Thoughts On The First BCS Rankings Of 2013

The fateful weekend has arrived. The BCS rankings are now out. Who is up? Who is down? What does it all mean? I’ll fill you in.

First off, the rankings themselves:

1. Alabama
2. Florida State
3. Oregon
4. Ohio State
5. Missouri
6. Stanford
7. Miami
8. Baylor
9. Clemson
10. Texas Tech
11. Auburn
12. UCLA
13. LSU
14. Virginia Tech
15. Oklahoma
16. Texas A&M
17. Fresno State
18. Northern Illinois
19. Oklahoma State
20. Louisville
21. South Carolina
22. Michigan
23. UCF
24. Nebraska
25. Oregon State

How do I feel about these rankings? I’ll at least say this- I feel a lot worse about the computer rankings. Here are the top 10 teams according to the computers:

1. Florida State
2. Alabama
3. Missouri
4. Oregon
5. Ohio State
6. Stanford
7. Auburn
8. Virginia Tech
9. Clemson
10. Miami

Yeah, Auburn and Virginia Tech in the top ten. Not so sure about that. After a poor start to their season, Alabama has come on strong to show they are No. 1. I wasn’t so sure after watching them with Virginia Tech, Texas A&M and Colorado State. But they’ve recovered from those games. Only 16 points in their last 5 games with two shutouts. Wow. I’ll just do this. If I were a part of the AP Poll, this is the ballot I would cast:

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. Missouri
5. Ohio State
6. Stanford
7. Miami
8. Baylor
9. Texas Tech
10. UCLA
11. Auburn
12. Oklahoma
13. Virginia Tech
14. Clemson
15. LSU
16. Fresno State
17. Nebraska
18. Oregon State
19. Michigan
20. Texas A&M
21. Arizona State
22. South Carolina
23. UCF
24. Louisville
25. Northern Illinois

Clemson should drop way farther if you ask me. Their “signature win” is against Georgia…and how good does that look now? They trailed Boston College at home until the fourth quarter last week. They got obliterated by Florida State at home. Let’s be real here. Clemson isn’t an elite football team. They’re a good football team. But not at all worthy of a top ten ranking.

So how do things look to be shaping up? Of the teams in my top ten right now, I expect Miami, Baylor and Texas Tech to not be there at the end of the season. I don’t anticipate Auburn staying near the top ten either. Crazy as this sounds, Missouri might stay put. They have a 2 win advantage in the SEC East. If they beat South Carolina they are guaranteed in the SEC championship. Who would have guessed Missouri and Alabama would be on a collision course before the season began.

Of all the rankings, as usual, the coaches poll is atrocious. It’s sickeningly awful. UCF and Louisville each have one loss. UCF just gave Louisville theirs. Yet the coaches have Louisville at 16 and UCF at 25? And the Knights did this on the road! They even went on the road and beat Penn State. They nearly took down South Carolina at home. What has Louisville done? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Texas A&M has two losses. Auburn has one. Auburn just beat Texas A&M on the road. But the coaches have the Aggies at 15 and the Tigers at 17. Madness! And Baylor is 5 but Missouri is 7? Who has Baylor played? They have had one single road game and were trailing going in to the fourth quarter. Missouri beat Georgia and Florida in consecutive weeks. Coaches needs to look at some scores.

I am kind of peeved that the BCS has Florida State ahead of Oregon for one big win against what turned out to be a not very great team. But Oregon gets UCLA, Stanford and Oregon State in the coming weeks, all teams in the BCS top 25. Florida State gets Miami. I would say Oregon leaps them if both stay unbeaten. And let’s be honest, we know Alabama will be unbeaten and in the BCS championship, and we would all rather see Oregon there with them than Florida State.

I know what you’re thinking. When will Baylor play anybody? Kansas this week, followed by Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. They will come to earth soon enough. What I want to know is how someone manages to get 7 home games, 4 road games and 1 neutral site game on their schedule. Baylor only plays Kansas State, Kansas, Oklahoma State and TCU on the road. One tough game in the bunch. But we all talked about how soft a schedule Louisville had too, so count on the Bears dropping at least 2 or 3 in the second half of the season.

So now how do I see the season going down? UCF wins the American and goes to a BCS bowl, probably Orange. Florida State plays Virginia Tech for the ACC Championship. They win and go to the Orange Bowl against lowly UCF.

Ohio State beats Nebraska in the Big Ten championship and goes to the Rose Bowl to play Stanford. Oregon beats UCLA (again) for the Pac-12 Championship and goes to the title game against Alabama who beats Missouri for the SEC championship.

The Big 12 is still murky, but at this point I think Oklahoma pulls it out and goes to the Fiesta Bowl against an at large team, probably someone from the Big Ten. I would guess Michigan or Michigan State. Texas A&M goes to the Sugar Bowl against an ACC team, Clemson, Miami or Virginia Tech. Those are my best guesses for the moment.

Lots of top 25 matchups are heading our way though, so plenty can happen to shake things up. Let’s hope the second half of the season is more exciting than the first half.