Harris Interactive Poll Week Eight: Florida State Leads An Upward Charge

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Much like in the Coaches’ Poll, Florida State grabs a big chunk of support from the Harris Interactive Poll voters, sliding into the third spot and challenging Oregon for the No. 2 spot.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – October 20

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 2615 .996
2 Oregon Ducks 2520 .960
3 Florida State Seminoles 2401 .915
4 Ohio State Buckeyes 2321 .884
5 Baylor Bears 2038 .776
6 Missouri Tigers 2026 .772
7 Miami Hurricanes 2008 .765
8 Stanford Cardinal 1952 .744
9 Texas Tech Red Raiders 1662 .633
10 Clemson Tigers 1616 .616
11 UCLA Bruins 1323 .504
12 LSU Tigers 1212 .462

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Eight: Florida State Makes Its Move

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Florida State’s win over Clemson gives the Seminoles just the bounce they need to jump to No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll right before the first BCS standings.

A weekend of upsets and surprises allows for a completely different looking Coaches’ Poll on this first BCS weekend of the 2013 season, but no shift is more important or impressive than Florida State’s, as the Seminoles will make a big play tonight for No. 2 in the first BCS standings of the season.

Elsewhere, Baylor, Miami and Missouri hop into the top eight with ease after teams clear out of the way.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – October 20

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1544 .996
2 Oregon Ducks 1482 .956
3 Florida State Seminoles 1410 .909
4 Ohio State Buckeyes 1382 .892
5 Baylor Bears 1255 .810
6 Miami Hurricanes 1186 .765
7 Missouri Tigers 1184 .765
8 Stanford Cardinal 1117 .721
9 Texas Tech Red Raiders 981 .633
10 Clemson Tigers 913 .589
11 UCLA Bruins 710 .458
12 Oklahoma Sooners 695 .448

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — October 20

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One final time in college football we get to decide who plays for a national title on a set of five bowl games whose purpose is stated simply — match the two best teams at the end of the season for the national title. Do we know who those teams are yet?

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Alabama vs. Oregon
Rose Bowl Stanford vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl Missouri vs. Clemson
Orange Bowl Florida State vs. Louisville
Fiesta Bowl Baylor vs. Northern Illinois
Scroll down for more

And better yet, do we know where eight other teams constrained to playing somewhat of a second fiddle to those national title contenders would land if the season ended today? What about in a few weeks? The beauty of the BCS was always the drama it engendered by simply existing. This year will be no different.

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Oregon Ducks (BCS No. 2)

Comment: Oregon has its chance to make the kind of national statement it needs against Stanford. A team like Florida State, however, just got its chance. And it took full advantage, but until that time comes for Oregon, it had better look in its rearview (or front-view, depending on how tomorrow plays out) mirror and watch carefully as the rest of the pack chases this bid.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Stanford did exactly what it needed to do against UCLA — bounce back from a disheartening loss to underrated (and truthfully underperforming) Utah with a big win over a top-10 team. Beyond the mental and psychological impact such bounce-back can have, the Cardinal are against clearly in the running for a bid to a BCS bowl. Lost in all this conversation is undefeated Ohio State, which might miss the title game by the skin of their teeth

Sugar Bowl: Missouri Tigers (At-large selection) vs. Clemson Tigers (At-large selection)

Comment: Tigers have been something to behold this season — the up-and-down of LSU, the early dominance of Clemson and Missouri’s resurgence as a dominant national power. At least that’s what’s transpired thus far in the college football year. Missouri has been great up and down the field and has run off an undefeated start to their season. Could they pull off the undefeated SEC regular season and show down with the likes of someone like Alabama for a shot at a title game bid?

Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (ACC champion) vs. Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion)

Comment: Even with their victory over Clemson, nothing is guaranteed for Florida State. Even a No. 2 in tomorrow’s BCS rankings wouldn’t be enough to secure anything. Most teams know that as the BCS era comes to an end. The shock of Louisville’s Friday night loss shouldn’t come as a season-ending blow to the Cardinals, which remain very much alive in the AAC chase for a BCS bowl bid, which comes automatically to the conference’s champion, and could land the conference in the Orange Bowl.

Fiesta Bowl: Northern Illinois Huskies (At-large selection) vs. Baylor Bears (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Name recognition goes a long way in the BCS, as does recency of success. Northern Illinois was the BCS buster du jour of 2012. Now with an undefeated start to the 2013 season, the Huskies could very much be back in the BCS hunt. The Huskies will have some competition from Fresno State this season, but when push comes to shove, knowing the Huskies will benefit the Huskies. The Fiesta Bowl will then pair the at-large selection up with the host team, the Big 12’s champion Baylor.

Simulated BCS Rankings Week Seven: Ohio St., Florida St. Land Comfortably In Top 5 With BCS Looming

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The BCS rankings are looming. Just one week until we enter the final phase of the college football season. And, as if seemingly on queue, the upsets came in droves this weekend.

Simulated BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Oregon Ducks
3 Clemson Tigers
4 Ohio State Buckeyes
5 Florida State Seminoles
Scroll down for more

Stanford, Oklahoma, Georgia and Michigan suffered losses at inopportune times, and the simulated BCS rankings reflect the sea change. Sure, Alabama, Oregon and Clemson land in familiar spots, but after that, things get different fast. How are we figuring this out?

  • We’re using the normal method for the Coaches’ and Harris polls, taking vote share, which is explained on our BCS Formula page.
  • We’re also using all available BCS versions of the BCS component computers, which this week includes: Colley’s Matrix, Massey’s BCS, Sagarin, Anderson & Hester and Billingsley. However, we will not remove any of the rankings, as BCS usually does, as to get a better overall sense of where we stand. No need to eliminate when we don’t have the complete picture to begin with. Five computers used means a total possible score of 125 in the component.
  • In total, we’ll say these rankings reflect the real BCS rankings with about 94% accuracy

With just a week before we get a real version of the BCS on the night of Oct. 20, we have a simulated version that’s nearly 100% accurate, and interesting things have begun to happen.

Ohio State and Florida State’s steady climb has finally begun to pay off, as the Buckeyes and Seminoles land at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively. Finally, after weeks of languishing well below their full BCS potential because of weak computers and a bevy of undefeated teams to contend with, the Buckeyes and Seminoles are primed for possible runs at a title game bid.

The next group of contenders is led by teams now well within striking distance if things can fall their way. One-loss No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Texas A&M and No. 10 South Carolina, plus undefeated No. 8 UCLA and No. 9 Louisville fill out the rest of the top 10.

Undefeated Missouri, the darling of the computers with the third-highest overall computer aggregate, lands at No. 13, while new Big 12 frontrunner Baylor lands at No. 11.

Here are the simulated preseason BCS rankings at the end of the seventh week:

2013 Simulated BCS Standings — October 14

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9842
2 Oregon Ducks .9387
3 Clemson Tigers .8781
4 Ohio State Buckeyes .8373
5 Florida State Seminoles .8345
6 LSU Tigers .7428
7 Texas A&M Aggies .6920
8 UCLA Bruins .6726
9 Louisville Cardinals .6252
10 South Carolina Gamecocks .5766
11 Baylor Bears .5721
12 Stanford Cardinal .5716
13 Missouri Tigers .5695
14 Miami Hurricanes .5479
15 Georgia Bulldogs .4554
16 Texas Tech Red Raiders .3594

Harris Interactive Poll Week Seven: Clemson, Ohio State Debut In Top Four In First Harris Poll

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The first Harris Interactive College Football Poll is here, after long last. And though the Harris doesn’t release until seven weeks into the college football season, the results seem pretty standard.

The biggest and most noticeable difference between the Harris and Coaches’ polls is that the Harris elected Clemson a solid No. 3, while the coaches tended to favor Ohio State at No. 3, though had Clemson close behind at No. 4. In the Harris, Ohio State takes the No. 4 spot, with Florida State, Louisville and Texas A&M trailing, as in the Coaches’ Poll.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – October 13

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 2589 .996
2 Oregon Ducks 2501 .962
3 Clemson Tigers 2355 .906
4 Ohio State Buckeyes 2280 .877
5 Florida State Seminoles 2198 .845
6 Louisville Cardinals 1922 .739
7 Texas A&M Aggies 1919 .738
8 LSU Tigers 1914 .736
9 UCLA Bruins 1719 .661
10 Miami Hurricanes 1570 .604
11 South Carolina Gamecocks 1511 .581
12 Stanford Cardinal 1482 .570

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Seven: Stanford, Georgia Clear Out

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A weekend of upsets allowed for the first real shaking of the Coaches’ Poll this week, as Stanford and Georgia’s exit from the top-12 makes room for some interesting story lines and for teams to move into contending position.

Florida State is up to No. 5 this week, while Miami and Baylor land safely inside the top-12, with everyone still chasing No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – October 13

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1545 .997
2 Oregon Ducks 1485 .958
3 Ohio State Buckeyes 1406 .907
4 Clemson Tigers 1365 .881
5 Florida State Seminoles 1293 .834
6 Louisville Cardinals 1166 .752
7 Texas A&M Aggies 1156 .746
8 LSU Tigers 1098 .708
9 South Carolina Gamecocks 1024 .661
10 UCLA Bruins 999 .645
11 Miami Hurricanes 905 .584
12 Baylor Bears 890 .574

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — October 13

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Upsets — love ’em or hate ’em, they’re as much a part of college football as is Saturday morning fogginess during “College GameDay.” For the first time in 2013, really, during week seven, we got a handful of truly important ones. And though their outcomes might not have set things in stone, they certainly shuffled things up a bit when it comes to the BCS.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Alabama vs. Oregon
Rose Bowl Stanford vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl LSU vs. Florida State
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl Baylor vs. Louisville
Scroll down for more

So what’s next for the likes of Georgia and Stanford? What becomes of two teams who were looking fondly toward a BCS berth during the final season of this era? We can only guess, but the outlook for now shifts somewhat dramatically for these teams.

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Oregon Ducks (BCS No. 2)

Comment: There’s no denying it, Alabama, for all its faults this season, still seems to be the best equipped and ready for a title game run in 2013. Who else can challenge the Tide? Could it be that now, with Stanford out of the way, the best chance at knocking off the reign of the SEC lies in Eugene? Perhaps, and Oregon went about proving their Pac-12 dominance in a victory over Washington.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)

Comment: The loss to Utah hurts Stanford, it hurts the Cardinal bad. But there is plenty of hope left in Palo Alto for a BCS bowl berth. Even if Stanford is unable to resurrect its title game ambitions with a victory over Oregon later this year, it could be headed to the Rose Bowl if it can solidify itself as a 10-win club in the Pac-12. There will be plenty to deal with, mostly likely UCLA’s resurgence and the possibility of Washington’s continued success, but for now, the Cardinal seem like a strong possibility here.

Sugar Bowl: LSU Tigers (At-large selection) vs. Florida State Seminoles (At-large selection)

Comment: One loss does not a season make. Two losses? Perhaps. The second loss of the season for Georgia could end up being killer, as the Bulldogs might miss an opportunity at a BCS bowl in the era’s last year. LSU’s important win over Florida strengthens the guys from Baton Rouge’s case for a BCS at-large bid to replace the SEC bid in the Sugar Bowl. As for Florida State, the looming battle with Clemson will be telling, but even a loss there would not be world-ending.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (ACC champion) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (At-large selection)

Comment: Clemson has made its name this season as a team led by offensive strikers from around the field. It was no different on Saturday against Boston College, though those strikes were somewhat less often. For Oklahoma, however, the offensive strikes barely came against Texas. Does that mean that the Sooners are down for the count on BCS terms? Not quite yet, but Oklahoma will have to show a bit of resolve to get to another BCS bid, as the trips to Baylor and Oklahoma State laid out in front of the Sooners don’t seem to spell positive things quite yet.

Fiesta Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion) vs. Baylor Bears (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Louisville continues its romp though its AAC schedule but must continue to ponder the question whether an undefeated run thought their schedule would spell more than a bid to one of the four non-title game BCS bowls. For Baylor, however, Oklahoma’s loss to Texas sets them up nicely for a Big 12 title, with the opportunity to play all the remaining contenders in the Big 12 chase, including undefeated in conference play Texas and Texas Tech and a showdown with Oklahoma State. Wins could spell a big fiesta for the Bears.

Simulated BCS Rankings Week Six: Clemson, Stanford Continue to Battle

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Though we’re still two weeks removed from the first official BCS rankings of the season, with so many teams running through the early part of their schedules without a bump, it seems like we’re bound to be in for some real intrigue.

Simulated BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Oregon Ducks
3 Clemson Tigers
4 Stanford Cardinal
5 Ohio State Buckeyes
Scroll down for more

The kind of back-and-forth in the rankings that we’ve come to expect manifests itself this week with the ongoing battle between Clemson and Stanford, two teams that have traded the No. 3 spot in our simulated BCS rankings since the start of the season. How are we figuring these out?

  • We’ve replaced the Harris Poll, which wont be available until mid-October, with the AP Poll
  • We’ve begun to use all available BCS versions of the BCS component computers, this week that includes: Colley’s Matrix, Massey’s BCS, Sagarin, Anderson & Hester and Billingsley. However, we will not remove any of the rankings, as BCS usually does, as to get a better overall sense of where we stand. No need to eliminate when we don’t have the complete picture to begin with. Five computers used means a total possible score of 125 in the component.
  • In total, we’ll say these rankings reflect the real BCS rankings with about 61% accuracy

This week, despite Stanford’s bounding gains in the computer rankings, it’s Clemson that takes the No. 3 spot. That’s what happens when the two-thirds of the formula based on the voting polls favors the Tigers. That margin, however, is small. To the point where no more than a handful of votes in either the Coaches’ or AP polls could have swung the tides in Stanford’s favor.

So with the Tigers and Cardinal set in their 3-4 tandem, we instead turn our attention to Ohio State and Florida State, two teams that saw wide-spread support from the voters in the early going, but struggled to find that computer love every BCS contender needs.

All that has changed in the last few days, as victories over Northwestern and Maryland, respectively, have given the duo new life in the computers. The Buckeyes averaged a 8.6 ranking while Florida State pulled in an average of 4.6 across the five computer rankings.

Both are stronger than they had been in the early goings of these simulations, positive steps for two teams possibly gearing up for a fight to the finish with a bevy of other undefeated squads.

But enough talk — here are the simulated preseason BCS rankings at the end of the sixth week:

2013 Simulated BCS Standings — October 6

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9789
2 Oregon Ducks .8893
3 Clemson Tigers .8736
4 Stanford Cardinal .8627
5 Ohio State Buckeyes .8186
6 Florida State Seminoles .7982
7 Georgia Bulldogs .7466
8 Oklahoma Sooners .6560
9 LSU Tigers .6256
10 Louisville Cardinals .5699
11 UCLA Bruins .5664
12 Texas A&M Aggies .5617
13 Miami Hurricanes .5100
14 South Carolina Gamecocks .4769
15 Baylor Bears .4668
16 Michigan Wolverines .3827

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Six: Florida State’s Week To Move

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A blowout win did wonders for Florida State this week, vaulting the Seminoles from No. 8 to No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Interestingly, Alabama loses a little ground on the rest of the field this week, with Oregon gaining double the number of first-place votes as the week before, and watching teams like No. 4 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State creep every closer to the top. With two more weekends before the first BCS rankings and one more weekend until the Harris Poll appears for the first time, the Coaches’ Poll is the one to watch for now.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – October 6

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1544 .996
2 Oregon Ducks 1486 .959
3 Ohio State Buckeyes 1379 .890
4 Clemson Tigers 1356 .875
5 Stanford Cardinal 1327 .856
6 Florida State Seminoles 1188 .767
7 Georgia Bulldogs 1130 .729
8 Louisville Cardinals 1105 .713
9 Texas A&M Aggies 1067 .688
10 Oklahoma Sooners 964 .622
11 LSU Tigers 953 .615
12 South Carolina Gamecocks 833 .537

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — October 6

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The BCS has always had trouble with too many teams finishing the season undefeated. It’s seasons like 2004 that have brought the BCS to its knees and foretold the end of this era. But how fitting would it be for the BCS, in its final year, to bow out with one last blowout controversy with a handful of undefeated teams and no true way to differentiate them?

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Alabama vs. Stanford
Rose Bowl Oregon vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl Georgia vs. Florida State
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Michigan
Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma vs. Louisville
Scroll down for more

With Stanford’s big win over Washington and Ohio State’s big win over Northwestern, we might just be headed for a season’s end with bevy of deserving teams with spotless records. Though it seems pretty assured an undefeated SEC team would make the title game, who would get the nod to play that SEC squad in the title game?

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Stanford Cardinal (BCS No. 2)

Comment: An impressive and tight victory over a very good Washington team was among the best wins of the weekend among title contenders, and with Oregon in Palo Alto facing the Cardinal squarely down the road, things could be coming up Cardinal in the last BCS title game. Alabama, for their part, has had little trouble starting their season with another undefeated run through early opponents.

Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Ohio State’s strong victory over Northwestern was as important as Stanford’s Washington victory, but with only a game against Michigan during the final Big Ten regular season week left as far as tough games, is there enough to push Ohio State past a potential Pac-12 undefeated team? As for Oregon, if they come up short of a Pac-12 title and an undefeated run through their season, they’d land softly in the Rose Bowl.

Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (At-large selection) vs. Florida State Seminoles (At-large selection)

Comment: Georgia continues to keep their national title and BCS hopes alive with impressive victories in nationally televised games with Aaron Murray at the helm. Sure, the Bulldogs’ loss to Clemson was crushing to open the season, but it seems all the more likely that Georgia belongs in the upper echelon of teams in the country. With that in mind, the Sugar Bowl would likely want to take the Bulldogs as a replacement and pair them with the ACC’s second-best team, Florida State.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (ACC champion) vs. Michigan Wolverines (At-large selection)

Comment: After two weeks of struggling against lesser foes, Michigan showed their strength against Minnesota for a much-needed easy victory in Big Ten play. Though it hasn’t been impressive, Michigan has won five games to open the season, and even if they are unable to top Ohio State at the end of this year, a one-loss Big Ten team will be hard to pass up for an at-large BCS bid. As for the Tigers, will a victory over Georgia and a potential victory over Florida State be enough to push them into the national title game or will they have to settle for an Orange Bowl bid as simply the ACC’s champion?

Fiesta Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Louisville might be at the very bottom of the totem pole when it comes to teams with the chance to capitalize on an undefeated season. Mostly, that’s a result of the schedule laid in front of them in the all-new AAC. But that’s not to say that things couldn’t fall in their favor, there’s just a lot that has to happen. As for Oklahoma, the Sooners will be tested against a Baylor team that seems unstoppable, but if they are able to triumph there, they’d be favored to make the Fiesta Bowl as the Big 12’s champion and host.