Harris Interactive Poll Week Nine: Stanford’s Leap Makes A Statement

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Stanford’s leap from No. 8 to No. 6 in this week’s Harris Interactive College Football Poll is the highlight of a all-new Harris Poll from 104 voters.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – October 27

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 2590 .996
2 Oregon Ducks 2492 .958
3 Florida State Seminoles 2386 .918
4 Ohio State Buckeyes 2301 .885
5 Baylor Bears 2130 .819
6 Stanford Cardinal 2035 .783
7 Miami Hurricanes 1997 .768
8 Clemson Tigers 1767 .780
9 Missouri Tigers 1510 .581
10 Oklahoma Sooners 1475 .567
11 Auburn Tigers 1453 .559
12 LSU Tigers 1408 .542
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USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Nine: Baylor Being Heard

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Though Baylor’s ranking is unchanged in this week’s USA Today Coaches’ Poll, the Bears are certainly making their case as the calendar approaches November.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – October 27

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1542 .995
2 Oregon Ducks 1483 .957
3 Florida State Seminoles 1419 .915
4 Ohio State Buckeyes 1375 .887
5 Baylor Bears 1293 .834
6 Miami Hurricanes 1190 .768
7 Stanford Cardinal 1182 .763
8 Clemson Tigers 1064 .686
9 Oklahoma Sooners 933 .602
10 Missouri Tigers 834 .538
11 Auburn Tigers 804 .519
12 Oklahoma State Cowboys 803 .518

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — October 27

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A first set of BCS rankings does have the tendency to crystallize a few things about the chase for BCS bowl bids when the season is out. Who deserves any of the 10 slots available? But more importantly, who is in best shape to grab them?

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

A first BCS rankings might not answer all these questions, but it at least gives a good sense of where the conversation is headed. And, certainly, another weekend of games will have lots to say about the next step in this chat.

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

Comment: When conference foes prove little to no obstacle to two of the best teams in the country, we can feel relatively confident that there’s not much wrong with the Crimson Tide and Ducks. Is there any one in the country who could pose a threat to this potential title game meeting? Sure, Florida State is sitting right there, but if these two win out, it seems like a foregone conclusion that this is our national title tandem.

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

Comment: Escaping with a victory over Oregon State might have been more important than it seemed on the surface to the Cardinal, given the precarious place they find themselves in. With a home game against Oregon looming and a Pac-12 full of potential upsets, the victory gave Stanford a much needed steadying victory and possible helped the Cardinal on its way to a Rose Bowl. For Ohio State, the name of the game is win out and hope out to not land in the Rose Bowl, but in the title game.

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

Comment: A loss decimates Missouri’s hopes at a national title game bid, but could they still land in the Sugar Bowl? It’s possible. Especially with Auburn’s tough schedule upcoming and the bevy of current and upcoming two-loss teams in the SEC, the Tigers might still have the best shot at not only a bid in the SEC title game, but also a bid in a potential BCS bowl as a two-loss, 11-win SEC team. Clemson would play a nice counterpart to Missouri in a Sugar Bowl.

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

Comment: Florida State cruised to victory, as did Louisville, but one team’s fight to get to a BCS bowl is the more difficult, while the other’s is a fight to hope that things fall their way and they don’t land here at all. After suffering the first loss of their season, Louisville must hope that UCF stumbles badly along the way, and the Cardinals can sneak by for a BCS title game bid. Florida State is hoping that a national title game is in their future.

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

Comment: All Baylor does is score points and win these days, as does Northern Illinois recently. Both teams are undefeated and loving life on the loss-less side of things. As the AAC’s eventual conference champ is likely to be underwhelingly ranked in the BCS standings, things look bright for a potential BCS buster, and Northern Illinois seems to fit the billing just right. The Huskies’ competition will come from Fresno State, but expect Northern Illinois to prevail in the BCS standings when it counts even if the Bulldogs run the table. Baylor will hope to find its way into a BCS title game bid, but if not, the Fiesta Bowl is the landing spot as a host.

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