BCS Rankings 2012: Who's Too High, Too Low in Week 8 Standings?

Jonathan McDanal@@jdmcdanalContributor IIIOctober 15, 2012

BCS Rankings 2012: Who's Too High, Too Low in Week 8 Standings?

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    At last, the moment college football has been waiting for since late August is here. The first of the many BCS Top 25 lists has been released.

    While many people have speculated as to where certain teams would be, there is no longer any speculation. We know where the teams are. Now it's time to have some real fun.

    Who cares where the teams are? Everyone. This list will be used to determine major bowl pairings at the end of the season.

    Who disagrees with at least one of the teams' rankings? Everyone. That's what makes this so fun. There is still half a season left for the majority of FBS teams out there.

    This list will look a lot different in the next two months, and it's never too early to talk about how we think this list will change over the next few weeks.

    Join me as we tear through the standings to make a "too high, too low or just right" call on each team in the BCS Top 25.

    *Stats from ESPN.com

25. Texas Longhorns

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    Texas has lost to the only two ranked teams on its schedule in back-to-back weeks. While it was a close loss to West Virginia, the Oklahoma Sooners tripled the Longhorns' 21-point performance.

    Texas Tech exposed West Virginia and thusly exposed the Texas defense. However, losing to the ninth- and 13th-ranked teams in the nation doesn't mean you shouldn't be in the top 20. There are teams ahead of Texas that the Longhorns could beat.

    Verdict: too low.

24. Iowa State Cyclones

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    One of Iowa State's losses was to the sixth-best team in the nation, according to the AP. The other was to the Texas Tech squad that just dismantled West Virginia.

    Iowa State has performed very well and only lost to that Kansas State team by six points. Also, the Cyclones took down Casey Pachall and the TCU Horned Frogs. Something no one on the rest of TCU's schedule can claim, even with a win.

    Verdict: just right.

23. TCU Horned Frogs

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    TCU has only suffered one loss this season, but that was to a two-loss Iowa State squad. There were even more questions raised by starting quarterback Casey Pachall's departure.

    Those questions were seemingly answered against Baylor in Week 7, when the Frogs defeated the Bears 49-21. There will be a huge opportunity to move up in the rankings against Texas Tech this week.

    If TCU is for real, we will find out then, but not until then.

    Verdict: too high.

22. Boise State Broncos

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    Boise State has improved throughout the season, but that improvement has been anything but steady. The Broncos have yet to prove that they are a legitimate contender, but they haven't proved they aren't a Top 25 team yet either.

    Verdict: just right.

21. Cincinnati Bearcats

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    Cincinnati may or may not be better than 21st. The Bearcats have done nothing but win in 2012, but the biggest victory they have is against a Virginia Tech team after the Hokies were exposed by Pittsburgh.

    The road ahead is much tougher and will allow the 'Cats to rise up the rankings steadily very soon with continued success.

    Verdict: just right.

20. Stanford Cardinal

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    Stanford rounds out the Top 20 for the BCS after losing to Washington and Notre Dame.

    While the Huskies loss looks bad, hanging with the Irish certainly looked good for the Cardinal. That combination of games should put Stanford on the radar, but that is all.

    There will be plenty of chances to move up before this season is over. Right now, though, this spot is giving the Cardinal too much credit.

    Verdict: too high.

19. Clemson Tigers

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    Clemson's lone loss came to the Florida State Seminoles by 12 points. Clemson has owned every team it has played by at least a touchdown, and that includes SEC foe Auburn.

    One measly loss to a highly-ranked team that blew out everyone else it played should not have the Tigers at No. 19.

    Verdict: too low.

18. Texas A&M Aggies

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    No disrespect to Louisiana Tech intended, but the Aggies gave up 57 points to them in Week 7.

    It's not that Texas A&M shouldn't be ranked, as it has only lost to Florida. However, the Aggies just beat Ole Miss and Louisiana Tech by a combined five points.

    Verdict: too high.

17. Texas Tech Red Raiders

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    Tommy Tuberville has brought SEC-style defense to the Big 12. Until he also brings championship consistency to this squad, he will have to be content with rankings like this.

    The Red Raiders exposed West Virginia and Geno Smith. Had the Raiders been able to do that to Oklahoma the week before, this ranking would be much higher.

    Verdict: just right.

16. Louisville Cardinals

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    Louisville is a co-favorite with Rutgers to win the Big East, and the Cardinals have yet to lose a game. However, with the lone signature win coming over North Carolina of the ACC, the Cardinals will have to do better to earn higher spots.

    Right outside of the Top 15 is a good spot for them at this time.

    Verdict: just right.

15. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

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    Rutgers has proved a little more than other Big East teams this year, and not just by winning. Rutgers currently holds third place in the nation in fewest points allowed.

    Rutgers will look to ride its defense all the way to a BCS appearance.

    Verdict: just right.

14. Florida State Seminoles

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    Florida State's mind-blowing letdown against NC State was inexcusable, and they properly dropped in the rankings.

    However, with dominating performances in every other game played, it's perfectly reasonable to have this team a few notches higher. Especially with the nation's fourth-best scoring offense.

    Verdict: too low.

13. West Virginia Mountaineers

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    It's one thing to have a team ranked higher than another team simply due to having one loss. However, West Virginia was manhandled by Texas Tech in Week 7.

    One of these teams is mis-ranked horribly. Since I already called Texas Tech "just right," you can probably guess where this is heading.

    Verdict: too high.

12. Mississippi State Bulldogs

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    Mississippi State has found a way to do something it hasn't always done consistently: win.

    While its three best wins are over Tennessee, Kentucky and Auburn, the Auburn victory proves that it's better than last year. The Bulldogs find a way to fight for victories week in and week out.

    However, those three victories leave more questions asked than answered, especially with the questionable margin of victory over Troy at six points.

    Verdict: too high.

11. Georgia Bulldogs

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    While Georgia is a one-loss SEC team, it was exposed by South Carolina as both offensively and defensively not elite.

    Sitting this team outside looking in at the Top 10 was a good move. It needs some serious adjustments before moving any higher.

    Verdict: just right.

10. USC Trojans

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    After the tough seven-point loss to Stanford, USC took a huge fall from the top of the rankings. All the Trojans could do from there on out was win to silence the critics.

    What a coincidence! That's exactly what the Trojans have done. With the combination of wins and teams ahead of them taking losses, the Trojans have landed at No. 10. The teams ahead of them that lost should have moved them further up the charts, though not by much.

    Verdict: too low.

9. Oklahoma Sooners

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    The Sooners have both beaten and lost to a team ranked 15th in the nation. That's pretty straightforward math.

    If they are both better and worse than the 15th team in the nation, that's a pretty solid argument for 15th. Maybe, since the loss came to now-AP-fourth-place Kansas State, you could argue a spot just outside the Top 10. I might agree with you on that.

    Verdict: too high.

8. Oregon State Beavers

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    Oregon State led the season off with a stunning upset of the Wisconsin badgers. That raised a lot of eyebrows. The next week, the Beavers took down another ranked team in UCLA. That got people wondering if the Beavers were legit.

    All that winning over unranked opponents has landed Oregon State well inside the Top 10. Some are still awaiting confirmation. Wisconsin and UCLA haven't exactly stayed atop their respective divisions.

    After all the Beavers have worked for, there is still a key ingredient missing from the season: a quality win over an opponent that's likely to be ranked at the end of the season.

    Verdict: too high.

7. South Carolina Gamecocks

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    South Carolina took a rough loss to LSU in Death Valley at night. With a margin of two points sitting in Carolina's "L" column, the Gamecocks' potential undefeated season came to a halt.

    The blowout win over Georgia still looks amazing, though, and has landed South Carolina at seventh in the BCS standings.

    That may be a mistake.

    Verdict: too high.

6. LSU Tigers

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    The LSU Tigers experienced that one loss that motivates you to take your frustration out on every other opponent scheduled. That loss came to the Florida Gators in Week 6.

    LSU had been on a downward trend that caused some to doubt its ability as a team. LSU's response? Take down the second-highest-ranked SEC team in the AP Poll.

    The reward? Respect.

    Verdict: just right.

5. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

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    With an overtime win over the Stanford Cardinal, Notre Dame moved to 6-0 on the season and is already bowl-eligible.

    The Irish aren't going to stop there, though. The Irish have logged three victories over ranked opponents with no FCS cupcake breaks in between. The season did start with the FBS-cupcake Navy Midshipmen, but the Irish drowned them 50-3, so that's exactly what a great team should do.

    Other than that, the Irish have done what few other teams could do: win. With the myriad of one-loss teams rolling around in 2012, it's an honor just to make it this far without one of those pesky "loss" things.

    Verdict: just right.

4. Kansas State Wildcats

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    Kansas State joins the ranks of the undefeated after rolling through Oklahoma and the always-ready-to-upset-you Iowa State Cyclones.

    Collin Klein and company are leading the Big 12, and just a couple more huge wins could net them the Big 12 title.

    With everyone else in the conference sitting on at least one loss, it should come as no surprise that the Wildcats are fourth on this list.

    Verdict: just right.

3. Oregon Ducks

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    Oregon sits at the third spot, with the ability to make the BCS title game by simply winning all of its games.

    Oregon has stopped some of the nation's highest-scoring offenses while scoring more than enough points itself. While Oregon is sitting pretty, it is perhaps a little short of where it should be.

    The games will sort this out for all of us over the next two months.

    Verdict: too low.

2. Florida Gators

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    After LSU's downward trend over the last few weeks, some questions were wrapped around Florida's ranking.

    After LSU knocked off South Carolina, those questions were answered, and the Gators earned a top-three spot behind the nation's leading teams. At least, that's what happened in the AP Poll.

    Enter the BCS and one of the most legit gripes on the slate. Florida jumps Oregon for pretty much no reason at all. Maybe it was stopping Tennessee's hot-and-cold offense. Who knows?

    Either way:

    Verdict: too high

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

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    Alabama has won every game it has played by more than two touchdowns. However, the Tide still have yet to face a team at full strength.

    The two major tests to the Tide's secondary should have faced at this point were originally supposed to be Arkansas and Missouri. When they took the field, those two teams were without their starting quarterbacks.

    The bigger point here is that the Tide have dominated almost every single opponent. While they might not have proved conclusively that they are top dog, they certainly haven't left much room for debate.

    Verdict: just right.