BCS Rankings: 5 Teams Guaranteed to Fall off the Chart This Weekend

David LutherFeatured ColumnistNovember 10, 2011

BCS Rankings: 5 Teams Guaranteed to Fall off the Chart This Weekend

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    We're coming to the final few games of the regular season, and that means we're beginning to weed out the pretenders from the list of BCS contenders.

    A number of teams are already hanging by a thread—those teams ranked 13 through 25. This weekend will provide yet another round of BCS eliminations, including some teams that will drop from the BCS rankings altogether.

    Here are five teams we guarantee you won't see on Sunday when the BCS rankings are announced.

No. 23 Cincinnati

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    If there's been one surprise in the Big East this season, it has to be the fact that Cincinnati, not West Virginia, is sitting atop the conference in mid-November.

    When the year began, everyone assumed that West Virginia was the team to beat in the Big East in 2011. Well, a lot of teams did just that: beat West Virginia.

    The Mountaineers began the season ranked at No. 24, and had climbed all the way up to No. 16 in time for their showdown against then-No. 2 LSU.

    Even an expected loss didn't shatter WVU's Big East dreams. A loss a few weeks later at Syracuse, on the other hand, threw a giant wrench into the Big East prognostications for the year.

    After that loss, WVU tumbled all the way from No. 11 to No. 25.

    After losing to Louisville, the wheels had clearly come off, and West Virginia now sits a paltry 2-2 in the conference.

    Cincinnati, however, has been riding high, and has its own ranking to protect, to say nothing of a Big East title chase. The Bearcats are a perfect 3-0 in conference, and 7-1 overall while finding themselves ranked No. 23 in the latest BCS ranking.

    In reality, Cincinnati can actually afford a loss to WVU this weekend and still capture the Big East title (Louisville is the only team with one conference loss, at the hands of Cincinnati).

    It looks as if we're headed for an unranked Big East champion finding their way into the BCS on a technicality.

    Cincy will lose this weekend and fall from the BCS rankings, but they'll still manage to claim a Big East championship this season.

No. 21 Georgia Tech

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    There were a lot of people high on the Yellow Jackets this season, and Georgia Tech climbed all the way to No. 12 in the Coaches Poll before their two-game skid against unranked ACC opponents.

    It looks as if the Rambling Wreck found some traction just in time to get beat by the king of the ACC-Coastal on Thursday evening, Virginia Tech.

    The Hokies sit atop the division with a 5-1 conference mark, and they are hungry for an opportunity to get some revenge on Clemson. The win over Georgia Tech almost guarantees the Hokies another trip to the ACC Championship Game, and it will also erase Georgia Tech's BCS ranking.

No. 20 Auburn

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    After Clemson ended what was then the nation's longest winning streak, the luster came off of the Auburn bandwagon.

    Gone were the Auburn fans' bold statements that Auburn was a lot better than everyone though, and before long, Auburn had lost two more games. After the losses to Arkansas and LSU, the Tigers now sit in fourth place in the SEC, and have no shot at a repeat SEC title.

    Auburn isn't a bad team, per se, but they're no longer the class of the SEC, and this weekend Georgia will provide the final, mathematical dagger in the Tigers' SEC title defense.

No. 19 Nebraska

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    There's been no shortage of press coverage this week in not-so-Happy Valley. The media circus in State College, PA has been nothing short of emotionally draining for players, coaches, fans and everyone who has watched this train wreck.

    What is perhaps lost is the fact that there's a football game this Saturday between the Nittany Lions and Nebraska Cornhuskers.

    It's hard to focus on football right now at Penn State—and rightfully so—but the Nittany Lions are in a dogfight for a Big Ten title, and a win against Nebraska would go a long way towards earning a trip to Indianapolis.

    The Cornhuskers are coming off of an embarrassing loss at home to Northwestern, dispelling any ideas of a Nebraska rout in the Big Ten this season. The Huskers can still be considered a team in the top half of the conference, but they can't claim top-tier status quite yet.

    For Penn State, it's senior day.  A bittersweet final home game of 2011 will provide just the emotional release for Penn State, and the Nebraska offense won't be able to put up many points on a hard-hitting Lions defense. Penn State will pull out a victory, hopefully bringing a moment's respite for the people of Pennsylvania after a very trying week.

No. 14 Kansas State

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    Kansas State has been a pleasant surprise in the Big 12 this season. At one point the Wildcats counted themselves amongst the top 10 teams in the nation.

    But the clock eventually struck midnight, and the magical horse-drawn coach turned back into a pumpkin.

    After getting absolutely smoked by Oklahoma, and the Wildcats lost a nail-biter to Oklahoma State, the Wildcats are all but eliminated from Big 12 championship consideration. The Wildcats were punished in the human polls, but the computers liked their play well enough to keep them steady at No. 14 in the BCS.

    This week, Kansas State will face a Texas A&M team that is looking for their sixth victory this season much later than many expected. Still, the Aggies are a team loaded with talented athletes, and Kansas State's recent schedule will prove to take its toll on the Wildcats.

    The Aggies will win this game by a few scores, and Kansas State's computer rankings will tumble. Combined with the fall from the human polls, you won't be seeing Kansas State come Sunday night when the BCS rankings are announced.