With the drama seemingly run dry in the previous two weeks, the next to last BCS rankings of the season holds few surprises — but there’s plenty to be found if you look close enough.
|Official BCS Rankings|
|1||Notre Dame Fighting Irish|
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide|
|Scroll down for more|
That simple equation we’ve been talking about — Notre Dame and the SEC champion for the BCS title game — is all but written in stone. With Notre Dame’s season-ending victory over USC, the Fighting Irish land at No. 1 in this week’s BCS rankings, and will land there again next weekend.
No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia will play in a de facto national semifinal game in the SEC Championship. Florida lands in the No. 4 spot just behind Georgia. But fret not Bulldog and Crimson Tide faithful, win the SEC and you’re in — much like it’s been these last few years.
Further down, No. 5 Oregon and No. 6 Kansas State lead a group of small changes in the BCS’s top 10 this weekend, as what was expected after a rivalry weekend full of ranked matchups whittled the field down.
So pretty bland at the top. But little further down the intrigue for yet another non-AQ BCS buster bid is in store.
Three teams — No. 17 Kent State, No. 20 Boise State and No. 21 Northern Illinois — are all within striking distance of the top 16. A spot inside the BCS’s top 16 will mean an automatic bid to a BCS this year, as the Big East’s champion will land outside the top 16, activating a clause in the BCS to include a deserving non-AQ team in the BCS process.
Although none of the three are in the mix this weekend, Northern Illinois and Kent State are set to battle for the MAC title next weekend, the winner hoping to get associated BCS bump with a win over another ranked team. A Kent State win might give the Golden Flashes just enough to claim that elusive BCS bid. Northern Illinois will need some help if they are victorious.
Boise State is doomed by its poor computer showing, and will likely not be able to crack the top 16.
Next weekend could also solidify most, if not all, of the BCS spots. Here is what’s in store:
- The ACC Championship Game will feature Florida State and Georgia Tech. The winner is headed for the Orange Bowl.
- The Big East will be decided Thursday when Louisville and Rutgers face off. The winner is guaranteed a BCS bowl bid.
- The Big Ten Championship Game will feature Nebraska and Wisconsin. The winner is headed for the Rose Bowl.
- The Big 12 will come down to Kansas State and Oklahoma. A Kansas State win over Texas gives the Wildcats the conference championship and a Fiesta Bowl bid. It also likely another Oklahoma win gives the Sooners at least an at-large spot. An Oklahoma win combined with a Kansas State loss gives Oklahoma a Fiesta Bowl bid with the conference title.
- The Pac-12 Championship Game will feature Stanford and UCLA. The winner is headed for the Rose Bowl.
- The SEC Championship Game will feature Georgia and Alabama. The winner is likely headed for the BCS title game. If Alabama wins, Florida is all but guaranteed a Sugar Bowl bid. If Georgia wins, either Alabama or Florida is likely Sugar Bowl bound.
- The MAC Championship game will feature Northern Illinois and Kent State. The winner could vie for a BCS bid, needing to finish in the top 16 to make a BCS bowl.
- As it stands, explore our projected BCS bowls.
Here’s the seventh BCS rankings of 2012:
BCS Standings Week Seven — November 25th
|1||Notre Dame Fighting Irish||.9979|
|2||Alabama Crimson Tide||.9236|
|6||Kansas State Wildcats||.7735|
|9||Texas A&M Aggies||.6861|
|10||Florida State Seminoles||.6689|
|13||Florida State Seminoles||.4645|
|15||Oregon State Beavers||.3790|
- BCS Know How’s Projected BCS vs. Actual BCS Rankings
- Less change than expected, certainly.