Seventh BCS Rankings of 2012: BCS Busters Make The Story While Notre Dame Holds No. 1 Into Season’s Final Weekend

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
Rank Team
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2 Alabama Crimson Tide
3 Georgia Bulldogs
4 Florida Gators
5 Oregon Ducks
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. 
It all comes down to this final weekend. Though we can be pretty sure about a lot, there’s almost nothing guaranteed other than Notre Dame’s bid in the title game. Be sure to stay tuned to BCS Know How and @BCSKnowHow throughout this final week for all the latest analysis and news.

Here’s the seventh BCS rankings of 2012:

BCS Standings Week Seven — November 25th

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish .9979
2 Alabama Crimson Tide .9236
3 Georgia Bulldogs .8911
4 Florida Gators .8882
5 Oregon Ducks .8626
6 Kansas State Wildcats .7735
7 LSU Tigers .7357
8 Stanford Cardinal .7299
9 Texas A&M Aggies .6861
10 Florida State Seminoles .6689
11 Oklahoma Sooners .6129
12 Nebraska Cornhuskers .5393
13 Florida State Seminoles .4645
14 Clemson Tigers .4570
15 Oregon State Beavers .3790
16 UCLA Bruins .3304

Some thoughts:

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Harris Interactive Poll Week 13: Florida gains while Notre Dame continues to lead

More to come.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – November 25

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2869 .998
2 Alabama Crimson Tide 2740 .953
3 Georgia Bulldogs 2599 .904
4 Oregon Ducks 2507 .872
5 Florida Gators 2435 .847
6 Kansas State Wildcats 2229 .775
7 LSU Tigers 2142 .745
8 Stanford Cardinal 2059 .716
9 Texas A&M Aggies 2038 .709
10 South Carolina Gamecocks 1862 .648
11 Oklahoma Sooners 1706 .593
12 Florida State Seminoles 1614 .561

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week 13: Notre Dame leading, but BCS busters looming

Notre Dame still rides high atop the Coaches’ Poll but the intrigue starts much lower.

Northern Illinois leads the charge of non-AQ schools looking to crack the BCS buster discussion at No. 18. Just behind them is No. 19 Kent State and No. 25 Boise State.

All teams will be aiming to grab that elusive non-AQ position in front of a AQ conference champion — in this case the Big East’s — for a bid to one of the five BCS bowls.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – November 25

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1469 .996
2 Alabama Crimson Tide 1398 .948
3 Georgia Bulldogs 1341 .909
4 Oregon Ducks 1277 .866
5 Florida Gators 1265 .858
6 LSU Tigers 1124 .762
7 Kansas State Wildcats 1114 .755
8 Texas A&M Aggies 1076 .729
9 Stanford Cardinal 1008 .683
10 South Carolina Gamecocks 972 .659
11 Oklahoma Sooners 878 .595
12 Florida State Seminoles 829 .562

Projected BCS Standings: Stanford, Florida Big Winners While Notre Dame To Lead Seventh BCS Rankings of 2012

After a weekend of classic BCS mid-November chaos, the tame holiday weekend we just saw might have left some wanting for more chaos.

Projected BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2 Alabama Crimson Tide
3 Florida Gators
4 Georgia Bulldogs
5 Oregon Ducks
Scroll down for more

And although nothing we took in this weekend came anywhere close to providing the upheaval and strange combinations that losses from the top two teams in the BCS can provide, we certainly were able to answer some questions.

That starts at the top, of course, as Notre Dame will bow at the top of the BCS standings both this week and next, and will be on its way to a national title game.

That’s the luxury of ending your season a weekend early, and ending it with a nationally televised win over your traditional rival, in this case USC. After that it gets a bit funny, but nothing we can’t explain.

Alabama again will occupy the No. 2 spot in tomorrow’s BCS rankings, awaiting its SEC title showdown with Georgia, which will slip one spot this weekend to No. 4. Why? Well, the Bulldogs’ win over a ACC title game-bound Georgia Tech squad will not prove the impact win they might want the weekend before the SEC title game.

Florida will instead occupy that spot on the strength of the best out-of-conference victory of the weekend, and will slide into No. 3. But any fret that result may cause either Alabama or Georgia fans hoping the two teams are playing in a de facto national semifinal should be short-lived.

Whichever team wins the SEC will play the Fighting Irish in the BCS title game. You can be sure of it.

After that, things will look pretty familiar. Stanford’s win over UCLA — setting up a rematch less than a week from now for the Pac-12 title — will prove more of a mover of votes that you might expect, and give the Cardinal a push past LSU for the No. 7 spot.

Oklahoma and Nebraska will slide back into the top 12 after losses from Clemson and the Seminoles open up the way.

But that’s the simple stuff. The things to keep an eye on? The non-AQ chase. With Boise State, Northern Illinois and Kent State angling for a spot in a BCS bowl, the possibility remains that any of the three could steal a BCS bid away from an AQ conference school with a finish in the top 16.

Expect all three to land outside the top 16 this weekend. Next weekend, however, the BCS might just sneak in its fourth non-AQ team in five seasons.

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 tomorrow @BCSKnowHow and right 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.

Got all that? Hope so.

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

Projected BCS Standings – BCS Week Seven (November 25th)

Rank Team
1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish
2 Alabama Crimson Tide
3 Florida Gators
4 Georgia Bulldogs
5 Oregon Ducks
6 Kansas State Wildcats
7 Stanford Cardinal
8 LSU Tigers
9 Texas A&M Aggies
10 South Carolina Gamecocks
11 Oklahoma Sooners
12 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Heisman Watch Week 13: Johnny Manziel, Manti Te’o Cap Off Strong Seasons

Collin Klein

Collin Klein and Kansas State were off this weekend, readying for a season-ending showdown that could decide whether the Wildcats can claim a BCS bowl berth or not. The Heisman, which seemed Klein’s to take if he could continue to lead the nation’s No. 1 team, slipped from the senior’s hands before Kansas State dropped its first game of the season last weekend, but truly was out of his control once Johnny Manziel appear on the scene. With one game left, Klein has still put up gaudy numbers — rushing for 20 touchdowns and throwing for 14 more while accounting for more than 3,000 yards of total offense.

Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel’s redshirt freshman season came to a close Saturday with a dominating performance against Missouri in Texas A&M’s impressive season-ending win over Missouri. In the Aggies’s 59-29 win, Manziel passed for three touchdowns and threw for two to go with 439 yards of combined offensive output. In the process, Manziel finished the 2012 season with the most total offense created by an SEC quarterback in conference history. Manziel’s redshirt freshman season bested the likes of Tim Tebow and Cam Newton, two Heisman winners in those years. Could Manziel be next on the list?

Marqise Lee

Catching passes from a quarterback other than Matt Barkley resulted in a somewhat down game from Lee in USC’s regular season-ending loss to Notre Dame. Lee went without a touchdown for the first time since a mid-October loss to Washington. His five catches netted him 75 yards, also his lowest production since the loss to the Huskies. Lee finishes the season with an impressive 14 touchdowns to go with more than 1,600 yards receiving.

Manti Te’o

Manti Te’o might not have had the best game of his season against USC on Saturday night, but his performance in perhaps the most important game the Fighting Irish have played in the BCS era will probably be enough to net him an invite to New York City for the trophy presentation. His interception on a pass from USC quarterback Max Wittek was his highlight of the night and gave him seven on the season, best among linebackers in the nation. With his season complete, Te’o can claim the title of the most visible player on the best team in the country, usually a big factor in Heisman voting.

Braxton Miller

Much like Manti Te’o, Braxton Miller helped his team cap an undefeated season with a victory over a traditional rival in a nationally televised game. Unlike Te’o, however, Miller will not get a shot at the national title game, or even a shot at a BCS bowl, given Ohio State’s ineligibility. But leading an ineligible team to an undefeated season should get Miller some real recognition. Whether that means an invite to NYC for the trophy presentation or not, it will certainly get Miller at or near the top of most watch lists for next season, along with Manziel and others. Against Michigan, Miller was an efficient 14 of 18 for 189 yards and 57 rushing yards.

BCS implications and strength of schedule worksheet for Week 13

 

With a tendency to surprise in November, the BCS has certainly dealt its fair share of drama in the last few seasons. You can never really tell what a team can do week to week.

But what you can tell is what each team has accomplished to any given point in the season. With just two weekends left in this year’s chase for a chance to play for the BCS title, we probably have a good idea of what teams have achieved the most. But that certainly doesn’t exclude anything from happening the next two weeks.

So explore the top six teams — the four in easy striking distance of the title game and two in need of serious help — and see what we know about them.

We’ll be compiling our implications and schedule strength worksheet every week the rest of the season. We’ll use the BCS rankings and Jeff Sagarin’s computer ranking to compile a look at what the nation’s best teams have accomplished, where they’re headed and the potential pitfalls and dangers associated with their upcoming schedule.

What will you find here? The top eight BCS teams (or smaller, if the “striking distance” shrinks), along with their record and strength of schedule, according to Sagarin.

Each team is also listed with key games already played, and key games to come. Key games are any against the BCS top 25 or the Sagarin top 60. If teams are unlisted in the BCS, they are listed with their Sagarin rank, and SOS is Sagarin-based.

Games for the upcoming weekend are bolded.

Note: All teams are included in the Sagarin data, including bowl-ineligible teams.

BCS No. 1 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-0) SOS: 33

Important games already played:

  • BCS No. 8 Stanford Cardinal  (9-2) SOS: 7 — Won 20-13
  • BCS No. 13 Oklahoma Sooners (8-2) SOS: 14 — Won 30-13
  • BCS No. 19 Michigan Wolverines (8-3) SOS: 21 — Won 13-6
  • Sagarin No. 37 Michigan State Spartans (5-5) SOS: 27 — Won 20-3
  • Sagarin No. 47 BYU Cougars (6-5) SOS: 47 — Won 17-14

Important games remaining:

  • Sagarin No. 20 USC Trojans (7-4) SOS: 13 — Nov. 24

BCS No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (10-1) SOS: 30

Important games already played:

  • BCS No. 7 LSU Tigers (9-2) SOS: 22 — Won 21-17
  • BCS No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies (9-2) SOS: 25 — Lost 29-24
  • BCS No. 19 Michigan Wolverines (8-3) SOS: 21 — Won 41-14
  • Sagarin No. 25 Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-3) SOS: 55 — Won 38-7
  • Sagarin No. 36 Ole Miss Rebels (5-6) SOS: 18 — Won 33-14
  • Sagarin No. 43 Missouri Tigers (5-6) SOS: 9 — Won 42-10
  • Sagarin No. 54 Tennessee Volunteers (4-7) SOS: 17 — Won 44-13
  • Sagarin No. 57 Arkansas Razorbacks (4-7) SOS: 23 — Won 52-0

Important games remaining:

  • SEC Championship Game — Potential

BCS No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (10-1) SOS: 46

Important games already played:

  • BCS No. 4 Florida Gators (10-1) SOS: 19 — Won 17-9
  • BCS No. 12 South Carolina Gamecocks (9-2) SOS: 39 — Lost 35-7
  • Sagarin No. 27 Vanderbilt Commodores (7-4) SOS: 32 — Won 48-3
  • Sagarin No. 36 Ole Miss Rebels (5-6) SOS: 18 — Won 37-10
  • Sagarin No. 43 Missouri Tigers (5-6) SOS: 9 — Won 41-20
  • Sagarin No. 54 Tennessee Volunteers (4-7) SOS: 17 — Won 51-44

Important games remaining:

  • SEC Championship Game

BCS No. 4 Florida Gators (10-1) SOS: 19

Important games already played:

  • BCS No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs (10-1) SOS: 46 — Lost 17-9
  • BCS No. 7 LSU Tigers (9-2) SOS: 22 — Won 14-6
  • BCS No. 9 Texas A&M Aggies (9-2) SOS: 25 — Won 20-17
  • BCS No. 12 South Carolina Gamecocks (9-2) SOS: 39 — Won 44-11
  • Sagarin No. 27 Vanderbilt Commodores (7-4) SOS: 32 — Won 31-17
  • Sagarin No. 43 Missouri Tigers (5-6) SOS: 9 — Won 14-7
  • Sagarin No. 54 Tennessee Volunteers (4-7) SOS: 17 — Won 37-20

Important games remaining:

  • BCS No. 10 Florida State Seminoles (9-1) SOS: 90 — Nov. 24

BCS No. 5 Oregon Ducks (10-1) SOS: 36

Important games already played:

  • BCS No. 8 Stanford Cardinal  (9-2) SOS: 7 — Lost 17-14
  • Sagarin No. 20 USC Trojans (7-4) SOS: 13 — Won 62-51
  • BCS No. 24 Arizona Wildcats (7-4) SOS: 3 — Won 49-0
  • BCS No. 25 Washington Huskies (7-4) SOS: 5 — Won 52-21
  • Sagarin No. 42 Arizona State Sun Devils (6-5) SOS: 42 — Won 43-21

Important games remaining:

  • BCS No. 15 Oregon State Beavers (8-2) SOS: 4 — Nov. 24
  • Pac-12 Championship Game — Potential

BCS No. 6 Kansas State Wildcats (10-1) SOS: 27

Important games already played:

  • BCS No. 13 Oklahoma Sooners (8-2) SOS: 14 — Won 24-19
  • BCS No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-3) SOS: 21 — Won 44-30
  • Sagarin No. 22 Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-4) SOS: 28 — Won 55-24
  • Sagarin No. 29 West Virginia Mountaineers (5-5) SOS: 12 — Won 55-14
  • Sagarin No. 31 Iowa State Cyclones (6-5) SOS: 6 — Won 27-21
  • Sagarin No. 35 TCU Horned Frogs (6-4) SOS: 29 — Won 23-10
  • Sagarin No. 39 Baylor Bears (5-5) SOS: 11 — Lost 52-24

Important games remaining:

  • BCS No. 15 Texas Longhorns (8-2) SOS: 23 — Dec. 1

Seventh BCS Rankings of 2011: LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State Lead The Way into Season’s Final Weekend

A weekend that seemed like snooze turned in a BCS standings riddled with wrinkles, all of which will need to be ironed out next weekend — the last of the 2011 college football season.

LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma State find themselves in relatively familiar positions, the top three, which all three have occupied for many weeks this season (although Oklahoma State’s loss to Iowa State last weekend momentarily kicked them out of there).

Stanford, who finished last season at No. 4, sits there once again, with a very good shot of reaping the benefits of the position once again. If the third place team in the final BCS standings does not win its own AQ conference, it automatically receives a bid to a BCS bowl. The same goes for the fourth-place team if the third-place team is in fact an AQ conference champion. Stanford achieved that qualification last season, and if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma next weekend, the Cardinal will once again be on its way to a BCS bowl.

No. 5 Virginia Tech has its own easy path to a BCS bowl, win the ACC championship game next weekend.

Houston can clinch its spot in a BCS bowl game with a victory in the C-USA championship game, which would assure the Cougars of being the highest-ranking non-AQ conference champion and a top-14 finish, enough to get the Cougars an automatic bid to a BCS bowl as well.

Some of those on the outside looking in, at least at this point, include No. 16 Michigan. The Wolverines, although a plenty attractive at-large team for any BCS bowl, need to enter the top 14 on the last weekend of the season to be eligible.

Just one week remains. Check out the projections from last night to see a complete list of the important games next weekend, and be sure to stay tuned to BCS Know How and @BCSKnowHow for all the latest.

Here’s the seventh BCS rankings of 2011:

BCS Standings Week Seven — November 27

Rank Team BCS Score
1 LSU Tigers 1.000
2 Alabama Crimson Tide .9551
3 Oklahoma State Cowboys .8712
4 Stanford Cardinal .8559
5 Virginia Tech Hokies .7811
6 Houston Cougars .7399
7 Boise State Broncos .7027
8 Arkansas Razorbacks .7003
9 Oregon Ducks .6862
10 Oklahoma Sooners .6710
11 Kansas State Wildcats .5702
12 South Carolina Gamecocks .5684
13 Michigan State Spartans .5369
14 Georgia Bulldogs .5348
15 Wisconsin Badgers .4576
16 Michigan Wolverines .4310

Some thoughts: