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 BCS Standings: FSU, Oregon Already Jockeying For No. 2 In First BCS Standings of 2013

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What is it that you don’t like about the BCS? The time to complain is kind of running out … this week marks the beginning of the end for the system, the era and the formula as we know it.

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

And wouldn’t you know it, on our very first weekend of our very last BCS year, we’re going to get some drama right off the bat. There’s no doubt what victory this weekend was the most impressive, that’s Florida State with a big win over previous No. 3 Clemson.

And yet, we have last week’s and this young season’s No. 2, Oregon, as dominating as ever, still undefeated and still putting up huge performances week after week. So which will be No. 2 when the BCS is finally released tomorrow?

Well, one of the things people have enjoyed complaining about most in this era of the BCS is voter laziness. And though tomorrow will likely show a nice push toward supporting Florida State’s superb record thus far, we’re projecting that it will be Oregon at No. 2 when the BCS is released on the strength of the voter support that remains in the Ducks’ camp. Even with the expected bump in computer poll support, Florida State might still end up just short of Oregon.

That might quell some of the traditional anger that could be associated with a shock like Florida State at No. 2 after barely cracking the top five at all this year. But even if Florida State does make up the minuscule ground they’re projected to still be lacking against Oregon (currently less than .0030 points) — the future is actually brighter in Oregon’s corner. This is a conversation will hold some water for much of the rest of the season if the teams keep reeling off wins.

Elsewhere, expect surprise powers Baylor, Missouri and Miami to be dancing inside the top 12 this week, with Baylor and Missouri taking cracks at the top five spots, where as they were outside that potential territory just a week ago. Teams like UCLA, LSU, Clemson, Louisville, South Carolina and Texas A&M will suffer for poorly timed losses on this first BCS weekend of 2013, though bounce backs are more than possible for most of those teams, including for Stanford, which dispatched of UCLA.

We’re in it for final time this year. It’s going to get even more interesting than this, and we’re going to be covering it all. Strap if for one hell of a last ride.

Remember, we’ll be here to take you through all of it, starting with tomorrow’s releases of the human polls, computer rankings and BCS. Follow along all day @BCSKnowHow and here to stay up to the second with projections, mathematical breakdowns of the computers, human polls and everything in between. Then follow along this week as we break down scenarios and implications.

Here’s what the BCS standings will likely look like when they are released tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN:

Projected BCS Standings – BCS Week One (October 20)

Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Oregon Ducks
3 Florida State Seminoles
4 Ohio State Buckeyes
5 Missouri Tigers
6 Baylor Bears
7 Stanford Cardinal
8 Clemson Tigers
9 Miami Hurricanes
10 LSU Tigers
11 UCLA Bruins
12 Texas A&M Aggies

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.

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.

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

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Five: Georgia Rises Fast

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Winning nationally televised SEC games often has this kind of impact on things…

Georgia reaps plenty of benefit in this week’s USA Today Coaches’ Poll after beating LSU on Saturday, moving from No. 10 to No. 6, while LSU falls from No. 6 to No. 11. Elsewhere in the poll, things are seemingly much unchanged, though Clemson is able to capture one first place vote, making it three teams — the Tigers, Alabama and Oregon — with that kind of support anywhere in the poll

Alabama, for its part, stays well ahead of the pack with a nearly perfect .997 vote share, but those few first-place votes it’s losing to Oregon and Clemson keep them from completing a clean sweep.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – September 29

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1546 .997
2 Oregon Ducks 1479 .954
3 Ohio State Buckeyes 1397 .901
4 Clemson Tigers 1352 .872
5 Stanford Cardinal 1325 .855
6 Georgia Bulldogs 1148 .741
7 Louisville Cardinals 1147 .740
8 Florida State Seminoles 1129 .728
9 Texas A&M Aggies 1072 .691
10 Oklahoma Sooners 964 .622
11 LSU Tigers 931 .601
12 South Carolina Gamecocks 860 .555

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Four: LSU Making Moves

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With favorites prevailing around the country, it was not difficult to predict a largely stagnant set of rankings come Sunday after week four.

And though not much changed, after a key victory over Auburn garnered a lot of national attention on a less than stellar weekend of matchups, LSU made the biggest move of the Coaches’ Poll week by leaping up a spot to No. 6. The Tigers jump Louisville, who suffer again from a weaker opponent (on which the Cardinals layed more than 70 points).

Elsewhere, Alabama lost two points, and two first-place votes, to Oregon, but remain well ahead of the Ducks.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – September 22

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1547 .998
2 Oregon Ducks 1480 .955
3 Ohio State Buckeyes 1399 .903
4 Clemson Tigers 1332 .859
5 Stanford Cardinal 1312 .847
6 LSU Tigers 1161 .749
7 Louisville Cardinals 1140 .736
8 Florida State Seminoles 1121 .723
9 Texas A&M Aggies 1044 .674
10 Georgia Bulldogs 1020 .658
11 Oklahoma State Cowboys 909 .587
12 Oklahoma Sooners 863 .557

UPDATED Simulated Preseason BCS Rankings: Alabama, Oregon Preseason BCS Favorites

If one thing’s been constant throughout the final BCS era, it’s been the SEC. This year, the BCS’s last, looks to be little different.

Simulated BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Oregon Ducks
3 Georgia Bulldogs
4 Texas A&M Aggies
5 Stanford Cardinal
Scroll down for more

By this point, most know that 2013 is going to be the BCS’s swan song. And though few are sad to see it go, it’s still here to crown a national champion for one more year before the College Football Playoff takes over.

And like in the seven years that have preceded this one, it looks ripe for an SEC to finish the year on top.

Every year at BCS Know How, we’ve put together some simulated BCS rankings as the season comes close, and as the season progresses before the real BCS hits the airwaves. Here, we’ve started early, using a few adjustments to create an early look at what the BCS might look like if it came out today.

We’ve made the following substitutions/changes to the BCS formula as it now stands:

  • We’ve replaced the Harris Poll, which wont be available until mid-October, with the AP Poll
  • We’re ONLY using the available and up-to-date BCS computers, which at this point is just Massey’s non-BCS and Billingsley’s rankings. As the various computers are released before the start of the season, we’ll add them here and update the standings.

With those changes implemented, Alabama — of course — lands at No. 1. Unlike in the available AP and Coaches’ Poll, however, Oregon grabs the No. 2 spot.

This is because of those pesky computers. After coasting to a 12-0 record last season on what the computers viewed as an easy schedule, Ohio State starts the season well down the list in terms of preseason numerical favorites at No. 4. They’ll have some work to do.

Georgia and Texas A&M give the SEC three of the top six teams in these simulated BCS rankings before Pac-12 co-combatant of the Ducks, Stanford, lands at No. 5.

Florida and LSU also land in the top 11, while reigning national runner-up, Notre Dame, falls all the way to No. 9.

But enough talk, explore our BCS Know How simulated preseason standings for yourself!

Here are the simulated preseason BCS rankings as of August 28:

2013 Simulated BCS Standings — Preseason

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9985
2 Oregon Ducks .9171
3 Georgia Bulldogs .8197
4 Ohio State Buckeyes .8169
5 Stanford Cardinal .8056
6 Texas A&M Aggies .7733
7 South Carolina Gamecocks .7541
8 Clemson Tigers .6325
9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish .6204
10 Florida Gators .6187
11 LSU Tigers .5696
12 Louisville Cardinals .5488
13 Florida State Seminoles .5293
14 Oklahoma Sooners .4687
15 Oklahoma State Cowboys .4172
16 Texas Longhorns .3909