BCS Rankings Week 14: Who's Overrated and Who's Underrated
The Week 14 BCS Rankings are out, and we finally have a mostly solidified BCS bowl picture.
While some teams, like the Ohio State Buckeyes and Stanford Cardinal, are lucky enough to avoid a conference championship game, the Auburn Tigers must overcome one more obstacle to make it to the championship game.
Most of the teams will have to endure the slow process of waiting to see whether they can sneak into a BCS bowl game or whether they will be stuck with the Capital One or Champs Sports Bowls (not that there's anything wrong with these games).
Since there is likely to be little change in next week's rankings, let's look at which teams are overrated and which are underrated in the Week 14 BCS Rankings.
Overrated: TCU Horned Frogs
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Absolutely no team in the country was more excited by the prospect of a Boise State loss than the TCU Horned Frogs.
With the Boise State Broncos losing to Nevada on two missed field goals, TCU steps into the No. 3 position in the BCS rankings, hoping that either Oregon or Auburn will lose in its final game.
Why is TCU so overrated?
Well, starting with the schedule, TCU has played just two ranked opponents. The first game versus then-No. 24 Oregon State was a nine-point home victory. Oregon State, however, would prove to be a mediocre team, continuing on to a 5-6 record.
The Beavers will most likely not get the sixth victory needed to guarantee bowl eligibility considering Oregon State plays No. 2 Oregon this week.
The second game came against No. 5 Utah. The Horned Frogs do deserve some credit for the way they thoroughly dominated the Utes on the road; however, the Utes seem to have been overrated themselves. The following week Utah lost by 25 to Notre Dame and continued to stagger to the finish line with low-margin victories against San Diego State and Brigham Young.
Beyond the highly regarded defense is a weak schedule and poor passing offense that is ranked just 54th in the NCAA. One better hope that Oregon and Auburn win, or we will see one of the worst BCS championship games of all time.
Underrated: Wisconsin Badgers
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It's difficult to call the Wisconsin Badgers underrated since there is only one one-loss team in front of them, but they are a better team than the Stanford Cardinal.
Despite all of the hype concerning Oregon's offense, Wisconsin has had one of the best offenses in the NCAA this season.
The Badgers have scored 70 points or more in a single game three times this season, including an 83-point performance against Indiana, a team that only gave up 18 points to Iowa the week before.
Oregon, on the other hand, has eclipsed 70 points just once, and the Auburn Tigers have yet to break 70 points.
If beating up on bad defenses doesn't impress, then beating up on good ones surely will.
Wisconsin put up more than 30 points against both the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Ohio State Buckeyes. The Hawkeyes rank seventh in the NCAA in points allowed, while the Buckeyes are third overall in college football.
The Badgers' lone loss came on the road to Michigan State, another excellent team that has only one loss and is eighth in this week's BCS rankings. Stanford and TCU may have better defenses, but Wisconsin's schedule was far more difficult this season.
Overrated: Ohio State Buckeyes
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It's not the Buckeyes' fault, but Miami was just not impressive this year as an out of conference opponent. Additionally, Ohio State was able to avoid Michigan State this season. The only difficult Big Ten games this season for Ohio State were against Iowa and Wisconsin.
Wisconsin thoroughly dominated the Buckeyes in the meeting between the two teams on October 16th rushing for 186 yards. Iowa narrowly missed beating Ohio State last weekend after the Buckeyes rallied from down seven points in the fourth.
After these two teams, Ohio State really hasn't played any other difficult teams. The only other ranked opponent was No. 12 Miami, who barely made it to seven wins this season.
The Buckeyes may only be slightly overrated, but they are riding their reputation in order to be ranked over Michigan State.
Also, for good measure, Jim Tressel is one of the worst coaches at a big-time football school in the country.
Underrated: Virginia Tech
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Granted, Virginia Tech had one of the worst starts in the history of its program.
The Hokies started 0-2, losing a heartbreaker against Boise State before getting embarrassed by James Madison at home. Arguably, without the loss to JMU, Virginia Tech could be sitting at No. 4 or 5 in the BCS rankings.
Since the horrific start, Virginia Tech has steamrolled the opposition, winning 10 consecutive games, including victories over two ranked opponents and some other tough teams in Boston College, Georgia Tech and North Carolina.
Virginia Tech does not belong in the Top 10, but it is a better team than fellow two-loss teams Nebraska, Oklahoma State and Missouri.
A win against Florida State next week could leapfrog them above these teams.
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It's hard to say that a one-loss team ranked 17th in the BCS is overrated, but the Wolf Pack seem to get it done.
Nevada has played the same schedule as Boise State without the difficult out of conference opponents. The Wolf Pack have only played one ranked team this season, and that was the Boise State Broncos this past weekend.
Nevada played well; however, there is no way the Wolf Pack should have won the game. Two missed easy field goals by Boise State essentially gave Nevada the victory.
Nevada's loss came against Hawaii, a difficult opponent with the highest rated passing offense in the country, but considering the Wolf Pack managed just 21 points against Hawaii's 46th-ranked defense, it was not a very impressive showing.
If one team drops out of the Top 16 in the BCS rankings, Nevada will gain BCS eligibility. While the Wolf Pack will not likely receive a bid, they should be nowhere near the BCS until they play a decent out of conference opponent in the regular season.
Underrated: South Carolina
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Sitting at No. 19 in the latest BCS rankings, South Carolina is underrated even with its 9-3 record.
The first and most obvious reason that the Gamecocks are underrated is that they sit three spots behind No. 16 Alabama.
Alabama is not a bad team and may in fact have more talent than the Gamecocks, but both teams have three losses, and South Carolina beat Alabama. Both teams played similar SEC opponents and played five or more ranked teams.
Two of South Carolina's losses came against the Auburn Tigers and Arkansas Razorbacks, two teams that will likely play in BCS bowl games this season.
South Carolina will get an opportunity for some measure of revenge in the SEC Championship Game against Auburn. Knocking off Auburn would put South Carolina in the Sugar Bowl and destroy Auburn's chances of a BCS championship game berth.
Overrated: Florida State
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At No. 21 Florida State could be the most overrated program in the BCS Top 25. Florida State is 9-3, and while they are the lowest ranked team amongst teams with at least nine victories, the Seminoles are still overrated.
Florida State played only two ranked opponents this season. The Seminoles were absolutely demolished by 30 points against Oklahoma and beat down the aforementioned overrated Miami Hurricanes team.
Aside from these two games, the Seminoles lost twice to unranked opponents. Christian Ponder did not have the Heisman-type season many in Tallahassee were hoping for, and the offense was ranked just 38th in the NCAA in points per game.
Florida State can take solace in beating down one of the worst Florida Gator teams of the decade but will likely settle for a 9-4 record after playing the Virginia Tech Hokies next week in the ACC Championship Game.
Underrated: Texas A&M
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Give Texas A&M some credit. Not the most traditional powerhouse in the Big 12, the Aggies had one of the most difficult schedules in the NCAA this season and pulled through with a 9-3 record.
Texas A&M has played four ranked opponents this season and has gone 2-2 against them. Additionally, the Aggies played unranked Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas Tech and Texas, who were all difficult opponents.
The Aggies have won their last six games, a feat made more difficult by changing their starting quarterback from Jerrod Johnson to Ryan Tannehill.
While they will not get a chance to play for the Big 12 championship, they have to consider a season in which they defeated the North and South Division winners, Nebraska and Oklahoma respectively, a success.