The two teams atop the BCS standings heading in to Week 12 in college football weren't active this weekend, so changes at the top of the BCS poll can't be expected even after a tumultuous and exciting week of action across the country. There are plenty of other teams, however, that should see their standing in the often-unpredictable BCS rankings change once this week's polls are announced on Sunday night.
As the week's action wraps up it's time to try and predict what rankings the computers will spit out for Week 13. We'll go from one down all the way to 25 to try and guess how the top 25 will play out heading into the final games of the regular season.
Oregon is off until Friday when they'll host the Arizona Wildcats in what should be a tough Pac 10 game. They might be in a bit of jeopardy in falling from number one in the BCS thanks to Stanford crushing Cal this week, and Cal was a team that Oregon barely escaped with a win against last weekend.
Still, I don't see them slipping this week, and think they will hold strong at the top.
Auburn has the Iron Bowl coming up this Friday night, which should be a brutal game and could lead to the Tigers' first loss of the season if the Alabama defense finds a way to slow down quarterback Cam Newton. Win or lose Auburn is still heading to the SEC Championship game to take on South Carolina and could still feasibly play themselves into the BCS title game. For now, Auburn remains solidly at number two, and they may even stay there if they drop the Alabama game. But that's for discussion come next weekend.
The first change in the rankings from last week, I think Boise State moves up one spot, jumping over TCU and into the third spot in the rankings. They put up a big win over Fresno State, while TCU may suffer a bit in the strength of schedule department as Utah continues to struggle and are losing to San Diego State as of this writing.
A drop in Utah's legitimacy, plus Virginia Tech keeps winning which increases Boise State's resume thanks to the Broncos' opening week win over the Hokies. Boise State could get a further boost if they can beat conference foe Nevada next weekend, and could stand a slip up in the top two away from being in the BCS Championship.
The Horned Frogs wrap up their regular season next Saturday against New Mexico, but they will need a lot of help to jump above number four in the polls, at least in my opinion. An undefeated regular season is impressive, but their opposition doesn't match up with the teams above them. Wins against Baylor and Utah are impressive but I don't think it's enough to keep TCU ahead of Boise State in the rankings, if Boise is to also run the table.
Stanford has dominated the Pac 10, losing only to Oregon, and they are fresh off dismantling the Cal Berkeley Bears in Week 12, meaning I think they jump up a spot into the top five of the BCS ranking. Cal gave Oregon a run for their money and I think the style in which Stanford dismantled them will help their standing. So, too, will LSU's near loss to Ole Miss, and while the Tigers' resume remains impressive I think the recent performances by both Stanford and Wisconsin help their cases in the BCS standings.
Wisconsin crushed Michigan this week at the Big House, and they are locked in a tight race for the Big Ten conference championship and a ticket to Pasadena. They can clinch at least a share of the title with a win next week against Northwestern, and I think their recent performances and the strength of the Big Ten pushes them up above a team from a just-as-strong if not stronger conference, in LSU and their SEC schedule.
LSU survived a tough game against Ole Miss but I expect them to slide a few spots in the BCS rankings based largely on the performances other teams have posted this week, of which LSU's pales in comparison. They can still move up a few more spots given a big win next week at Arkansas in what should be a very tough game.
The Buckeyes pulled out a big last-minute win over Big Ten rival Iowa on the road this week, and I think they'll move up a spot in the BCS rankings as a result. Iowa is a quality team and their only loss came at the hands of Wisconsin, a fellow Big Ten power that could move up the poll this week.
Oklahoma State is in the midst of arguably the best season in their football program's history and after spanking Kansas this weekend and clinching at least a share of the Big 12's South division. Their game against in-state rival Oklahoma next weekend has huge ramifications for both the Big 12 and the BCS. For now I think OSU moves up one spot in this week's rankings.
Last year's national champions will round out this week's BCS top ten after blowing out Georgia State. They head into the Iron Bowl against Auburn with a chance to move up higher in the rankings and gain a better spot in terms of bowl invitations.
Oklahoma gets a nice boost thanks to Texas A&M's upset win over Nebraska, combined with the Sooners' own strong consecutive showings against Texas Tech and Baylor. They head into a showdown with Oklahoma State with a great shot of forcing their way into the Big 12 title game, and a strong chance of playing their way into a bigger BCS bowl.
Michigan State had to rally back and eek out a win over Purdue at home in the fourth quarter, but their run in the Big Ten still keeps them in good position at number 12 in this week's BCS. They still have a shot of pulling out a Big Ten title but it will take a tough win at Happy Valley against Penn State next weekend, as well as some outside help.
It's debatable whether Missouri or Nebraska should be ranked higher, as they're both two-loss Big 12 teams but I think the BCS will punish Nebraska a bit more for their loss to Texas A&M this week. Missouri's defense did all the work this week, but their win over Oklahoma looks to be carrying more weight now that the Sooners are surging. I think Mizzou or Nebraska are interchangeable right now, but give the Tigers the edge in this edition of the rankings.
Nebraska's loss to a tough Texas A&M team is sure to send them down the rankings and I think they'll land at number 14 this week. They should be able to bounce back in their last regular season game against Colorado, but they can also move themselves higher up if they're able to win the Big 12 title game.
The Hokies had a rough start to their season but since then have played up to being the class of the ACC. This week's win over Miami should bump Virginia Tech up another spot in the BCS standings.
Arkansas escaped an overtime thriller to win on the road against Mississippi State this week, and their only two losses have been to Auburn and Alabama. Yet I still think they will fall a few slots just because of the strength of the performances of the teams directly above them.
Nevada is still rolling through the WAC, only having lost to Hawaii, a team that's performed well in their own right throughout the year. They have a huge game coming up next weekend against Boise State, which will play a big role in the BCS rankings and could mean a nice move up for Nevada, or a plummet towards the bottom of the top 25. For now I think they move up one spot.
A win over Nebraska in a hard fought Big 12 showdown means that A&M should move up. They would move up more had the teams above them in the ranking not all performed and delivered wins. Their three previous losses work against them even if they came at the hands of quality teams.
South Carolina blew out Troy this week, and they're on track to challenge Auburn in the SEC Championship game in two weeks. They'll have to play Clemson next weekend and a win should move them up a few spots in the rankings again, but for now they remain in the high teens.
I think this is as high as Arizona will be able to climb for the rest of the year, as they have a date with Oregon lined up for this coming weekend. But they still move up thanks to losses from Iowa and Mississippi State.
A win over Maryland plus a loss from Miami means that the Seminoles move up a few spots in the rankings and land at No. 21 this week. Their losses have been tough ones and they have still played well enough to remain towards the top of the ACC.
Iowa lost this week, but all their losses have been to tough teams, be it three Big Ten opponents plus Arizona from the Pac 10 in the non-conference schedule. They belong in the low top 25 thanks to beating Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan.
They beat Florida State and UCF, two teams that have been in the top 25 at various times. This week they beat North Carolina in a rivalry game, and I think they crack the top 25 as a result.
UCF is atop the Conference-USA standings and are coming off a big win over Tulane. They lost to Southern Miss which knocked them from the top 25, but I think they crack the rankings this week again thanks to their strong performance in Week 12.
Utah has struggled against TCU and Notre Dame in consecutive weeks and came out flat against San Diego State, but they still seem poised to hold on to a top 25 spot, at the very back end of the BCS. They are on extremely thin ice, though, and could easily fall out of the rankings.