Projected BCS Standings: Last BCS Rankings To Set Up Florida State & Auburn

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It seemed like it was going to play out just like we hoped — drama, controversy and loud yelling until the day the BCS died. And then Michigan State had to ruin all that.

Projected BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Florida State Seminoles
2 Auburn Tigers
3 Alabama Crimson Tide
4 Stanford Cardinal
5 Michigan State Spartans
Scroll down for more

When Auburn took the SEC title during its Saturday matinee television spot, the debate started to ratchet up. If Ohio State won the Big Ten title, would they be headed to the BCS title game or could Auburn jump the Buckeyes?

Turns out it didn’t matter. Michigan State surprised the nation, ending Ohio State’s 24-game winning streak and giving Auburn the chance to grab No. 2 in the very last BCS standings. With that, the title game is set. As are a few other of the yearly BCS scenarios we’ve come to love and count on each season.

Here’s what else we know so far:

  • Stanford and Michigan State will be headed to the Rose Bowl after winning their respective conference titles
  • Baylor will be going to the Fiesta Bowl after winning the Big 12 on a crazy day of conference action
  • UCF will automatically claim a BCS bowl bid after winning the regular season AAC title, likely headed to the Fiesta Bowl
  • Alabama will likely be automatically qualified for a BCS bowl by finishing third in the final BCS standings, thus eliminating all other possible SEC berths beyond Auburn. For more on this, visit the BCS Bowls page
  • Teams likely eligible tomorrow for the at-large pool: Clemson, Oregon, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State, South Carolina and possibly LSU
  • For more, check out our final slate of projected BCS bowls

Meanwhile, the BCS standings, after electing Florida State No. 1 and Auburn No. 2, will probably play out as expected. Alabama is likely to end the year at No. 3, followed by conference champions Stanford and Michigan State. Then expect Ohio State to land around No. 6 after its first loss in more than two years, followed by Baylor and Missouri, Oklahoma and South Carolina, and Oregon and Oklahoma State.

As for what to expect for tomorrow: We’ll get the Coaches’ Poll normal time, around noon ET. Then things will be quiet. We expect to have Jeff Sagarin’s BCS computer rankings early, but who knows for sure.

The Harris Poll will be withheld from public viewing until after the BCS pairings are announced to keep some “drama” but since most of the drama is gone, take that as you will.

Then, around 8:30, the numbers will start pouring in and the pairings will be announced and we’ll be on our way to the final BCS season.

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.

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

Final Projected BCS Standings (December 8th)

Rank Team
1 Florida State Seminoles
2 Auburn Tigers
3 Alabama Crimson Tide
4 Stanford Cardinal
5 Michigan State Spartans
6 Ohio State Buckeyes
7 Baylor Bears
8 Oklahoma Sooners
9 Missouri Tigers
10 South Carolina Gamecocks
11 Oregon Ducks
12 Oklahoma State Cowboys
13 Clemson Tigers
14 LSU Tigers
15 UCF Knights
16 Arizona State Sun Devils

On a programming note: Obviously things around here are going to change very soon. This has been a ton of fun to do. More on what’s next after the craziness of tomorrow. Thank you all!

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Final Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — December 8

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The BCS — at least the part that everyone hated with an undying passion — ends Sunday. But the bowl games, which could range anywhere from epic showdowns to embarrassing blowouts, will stretch into January.

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

When a BCS season ends like this one did, though, there isn’t much to say other than to just try as best as you can to relive the great games that filled the final week of the season.

It’s clear now that Auburn’s victory in the SEC championship game added to Ohio State’s loss to Michigan State will send the Tigers to the BCS title game. But where is everyone else headed? We project here:

BCS National Championship Game: Florida State Seminoles (BCS No. 1) vs. Auburn Tigers (BCS No. 2)

Comment: Auburn waited all day to see if they’d either have to bite their fingernails or be a little less frazzled come Sunday when it came to their national title hopes. It turned out that Michigan State was ready to help the Tigers out, so Auburn will be walking into Pasadena with a chance to close out the BCS era with another SEC national championship. They’ll meet No. 1 Florida State, the only team to finish the year undefeated in regular season play.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (Pac-12 champion) vs. Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Stanford certainly looked the part of Pac-12 champion against Arizona State in the conference title game, and for that the Cardinal will be on their way to the Rose Bowl as Pac-12 champs. They’ll get the chance to take on Big Ten champions Michigan State, who closed out its season with a huge victory over Ohio State in the Big Ten title game, clinching their spot here.

Sugar Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide (At-large selection) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (At-large selection)

Comment: Alabama will get the first look from the Sugar Bowl when it tries to replace its lost SEC champion in Auburn. Sure, the Orange Bowl will have a first shot to replace Florida State, but knowing the way the BCS bowls work, the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl are sure to work out a way to share the responsibility of getting their fans what they want. Oklahoma would be a nice pairing for the Sugar Bowl’s final BCS bow.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (At-large selection)

Comment: Clemson will be the first place the Orange Bowl will look when trying to replace Florida State, but the real question and big story here will be how the bowls treat Ohio State. The once-beaten Buckeyes looked ready for a trip to the BCS title game, but instead will be missing out on the chance to close out the BCS with a title. Instead, the Orange Bowl will have a chance to pick first and third, and could pick a variety of teams to square off with Clemson, but Ohio State looks like the pick.

Fiesta Bowl: Baylor Bears (Big 12 champion) vs. UCF Knights (AAC champion)

Comment: A final weekend of classic BCS football played right into Baylor hands. First, Northern Illinois dropped its final chance to secure a BCS bowl bid, opening up the door slightly for the Bears to get an at-large bid. But come Saturday night, Baylor was playing for it all — a Big 12 title opportunity after Oklahoma State faltered. And with a victory over Texas, Baylor is BCS bowl bound. They’ll likely get AAC champion UCF as the Fiesta Bowl will be saddled with the last pool choice pick, which in all likelihood will be the Knights.

Projected BCS Standings: Auburn’s Play For A Title Game Spot in Seventh Standings of 2013

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The death knell for the BCS, perhaps most appropriately, will likely be one of controversy. The system would have it no other way.

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

Auburn’s stunning victory over Alabama likely clinched at least a somewhat controversial end to the BCS’s reign over college football as the Crimson Tide’s spot atop the college football world is now over.

Where, then, does that leave the BCS when the seventh standings of 2013 come out Sunday? Obviously for the first time this year, Alabama will not be No. 1. That honor will fall to Florida State, making its way back to the top of the BCS for the first time in what seems like ages.

Then it gets interesting. Clearly, Ohio State surviving its rivalry meeting with Michigan will be a huge boon to its national title game hopes. But Auburn’s victory over the previously unassailable Alabama could mean a huge swing of support in the Tigers’ direction. Who will land at No. 2 this week?

It’s likely Ohio State, as the voters will give the benefit of the doubt to the undefeated and long-revered Buckeyes. But Auburn will lurk at No. 3. And with a chance to clinch the SEC title next weekend and the growing tradition of SEC champs playing for the BCS title, Auburn’s not out of this yet. A win over likely BCS No. 5 Missouri next weekend paired with a close Ohio State victory in the Big Ten title game could cause the chaos we’ve come to expect.

After Missouri, it’s all battling for the at-large and automatic BCS bowl bids, including Northern Illinois’ quest for a second-straight bowl game bid and Clemson, Oregon, Michigan State and Baylor angling for eligibility and spots. Plus, the auto-bids given to the champs of the six AQ conferences.

Just one more BCS standing after Sunday, ever. The end is close!

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 Seven (December 1st)

Rank Team
1 Florida State Seminoles
2 Ohio State Buckeyes
3 Auburn Tigers
4 Alabama Crimson Tide
5 Missouri Tigers
6 Oklahoma State Cowboys
7 Stanford Cardinal
8 South Carolina Gamecocks
9 Baylor Bears
10 Clemson Tigers
11 Michigan State Spartans
12 Arizona State Sun Devils

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — December 1

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The BCS always did cause lively debates, most of which were reliant upon projections. That’s why a site like this could even exist. What would happen if a team won out? Or if a top team lost?

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

As the season comes to an end and the unexpected does happen — Florida State is the No. 1 team in the country, Auburn beats Alabama on a returned field goal with no time remaining — things begin to become less about the projection and more about the on-field performance.

Prove your team is better. The BCS bowls give teams the last chance to do that. Where do these great squads belong when the season ends?

BCS National Championship Game: Florida State Seminoles (BCS No. 1) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (BCS No. 2)

Comment: When the season plays out like it has, traditional powers like Ohio State and Florida State seem to often take advantage. Sure, if Auburn is to win the SEC next weekend they’ll feel like the BCS was created specifically to leave the Tigers out, having already been left cold in 2004. For now it seems like these two teams — save for the conference title games they’re still yet to play — have done all they can to earn these spots.

Rose Bowl: Stanford Cardinal (Pac-12 champion) vs. Michigan State Spartans (At-large selection)

Comment: With Ohio State BCS title game bound, the Rose Bowl would normally look to the Big Ten’s roster of highly ranked teams for a replacement. The problem, especially after Wisconsin dropped its best shot at securing a at-large bid against Penn State, is that there aren’t many of those around this year. Michigan State has a shot to remain in at-large contention, but they’ll have to make a strong statement against Ohio State in the conference title game to keep these hopes alive and stay in the top 14 at season’s end if they lose.

Sugar Bowl: Auburn Tigers (SEC champion) vs. UCF Knights (AAC champion)

Comment: Amazing to see the ‘SEC champ’ title go next to the Sugar Bowl selection, isn’t it? For years we’ve seen the SEC champion head straight to the BCS title game, no questions asked. Of course, the Sugar Bowl turned around each year and took a replacement pick from the conference to fulfill its regional preference. But if Auburn misses out on the title game, they’re slotted here automatically. And with the second ‘draft’ pick among at-large picks, the Sugar will have to give AAC champ UCF a serious look so as to not select Northern Illinois.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (At-large selection) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (At-large selection)

Comment: Does the Orange Bowl actually have the guts to bypass the ACC? Clemson’s loss to South Carolina might allow the bowl to do that, and select somewhat underwhelming, but powerful, Oregon. The chance to pair the Ducks with Alabama might present itself if ACC champ Florida State is title game bound as expected. But can the Orange Bowl really afford it? For now, a two-loss Tigers team probably gets the choice over two-loss Oregon and once-beaten Baylor.

Fiesta Bowl: Northern Illinois Huskies (At-large selection) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 champion)

Comment: A Big 12 that has been unpredictable and a whole lot of fun to watch is finally winding down with Oklahoma State holding poll position. All the Cowboys need to do is top Oklahoma in Bedlam next weekend to grab this spot. Though facing Northern Illinois might not be the reward the Cowboys are looking for, the Huskies have played a strong followup season after making a BCS bowl last year and a win next week all but assures them of a return trip.

Projected BCS Standings: BCS Becoming More Clear in Sixth Standings of 2013

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A week after very nearly knocking off Ohio State from its perch at No. 3, Baylor falls by the wayside with a loss to Oklahoma State. Bad news for the Bears, and good news for the Buckeyes, which can slide comfortably into the No. 3 spot knowing they’re without equal when it comes to a ‘replacement’ pick for the title game.

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

Of course, holding those poll positions are Alabama and Florida State, sitting comfortably after a couple of strong wins. After the Buckeyes, however? It’s a mess

Now with more than just a handful of once-beaten teams on the BCS roster, the voters will have some choosing to do. Surprisingly, Oregon no longer counts among the once-beaten after losing to Arizona, but a handful of Tigers, plus many more do still have that one-loss sheen.

Last week’s No. 6, Auburn, likely makes that leap into the top-four, thanking Baylor and Oregon on its way up. After that, Clemson and Missouri will battle it out for No. 5 — that race should be somewhat closer this week than it was last as the voting pieces are placed back to teams somewhat haphazardly.

Oklahoma State and Stanford will in the discussion, too, thanking Texas A&M for not making their lives quite as difficult as they could be.

Oh, and Ohio State could finally get some Big Ten company in the top-12 with the emergence of Michigan State, mostly moving up because other teams are getting out of the way, fast.

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 Six (November 24th)

Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Florida State Seminoles
3 Ohio State Buckeyes
4 Auburn Tigers
5 Missouri Tigers
6 Clemson Tigers
7 Oklahoma State Cowboys
8 Stanford Cardinal
9 Baylor Bears
10 South Carolina Gamecocks
11 Oregon Ducks
12 Michigan State Spartans

Projected BCS Standings: Baylor Can Make Its Move In Fifth BCS Standings of 2013

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Funny how one week’s marquee victory can mean far less given the next weekend’s results. Stanford, a one-loss team that seemingly had it all — an early loss, a big win over a conference rival and top-10 team, and a high BCS ranking above undefeated teams — was unable to hold off USC at the Coliseum, and sees its already slim BCS title hopes falter.

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

Though the Stanford loss is intriguing, especially given the way the Pac-12 could resolve itself this season, the real drama will come at the No. 3 spot.

Baylor will finally see its odd stalling behind a one-loss teams come to an end and will move up. But how far? Can the Bears take the No. 3 spot?

The debate is now front and center. Is Baylor or Ohio State the best replacement pick for a national title game should Alabama or Florida State lose?

The fascinating thing is this — with Stanford’s loss, a lot of computer support becomes readily available for Baylor. As does human poll support. Some team is going to have to pick up those pieces and Ohio State chose the wrong weekend to win ugly against Illinois.

Much of that voter confidence will go Baylor’s way, especially after the Bears posted more than 60 points against formerly hot Texas Tech. And, Baylor already had some computer ground left to make up. This might be the weekend the Bears do it.

So can Baylor take No. 3? We’ll say yes.

Also, added bonus — four top teams, all undefeated? Sounds like a ringing endorsement for the College Football Playoff, right?

The one-loss squads with something to prove, including Oregon and Auburn, will come next. Don’t be surprised to see Auburn make a run at the No. 5 spot, which we’re projecting will be filled by Oregon. Though the Tigers might come up a bit short, a win over high competition like Georgia is likely to net Auburn some ground. Plus, with the ranks of the truly elite teams dwindling, now is the time to take a look at the broader picture

Clemson and Missouri, along with Stanford, will likely make up the rest of the top nine, as last week’s No. 10 South Carolina trailed significantly in its hope to breaking into the top 10.

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 Five (November 17th)

Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Florida State Seminoles
3 Baylor Bears
4 Ohio State Buckeyes
5 Oregon Ducks
6 Auburn Tigers
7 Clemson Tigers
8 Missouri Tigers
9 Stanford Cardinal
10 South Carolina Gamecocks
11 Texas A&M Aggies
12 Oklahoma State Cowboys

Projected BCS Standings: FSU Takes Control of Destiny in Fourth BCS Standings of 2013

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When faced with some of the most difficult opponents of their season, teams often reveal just how good they are. In the cast of Oregon and Alabama, tests like that came this extended weekend. And for Oregon, the test was not passed.

Projected BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Florida State Seminoles
3 Ohio State Buckeyes
4 Stanford Cardinal
5 Baylor Bears
Scroll down for more

More importantly, for Florida State, Oregon’s loss means a world of difference for the Seminoles. Is Florida State’s ticket to the BCS title game punched if they can win out? It certainly seems like it given the ranks of the undefeateds shrinks every week and Florida State continues to impress.

That being said, the continuing success of Ohio State and Baylor is something that can’t be ignored, and wont be in the newest BCS rankings, where a cluster of once-beaten teams and undefeated teams will battle for the top spots.

With the win over Oregon, Stanford will likely again be a major factor in the BCS race this weekend, but Oregon’s loss to a top-five team shouldn’t necessarily drop the Ducks completely out of the picture.

This is all well and nice, but the question will be who will be next in line if things don’t go well in the final weeks for presumed No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida State. Will it be the undefeated teams or the one-loss teams with impressive wins?

For now it’s the undefeated Ohio State waiting for that tumble everyone anticipates and wants. But who’s next? We’ll just have to find out.

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 Four (November 10th)

Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Florida State Seminoles
3 Ohio State Seminoles
4 Stanford Cardinal
5 Baylor Bears
6 Oregon Ducks
7 Clemson Tigers
8 Auburn Tigers
9 Missouri Tigers
10 South Carolina Gamecocks
11 Texas A&M Aggies
12 Oklahoma State Cowboys

Projected BCS Standings: Oregon To Continue Holding Off FSU in Third BCS Standings of 2013

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Which victories count more? Once again, the difficulty of ranking college football will rear its head in a season with more than just two very impressive teams.

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

This week, the difficulty is in sharper relief, especially when Oregon sat at home with Florida State getting another shot at huge national exposure after also having a prime time window against Clemson.

And just like in their victory over the Tigers, the Seminoles dominated previous BCS No. 7 Miami on national TV. So with No. 2 Oregon at home, can the Seminoles reclaim the No. 2 spot they lost last weekend?

At least for now, the answer is likely no. Though the Seminoles will get a nice boost where they’ll need it — in the polls and computers — the combination of Oregon’s renewed computer strength and it’s steadying influence at No. 2 in the BCS, likely gives us Florida St. at No. 3 once again, but far closer than they were last week.

In fact, familiarity with the position should be the name of the game in the third BCS standings of the season, with very little movement from teams that were solidly entrenched in their spots last weekend.

Clearly, Miami will fall out of it’s No. 7 spot after losing to FSU, which will allow for some upward movement from some impressive teams, including Clemson, Missouri and Auburn.

But the season is far from over. And we’re just a few days away from perhaps the most wild Thursday in college football’s recent history. So plenty of interesting things are in store. We’ll just have to figure out which one of those games — and potential victories — count more.

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 Three (November 3rd)

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

Projected BCS Standings: Oregon To Claim No. 2 In Second BCS Standings of 2013

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Time seems to run out slowly when you’re making a chase for a BCS bid. Whether it’s on the clock to hold on to the last-second victory or the weeks ticking slowly by in the last BCS year.

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

Teams from around the country had little trouble dispatching of less difficult foes, but for a few teams, the time needed to get victories on Saturday must have seemed to move extra slow.

And in the case of Missouri, a crushing loss was probably already a death sentence for the season as far as a national title game bid is concerned.

So what else, if anything, did we learn this week? Mostly that the nation’s top BCS teams in its first iteration — Alabama, Oregon and Florida State — are very good. This week, like last week, we’ll see a fight to the finish for No. 2 between Oregon and Florida State.

The better victory this week belongs to the Ducks and not the Seminoles, and with that in mind, expect Oregon to make enough headway in the computers and the human polls to end the Seminoles one-week run at No. 2. Oregon is projected to take back that spot this week.

Elsewhere, the Ducks’ Pac-12 mates Stanford and Big 12 surprise Baylor will be the likely beneficiaries of the Missouri loss, as the Cardinal and Bears will fight for the No. 5 spot, along with Miami. Also look out for Oklahoma, fresh off a victory over previous No. 10 Texas Tech.

An interesting fight is also breaking out between Fresno State and Northern Illinois. Fresno State might remain ahead of Northern Illinois after the Bulldogs finished of San Diego State in OT and the Huskies had an easy victory, mostly because of the lateness of Fresno’s game. But the truly interesting part will come when the BCS rankings wind down. Who will be in front? For now we’re projecting that the Huskies will, even with Fresno possibly taking these first two weeks as the leader in the BCS buster clubhouse.

It’ll all be somewhat familiar when the second BCS rankings are released tomorrow, but with some changes that could play into the chase for the title game when the season winds up. The minutia becomes all the more important this time of year. Good thing we’re here to take a look at it.

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 Two (October 27)

Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Oregon Ducks
3 Florida State Seminoles
4 Ohio State Buckeyes
5 Stanford Cardinal
6 Baylor Bears
7 Miami Hurricanes
8 Clemson Tigers
9 Oklahoma Sooners
10 South Carolina Gamecocks
11 Missouri Tigers
12 Auburn Tigers

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.