the Bulldogs travel to Boise to take on the Broncos and two weeks before Boise heads to Reno to take on Nevada.
For now, Nevada will stay close to the top 20 and won't make much of a move up.
18. Utah Utes
The Utah Utes couldn't have been worse in back-to-back weeks.
After getting thumped, at home by the way, against TCU last weekend, the Utes traveled to South Bend and didn't come out much better.
Before their game against TCU, the Utes had scored less than 30 points just once all season. Now they've done that exact thing in back-to-back weeks.
In fact, they've scored just 10 combined points in those two games.
Talk about a hangover.
17. Iowa Hawkeyes
Exactly what Iowa couldn't afford to have happen. What is it with teams that come up with a big win, they face a team that isn't even close to the team they beat and they end up losing?
Northwestern decided to have a little party at Iowa's expense and pulled off a 21-17 upset of the then-13th-ranked Hawkeyes.
While I do have them sitting at 17th, I wouldn't be surprised to see them fall more than this.
16. Missouri Tigers
Here's another team that has confused me to the point where I need to take some sort of headache medicine just to get my mind focused again.
They almost lose to San Diego State, they get ranked inside the top 10, get it handed to them by Nebraska and Texas Tech in back-to-back weeks, then they come back with a win at home against Kansas State.
Not that a win over the Wildcats is impressive, but it just makes me wonder what kind of team Missouri is. Are they good, or did they peak too early and were unable to stay around for the late rounds?
15. Virginia Tech Hokies
I'm going to start out my analysis of Virginia Tech by saying this. I don't hear anyone calling Boise State's win over the Hokies "soft" over the past, oh, eight weeks?
Ok, moving on.
After losing their first two games including their home opener to James Madison, the Hokies have run off eight straight wins.
Not bad for a team that was the butt of just about every bad college football joke out there. They're looking dangerous right now and they've reached the top 15. Just how much better can it get?
14. Oklahoma Sooners
The Oklahoma Sooners would love to turn back time and play their game over again that lost them the top spot in the nation.
However, they really haven't played all that well all season. At least not consistently.
Their loss to Missouri was one thing, but their loss to Texas A&M is quite another. Though, I will give the Aggies credit because they're playing extremely well of late.
While the Sooners picked up a 45-7 blowout win over Texas Tech, they lost defensive tackle Adrian Taylor for the remainder of the year due to a torn Achilles in the second quarter.
13. Arkansas Razorbacks
First of all, big time congrats going out to Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. The Razorback quarterback threw for a school-record five touchdowns and ran for another in a 58-21 win over UTEP.
Not that the Miners are a great opponent, but a win is a win, am I right?
Arkansas will move up two spots from 15 to 13 and could move up a few more if they keep playing as well as they have over the last four weeks.
Though, their final two games won't come easy against Mississippi State and LSU.
12. Alabama Crimson Tide
Alabama is going to stay right where they are, as not one of the teams in front of them lost on Saturday.
They won't get their shot at another BCS title this year, but they'll get a chance to ruin Auburn's shot at it at the end of the year.
Don't think they won't be foaming at the mouth for that shot.
11. Oklahoma State Cowboys
Oklahoma State continues to rack up impressive win after impressive win.
I wasn't sure about them going into their game against Baylor last weekend. I really thought the Bears would give them more of a fight than they did.
The Cowboys followed that one up with a big win over Texas...though it seems everyone is beating the Longhorns these days.
10. Michigan State Spartans
It looked, at least for awhile, that Michigan State might be a darkhorse for a big time BCS game. That was until they were beaten by Iowa at the end of October.
They'll get back in the top 10 but I don't know that they'll do enough to get themselves back in the BCS bowl conversation.
They will, however, see a respectable bowl game at the end of the year.
9. Nebraska Cornhuskers
I'm not exactly sure what to think of the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Their loss to Texas is looking pretty bad at this point, especially since everyone is putting a beating on the Longhorns this year.
Not exactly sure the last time we were able to say that.
Since then, they've rolled up four straight wins, including a big win over then-seventh-ranked Missouri in Lincoln.
Not sure where they stand in terms of the BCS, but I don't know that they'll see a BCS game when the season is over.
8. Ohio State Buckeyes
Ohio State was another one of the those teams that succumbed to the top-ranked jinx after losing to Wisconsin on the road.
Since that loss, they have gone through three straight wins against Purdue, a bad Minnesota team, and a not as good as first thought Penn State team.
The Rose Bowl might be calling their name when this season comes to a close. We'll see how the last few weeks shake up.
7. Stanford Cardinal
The Stanford Cardinal have their lone loss against the nation's top team...if they remain the top team in the nation when the new BCS poll is released on Sunday evening.'
However, they do have two great players in quarterback Andrew Luck and running back Stepfan Taylor. They're much improved from last season and could sneak their way into a BCS game if they can finish strong.
6. LSU Tigers
No disrespect to LSU, but I keep wondering if they're really as good as most think they are.
Sure they knocked off Alabama, but shouldn't they really have two losses to both Florida and Tennessee at this point? One bad penalty from the Vols lost them the game and an arguable call kept them from losing to the Gators.
Like I said, I'll give them credit for beating Alabama at home, I guess I'm just not 100 percent sold that they can take on Arkansas on the road and win.
5. Wisconsin Badgers
The Wisconsin Badgers have become a good football team in a short amount of time.
Knocking off Ohio State at home when the Buckeyes were the top-ranked team in the nation was impressive. Not only that, but they continue to win games even after that when other teams have slipped after beating a better team (see: South Carolina).
Their only loss so far this season was to Michigan State, a team that worked their way up to the top five after that win over the Badgers, so you can't call that a bad loss.
This is not a team anyone wants a part of right now, and I don't blame them.
4. TCU Horned Frogs
I know there will be a lot of people wondering why I ranked TCU fourth and the team in front of them third.
TCU blows out Utah and follows that up with a lackluster win over San Diego State. I know San Diego State is a good football team, but after shutting out just about everyone, how do you give up 25 points to the Aztecs?
Sorry TCU, you're not staying at No. 3.
3. Boise State Broncos
Boise State is back in third position thanks to a lopsided, dare I say, much-needed blowout win over Idaho.
I've been saying this entire season that Boise State needed to put the gas to the floor and not let up. They would need to run up the score night in and night out if they were going to get close to sniffing the national championship game.
I can make an argument for TCU to stay where they are, but I won't. Boise State will move up this week.
2. Oregon Ducks
This is a game that Oregon needs to look back on and let it never happen again. I'm going to drop them back to the second position thanks to a game they, by all rights, should have lost.
They played a lackluster game and they did something they haven't done all season, they believed their own hype.
For the first time all season, they heard everything being said about them and about how they had their ticket already punched for the national championship game.
The Ducks need to finish the last few weeks strong or risk losing the shot they have right now.
1. Auburn Tigers
The Auburn Tigers are back in the No. 1 position after their performance against Georgia. Couple that with Oregon's lackluster performance against Cal and we have an interesting poll being released on Sunday night.
With everything that's come out against Auburn and their quarterback, Cam Newton, you would think a letdown would be in order or at least not being ready for certain games, especially like this one.
But, that's not what has happened, as it seems to have made this team stronger.
They still have one more showdown left, and that's against Alabama. They have their own destiny in their hands. Win and you're in.