Simulated BCS Rankings Week Four: LSU Jumps Into The Fray


After a weekend somewhat lacking in true tests for the nation’s best, not much changed around the country in terms of how voters saw teams lining up for possible title bids.

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

But lurking underneath was a shift in a few key areas that allow the newest set of simulated BCS rankings to swap around a few key players, and set us up for an interesting stretch of weeks before the final BCS frame begins.

The biggest move is that of LSU’s which leaps from No. 6 to No. 4 this week, still trailing the top three from last week — Alabama, Oregon and Clemson.

How did we figure 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 and Billingsley
  • In total, we’ll say these rankings reflect the real BCS rankings with 56% accuracy

As the season has progressed the result is a better connected set of teams. There are ways to compare early games. That can help voters in the AP and Coaches’ polls, but really, those extra games help the computers make sense of a limited amount of data.

This increase in sample size has given LSU a strong early computer edge, as the Tigers collect the third-best computer ranking aggregate this week, behind only the Tide and Ducks.

On the opposite side of that discussion rests a team like Ohio State, still struggling mightily with its computer support and paying for it in these simulations, as the Buckeyes land at No. 7. But it’s still early, much can change.

For now, it seems as if another contender has entered the fray in LSU and one that would be especially dangerous when they meet Alabama in early November.

For now, however, here are the simulated preseason BCS rankings at the end of the fourth week:

2013 Simulated BCS Standings — September 23

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9851
2 Oregon Ducks .9367
3 Clemson Tigers .8442
4 LSU Tigers .7957
5 Stanford Cardinal .7910
6 Florida State Seminoles .7442
7 Ohio State Buckeyes .6909
8 Georgia Bulldogs .6047
9 Louisville Cardinals .5969
10 Oklahoma State Cowboys .5808
11 Texas A&M Aggies .5492
12 Oklahoma Sooners .5187
13 UCLA Bruins .5145
14 South Carolina Gamecocks .4647
15 Washington Huskies .3761
16 Miami Hurricanes .3578


Simulated BCS Rankings Week Four: No. 2 Oregon and No. 3 Florida State bound past LSU

As the first BCS standings release moves closer, the smallest of changes begin to have increasingly large ramifications in the simulated BCS, just like they do as the season draws to a close every year.

Simulated BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Oregon Ducks
3 Florida State Seminoles
4 LSU Tigers
5 Stanford Cardinal
Scroll down for more

Not surprisingly, Alabama remains atop the latest set of simulated BCS rankings, however, as in the polls released this weekend, Oregon is the new No. 2 team. The Ducks jump comfortably ahead of LSU, which falls from No. 2 to No. 4 after a nail-biting victory over Auburn over the weekend.

Florida State finally sees the computer and poll support expected of them thus far after a big victory over Clemson, leaps up to No. 3.

After Stanford lands at No. 5 with continually strong computer support, a tight-knit group occupies spots six through nine, with less than .0200 points dividing the four teams.

South Carolina, Kansas State, Georgia and Notre Dame make up a contingent of teams that features two strong early season SEC squads and two teams that made the most noise over this past weekend, as Notre Dame and Kansas State are the beneficiaries of wins over ranked foes.

Notre Dame is once again in the national conversation with BCS implications. If the Irish can stick inside the top 14 and register nine wins they are all but guaranteed a BCS bid. A top-eight finish assures the Irish of an automatic at-large berth.

As they have been in weeks past, these simulated rankings are not necessarily the most accurate in terms of reflecting the actual components of the BCS, but they do give an interesting first look at the BCS picture.

Without the Harris Interactive Poll (1/3 of the formula) and two of the six computers (all six of which account for another third), these rankings are about 56 percent “complete.” What we do have, however, is the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, as well as early looks at Kenneth Massey, Richard Billingsley, Jeff Sagarin and the Colley Matrix, for what we’d call a 56 percent confidence that these rankings are a “good” reflection of the BCS.

We took a computer aggregate without eliminating any of the four available to keep extra transparency, but kept the formula for the human elements intact while subbing the AP Poll for the Harris Poll.

The first BCS rankings will be available in October, but for now, this will have to do.

Check out the full simulation worksheet. These simulated ranking reflect the following formula:

BCS Score = (AP Poll Score/1500 + Coaches Poll Score/1475 + Computer Poll Aggregate/100)/3

Here are the simulated rankings after week four:

Simulated BCS Standings — September 24

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9160
2 Oregon Ducks .8807
3 Florida State Seminoles .8063
4 LSU Tigers .7800
5 Stanford Cardinal .7589
6 South Carolina Gamecocks .7245
7 Kansas State Wildcats .7198
8 Georgia Bulldogs .7166
9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish .7151
10 Florida Gators .6166
11 West Virginia Mountaineers .5958
12 Texas Longhorns .5624
13 USC Trojans .4551
14 Oklahoma Sooners .3770
15 Oregon State Beavers .3766
16 TCU Horned Frogs .3729


USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Four: Oregon leaps LSU to claim No. 2 spot

Apparently, for FBS coaches, a victory in Jordan Hare Stadium isn’t worth nearly as much as it was just a few seasons ago.

After struggling to escape Auburn with a victory, LSU finds themselves eclipsed in the latest USA Today Coaches’ Poll, as Oregon leaps past the Tigers, and claims the No. 2 spot for the Ducks. Oregon beat Arizona over the weekend, 49-0.

The SEC claims four of the top six spots, as No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 South Carolina join in the SEC fun.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – September 23

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1473 .999
2 Oregon Ducks 1371 .929
3 LSU Tigers 1361 .923
4 Florida State Seminoles 1306 .885
5 Georgia Bulldogs 1224 .830
6 South Carolina Gamecocks 1149 .779
7 West Virginia Mountaineers 1137 .771
8 Kansas State Wildcats 1000 .678
9 Stanford Cardinal 949 .643
10 Texas Longhorns 924 .626
11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 836 .567
12 Florida Gators 817 .554

Projected 2013 BCS Bowls — September 23rd

The big upset was less shocking. But was it more important? With a bevy of ranked showdowns, the weekend promised some interesting results, and it certainly delivered.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Oregon vs. LSU
Rose Bowl USC vs. Michigan State
Sugar Bowl Alabama vs. Kansas State
Orange Bowl Florida St. vs. Louisville
Fiesta Bowl West Virginia vs. Notre Dame
Scroll down for more

An upset of Oklahoma in Norman and a strong defensive showing by Notre Dame in their victory over Michigan spiced up the bowl picture significantly.

With plenty of football left, these matchups are far from guaranteed, but things are coming into focus as we head toward the end of September.

BCS National Championship Game: LSU Tigers (BCS No. 1) vs. Oregon Ducks (BCS No. 2)

Comment: Yes, LSU looked bad on the road in a win over a 1-3 Auburn team, but the Tigers still sit on the national trump card — a home game against Alabama. Oregon dominated a very good Arizona team and are certainly dangerous.

Rose Bowl: USC Trojans (At-large selection) vs. Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten Champion)

Comment: It’s fair to say that the Big Ten has been underwhelming these first four weeks of the 2012 college football season. Perhaps the most impressive team in the league, Ohio State, is postseason ineligible. So who will emerge? For now, let’s call the conference for Sparty, but it’s more than clear that there will be nothing certain in this Big Ten season.

USC looks the part of an at-large pick against California, and just that, as Oregon is far more impressive against Arizona.

Sugar Bowl: Alabama Crimson Tide (At-large selection) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (At-large selection)

Comment: Yes, Alabama gave up some points to Florida Atlantic, breaking an impressive defensive streak, but they were dominant nonetheless. If not the championship game, it’s the Sugar Bowl for the Tide.

The real story this weekend was Kansas State upsetting Oklahoma. It’s clear the Big 12 is strong once again. But which team emerges at the end of the season to claim the conference title? And could an at-large bid also be in the cards? For now, let’s go with the Wildcats in an at-large selection here. K-State lucks out by getting dangerous Texas at home in the season’s final weekend. Tests also remain at TCU, at Baylor and at West Virginia.

The Longhorns have looked good early in the year, too, and could be an option here. But if K-State can survive a tough schedule with just a loss or two, they’re an interesting option for the Sugar Bowl.

Orange Bowl: Florida State Seminoles (ACC Champion) vs. Louisville Cardinals (Big East Champion)

Comment: In their first true test of the season, Florida State may have come out weak, but ended strong — leaving a statement about the ACC picture this season. Mostly, that it is the Seminoles who look the class of the conference.

Louisville is similarly staking a claim to their conference’s banner in 2012, putting away FIU late.

Fiesta Bowl: West Virginia Mountaineers (Big 12 Champion) vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (At-large selection)

Comment: While winning the Big 12 would punch a ticket here for West Virginia, nine wins and a top-14 finish in the BCS would spell an almost assured BCS trip for Notre Dame.

A top-eight finish in the BCS automatically qualifies the Fighting Irish for a BCS at-large selection. It’s hard to read too much into Notre Dame’s win over Michigan, but the Fighting Irish look like they could get to that nine-win threshold. With a tough schedule ahead, however, nothing seems certain.