BCS Standings 2012: Week 11 Rankings and Latest Bowl Game Projections

T.J. Mcaloon@@tjmcaloonContributorNovember 5, 2012

BCS Standings 2012: Week 11 Rankings and Latest Bowl Game Projections

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    With 10 weeks of the college football season completed and the first BCS standings in the final month of the season now released, we now have a pretty clear picture of what bowl games the top 25 teams will be playing in. 

    In the latest BCS standings, we still have the same championship game of Alabama vs. Kansas State. However, with Oregon's victory over USC, the Ducks move past one of the undefeated teams in Notre Dame. 

    If Oregon can continue to rack up record point totals from here on out, will it be enough to knock off a perfect Kansas State squad? Or will the strength of the Big 12 schedule be enough for the Wildcats to hold off the charging Ducks?

    Click through to see where the top 25 teams will be playing come bowl season.

No. 25 Toledo

1 of 25

    Record: 8-1

    Latest Victory: Oct. 27 at Buffalo 25-20

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 20, vs. Cincinnati 29-23

    Next Game: Nov. 6 vs. Ball State 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 14 at Northern. Illinois 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 26 Little Cesar Bowl

    The MAC gets a spot in the latest BCS standings with Toledo cracking the top 25. The Rockets enter the standings after a big win over Cincinnati two weeks ago. They should continue to stay in the standings as they will take on Ball State next week.

    Toledo will find their way into the Little Cesar Bowl as one of the top MAC teams after playing for the conference championship. 

No. 24 Northwestern

2 of 25

    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Oct. 27 vs. Iowa 28-17

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 vs. Iowa 28-17

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Michigan 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 10 vs. Michigan 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Outback Bowl

    The Big Ten bowl picture is about as easy to understand as a piece from Pablo Picasso. 

    There's nothing bad about making a January 1st bowl game, even if Northwestern has the talent to contend for a spot in the Rose Bowl. Unfortunately, a loss against Michigan next week will send the Wildcats to the fourth spot in the conference, landing them in the Outback Bowl. 

    Which, as I just said, is nothing to frown about if you're a Wildcats fan. 

No. 23 Rutgers

3 of 25

    Record: 7-1

    Latest Victory: Oct. 20 at Temple 35-10

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 vs. Syracuse 23-15

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Army 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 29 vs. Louisville 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 28 Russell Athletic

    Rutgers will finish second in the Big East conference after a loss to eventual conference champion Louisville. With a 10-2 record, and because they play in the Big East, a New Years Day bowl game will be just out of reach.

    Instead, finishing second in the conference will send them Orlando, FL, to play in the Russell Athletic bowl. 

No. 22 Texas Tech

4 of 25

    Record: 6-3

    Latest Victory: Oct. 20 at TCU 56-53 3OT

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 vs. West Virginia 49-14

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Kansas 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 at Oklahoma State 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 29 Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

    Even if Texas Tech has lost its last two games, 2012 has still been a great season. The Red Raiders should win-out in their final three games, giving them nine wins on the season. 

    However, the season will be looked at with a couple of "what-ifs." What if Tech could have beaten Texas? What if they had not imploded in the third quarter against Oklahoma? 

    Instead of playing their way into a BCS bowl, they will be heading to Phoenix, AZ, to play in the Buffalo Wild Wings bowl. 

No. 21 Mississippi State

5 of 25

    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Oct. 20 vs. Middle Tennessee 45-3

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 vs. Tennessee 41-31

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at LSU

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 10 at LSU 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 31 Music City Bowl

    If the Bulldogs could have gotten past Texas A&M last week, then they would have easily finished in the top half in the conference. That would have enabled them to play in a New Years Day bowl game.

    However, they lost and will now become the best 9-3 team to finish No. 7 in their conference. Because they play in the SEC, they will finish with three conference losses and find themselves in the Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN. 

No. 20 Louisiana Tech

6 of 25

    Record: 8-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. UTSA 51-27

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 at Illinois 52-24

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at Texas State 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 vs. Utah State 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 24 Hawaii Bowl

    Louisiana Tech is the token non-BCS school that cracks the top 25 in the BCS standings. If they wouldn't have lost to Texas A&M, 59-57, then they would be in the Top 15 and on their way to breaking into the top 10. 

    If that was the case, we would be seeing them in a BCS bowl game. Instead, this high-powered offense will have to settle for the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve. 

No. 19 USC

7 of 25

    Record: 6-3

    Latest Victory: Oct. 20 vs. Colorado 50-6

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 at Washington 24-14

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Arizona State

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 at UCLA 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 31 Sun Bowl

    Before the season started, the USC Trojans were thought of as a BCS title contender. However, two straight losses to Pac-12 conference members pretty much eliminates that hope.  

    They should get past UCLA on Nov. 17, which will give them the division crown and a shot at Oregon in the conference championship game yet again.

    A loss to the Ducks in that game sends USC, the fourth place team in the Pac-12, to the Sun Bowl. 

No. 18 UCLA

8 of 25

    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. Arizona 66-10

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 vs. Arizona 66-10

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at Washington State 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 vs. USC 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 22 Las Vegas Bowl

    The Bruins have had a great season in that they've already qualified for a bowl game, something they were barely able to do last year. 

    However, they will not be able to get past a more talented USC team when they meet on November 17th. Even with a loss to the Trojans, UCLA will head to the Las Vegas Bowl as the fifth-best team in the Pac-12. 

No. 17 Texas

9 of 25

    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 at Texas Tech 31-22

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 at Texas Tech 31-22

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Iowa State  

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 3 at Kansas State 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl

    Texas' victory against Texas Tech has the Longhorns positioned to overtake Oklahoma should the Sooners lose two of their next four games—a likely scenario as they take on three-straight teams that have averaged at least 40 points per game this year. 

    The only chance that Texas misses out on a BCS bowl game, aside from Oklahoma not losing, is falling to Kansas State to close the season. If they can get past the Wildcats, they will finish in the Top 14 of the final BCS standings and be eligible for an at-large bid. 

No. 16 Nebraska

10 of 25

    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 at Michigan State 28-24

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 vs. Michigan 23-9

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Penn State 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 10 vs. Penn State  

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Rose Bowl

    Nebraska will benefit the most from the NCAA sanctions that were handed down to Ohio State and Penn State in the offseason. Because of the postseason bans, the Huskers will end up playing either Indiana or Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game.

    Nebraska will win its first conference title and represent the conference in the Rose Bowl.

No. 15 Texas A&M

11 of 25

    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 at Mississippi State 38-13

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 at Mississippi State 38-13

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at Alabama 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 10 at Alabama

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Gator Bowl

    This has been an amazing year for the Aggies in their new conference. They will finish sixth in the conference with an astonishing three conference losses, sending them to the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1. 

    Don't be surprised if A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel gives the Alabama defense a tough time next week. I'm not saying the Aggies will beat Alabama on the road, but it will be a close contest. 

No. 14 Stanford

12 of 25

    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 at Colorado 48-0

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 15 vs. USC 21-14

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Oregon State 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 at Oregon 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 2 Rose Bowl

    Stanford has played well in its first season without quarterback Andrew Luck. The Cardinal should get past Oregon State next week when they host a game that essentially determines which team gets the Rose Bowl spot that Oregon will be leaving open. 

    Stanford actually plays Oregon the following week, and while it does not stand a chance against them, the Beavers are a different story completely. 

No. 13 Clemson

13 of 25

    Record: 8-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 at Duke 56-20

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 25 at Wake Forest 42-13

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Maryland 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. South Carolina  

    Bowl Game: Dec. 31 Chick-Fill-A Bowl

    Clemson will not play for the ACC championship as they are stuck behind Florida State, a team that is not going to move from the No. 1 spot in the ACC Atlantic division. 

    With a loss to South Carolina on Nov. 24, Clemson will go from playing in a BCS bowl game to the Chick-Fill-A Bowl as the second-best team in the ACC. 

No. 12 Oklahoma

14 of 25

    Record: 6-2

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 at Iowa State 35-20

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 13 vs. Texas 63-21

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Baylor 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 17 @ West Virginia 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl

    As I mentioned in my Texas slide, the Sooners have four tough games left on their schedule with three of their opponents averaging 40 or more points per game.

    Oklahoma's defense is good, but with two games on the road and the Sooners giving up 50 points in its last two games, I just don't see them finishing as the second-best team in the Big 12. 

No. 11 Oregon State

15 of 25

    Record: 7-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. Arizona State 36-26

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 at UCLA 27-20

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at Stanford 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 10 at Stanford 

    Bowl Game: Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl

    Oregon State's bowl future is dependent on how they play next week on the road against Stanford. If the Beavers win, then they can start booking tickets for the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.

    However, if they lose, which I think they will, they will be sent to the Alamo Bowl when their season is over. 

No. 10 Florida State

16 of 25

    Record: 8-1

    Latest Victory: Oct. 27 vs. Duke 48-7

    Best Win So Far: Sept. 22 vs. Clemson 49-37

    Next Game: Nov. 8 at Virginia Tech

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. Florida 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Orange Bowl

    Florida State has two games left in its regular season conference schedule, next week against Virginia Tech and the following week against Maryland. Both of those teams have combined to go 8-10.

    Florida State should get past both of these teams before heading into the conference championship game against Miami, where they will defeat the Hurricanes yet again and represent the ACC in the Orange Bol. 

No. 9 Louisville

17 of 25

    Record: 9-0

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. Temple 45-17

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 26 vs. Cincinnati 34-31 OT

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at Syracuse  

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 29 vs. Rutgers  

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Orange Bowl

    If Louisville played in any other BCS conference, they would be up there with the four other undefeated teams—Notre Dame, Kansas State, Oregon and Alabama—and contending for a BCS title. 

    However, because of the bad stigma that is associated with the Big East, the Cardinals will finish their season with a perfect 12-0 record and play the ACC champion in the Orange Bowl. 

No. 8 South Carolina

18 of 25

    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Oct. 27 vs. Tennessee 38-35

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 6 vs. Georgia 35-7

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Arkansas 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at Clemson 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Capital One Bowl

    South Carolina will just miss out on the big time. The Gamecocks miss out in playing for the conference title against Alabama just before missing out on playing in a BCS bowl game. 

    All told, they will finish as the best two-loss conference team in the SEC, sending send them to Orlando to play in the Capital One Bowl. 

No. 7 LSU

19 of 25

    Record: 7-2

    Latest Victory: Oct. 20 at Texas A&M 24-19

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 20 at Texas A&M 24-19

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Mississippi State 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 10 vs. Mississippi State  

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Cotton Bowl

    LSU will win its final three games of the season and finish with 10 victories. However, because of the loss to Alabama last week and the loss on the road to Florida back on October 6, the Tigers will not play in a BCS bowl game.

    Instead of playing in the Sugar Bowl, the Tigers will be heading to Texas to take on Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. 

No. 6 Florida

20 of 25

    Record: 8-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. Missouri 14-7

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 6 vs. LSU 14-6

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. LA-Lafayette 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at Florida State

    Bowl Game: Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl

    Florida may not be playing Alabama for the conference title in December. However, that will turn out to be a good thing, as the Gators can sit at home and gain a BCS bowl bid instead of potentially losing a chance at playing in a BCS bowl altogether. 

    Florida will benefit from Alabama's victory over Georgia by playing Texas in the Sugar Bowl. 

No. 5 Georgia

21 of 25

    Record: 8-1

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. Ole Miss 37-10

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 22 vs. Florida 17-9

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at Auburn 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 vs. Georgia Tech 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 1 Outback Bowl

    Georgia will play in the SEC championship game for the second straight year. And, just like last year when they lost to LSU, they will more than likely lose to Alabama. 

    And just like last year, the loss will send the Bulldogs to the Outback bowl to take on another Big Ten team. Last year it was Michigan State—this year it will be Northwestern. 

No. 4 Notre Dame

22 of 25

    Record: 9-0

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. PITT 29-26 3OT

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 27 at Oklahoma 30-13

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at Boston College 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at USC

    Bowl Game: Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl

    The Fighting Irish have three games remaining that separate them from a perfect regular season. Two of those final three games are against sub .500 teams, and the final game is against a preseason BCS title contender. 

    That remaining schedule will not be enough for Notre Dame to get past Oregon or Kansas State for the right to take on Alabama in the BCS title game. 

    Instead, they Irish will play in the Fiesta Bowl. 

No. 3 Oregon

23 of 25

    Record: 9-0

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 at USC 62-51

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 at USC 62-51

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at CAL 

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov. 24 at Oregon State  

    Bowl Game: Jan. 7 BCS Title

    Oregon will end its season with the BCS title game that it deserves. They have the best offense in the nation—averaging an amazing 54.3 points per game—and a defense that hadn't allowed a conference team to score more than 26 points until last week's 51-point effort from USC. 

    This time around, Oregon will look to make up for its shortcomings from the 2010 BCS title game against Auburn. 

No. 2 Kansas State

24 of 25

    Record: 9-0

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 vs. Oklahoma State 44-30

    Best Win So Far: Oct. 6 at Oklahoma 24-19

    Next Game: Nov. 10 at TCU

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Dec. 3 vs. Texas 

    Bowl Game: Jan. 3 Fiesta Bowl

    Kansas State is currently No. 2 in the BCS standings. They will stay in that position until the final BCS standings are released, upon which they will be supplanted by the Oregon Ducks.

    However, it will not be because of Oregon's strength of schedule. Instead, it will be because of an upset in the Wildcats' final game at home to Texas. We saw last week what this Kansas State team looks like when quarterback Collin Klein is taken out of the equation. Yes, last week it was because of a wrist injury, but this opened the door to opponents to know that this team stops playing at an elite level when Klein is rendered useless.

    Texas did well against Texas Tech last week keeping them to only 22 points. A solid game plan against Klein, plus a turnover free day from quarterback David Ash and a dominating performance from the Texas running game, will push the Longhorns over the Wildcats. 

    The loss will still give Kansas State the Big 12 conference title and BCS bowl game berth. However, it will open the door for the Ducks to take over as the No. 2 team in the final standings. 

No. 1 Alabama

25 of 25

    Record: 9-0

    Latest Victory: Nov. 3 at LSU 21-17

    Best Win So Far: Nov. 3 at LSU 21-17

    Next Game: Nov. 10 vs. Texas A&M

    Biggest Stumbling Block: Nov.10 vs. Texas A&M

    Bowl Game: Jan. 7 BCS Title 

    This is Alabama's national championship to lose. The Tide are the best team in the country with no team even within striking distance, and they should win their remaining regular season games and the conference title game.

    Alabama will try to extend the SEC's BCS title winning streak to seven and become the first team to win back-to-back BCS championships.