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

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Four: LSU Making Moves


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

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — September 22


What can we learn from a week with few upsets, likely as a result of the few tests on the docket for the nation’s best teams? Teams such as Stanford and Notre Dame had interesting opponents, but like most of the rest of the country took care of business.

BCS Bowl Projections
Bowl Matchup
Title Game Alabama vs. Stanford
Rose Bowl Oregon vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl Georgia vs. Michigan
Orange Bowl Clemson vs. Oklahoma
Fiesta Bowl Oklahoma State vs. Louisville
Scroll down for more

So the projected BCS bowl picture doesn’t change this week, but we can say with some certainty that some of the nation’s best are carving out an identity as we head toward October and the first BCS standings.

BCS National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide (BCS No. 1) vs. Stanford Cardinal (BCS No. 2)

Comment: Alabama didn’t dispatch Colorado State in overwhelming fashion and Stanford let Arizona State hang around after jumping out to a big lead, but both continue to look like national title contenders in a crowded field of possible title teams. Alabama gets Ole Miss next weekend and Stanford continues its start to the Pac-12 season against Washington State.

Rose Bowl: Oregon Ducks (At-large selection) vs. Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten champion)

Comment: Seems like without Braxton Miller, Ohio State has been able to turn its offensive attack into a scoring machine, as the Buckeyes posted 76 points against Florida A&M and Kenny Guiton posted six touchdowns. Oregon had the week off, and continues to look national title game worth, but if they are to fall short, the Rose Bowl would likely come calling.

Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (At-large selection) vs. Michigan Wolverines (At-large selection)

Comment: Is constantly dodging upsets good for a team this early in the season? It might be, or it might just be that Michigan is not as good as was advertised before the 2013 started. But after struggling against Akron and UConn, Michigan remains undefeated, an important distinction this early in the season. If they can get this turned around, a BCS bowl bid could very easily be in their future, no matter how much they’ve struggled so far this year.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (ACC champion) vs. Oklahoma Sooners (At-large selection)

Comment: The ACC looks like a strong conference top-to-bottom in 2013, and coming out ahead of teams like Florida State and revived looking Georgia Tech, Maryland and Miami will be a tough road to complete. But Clemson seems the class of the conference, at least thus far, and a Orange Bowl bid will be the reward if they are able to top the conference.

Fiesta Bowl: Louisville Cardinals (AAC champion) vs. Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12 champion)

Comment: Louisville put up a big 72 points against an inferior FIU team on Saturday, staking yet another claim to their spot as the best of the newly formed AAC’s football schools and doing nothing to change the general consensus that they’ll be able to finish this season undefeated. But even an undefeated season might not be enough to get them to the title game.

Heisman Watch Week Four: Strong Performances With No Stand Out


Johnny Manziel

After his performance against Alabama was most notable for Johnny Manziel’s work through the air, it was his work in the rushing game that helped Texas A&M top SMU this weekend. Manziel rushed for two touchdowns and more than 100 yards to go along with his nearly 250 yards passing and passing score. A&M will start to hit the meat of its SEC schedule next week against Arkansas.

Tajh Boyd

Clemson didn’t always look its best against NC State in its ACC opener, but behind the senior quarterback’s leadership and three touchdown passes, the Tigers continued their hot start to the 2013 season. And in the process, Boyd again put up big numbers in a game that got a lot of national attention, as the Thursday night kick gave the country a chance to watch Boyd again.

Teddy Bridgewater

When a quarterback’s team scores 72 points, its easy for each accomplishment to disappear into the blowout. But Biridgewater was able to post four passing touchdowns and 212 yards before giving way to the rest of his offense to put away Florida International

AJ McCarrron

After a season-defining performance when it counted most against Texas A&M, McCarron followed it up this weekend with a somewhat muted performance against Colorado State. McCarron didn’t need to be the force against the Rams, and threw for just one touchdown, but was also intercepted once.

Marcus Mariota  

After three consecutive weeks of stat lines that stood out among the early performances and leading his Oregon team to blowout victories, Marcus Mariota and the Ducks got the week off. In what seems like a good way to view his early statistics, no one player’s performance in week four was as completely dominant as Mariota’s had been.

Others To Watch

Melvin Gordon

Three touchdowns for Gordon this weekend, and in the early going, he’s staying the thick of this race well.

De’Anthony Thomas

Thomas, like Mariota, and Oregon were also off this week. The Ducks get California next week.

Jameis Winston

A solid performance from Winston in a blowout victory over Bethune-Cookman. Winston attempted only 19 passes, and threw for two touchdowns.

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


BlogPoll Week Four: Oregon proving its way to No. 2

It’s not easy to keep track of every team, especially when one of the most explosive and fun to watch squads plays well past midnight on the East Coast. But the Oregon Ducks make it worth it almost every week, and this week, their performance was good enough to move them into position to break up LSU-Alabama duo that has dominated the college football landscape every week.

So Oregon is up to No. 2, while losses from Oklahoma, Michigan and Clemson to Kansas State, Notre Dame and Florida State do the things you might expect them to do to the rankings.

Don’t agree? Criticize away!

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

Heisman Watch Week Four: Bell, Smith continue to dominate

De’Anthony Thomas

De’Anthony Thomas might be the best indicator that Oregon has a seemingly unlimited amount offensive weapons, which the Ducks mix and match to the feel of each game. Even without Thomas, perhaps one of the best athletes in the nation, touching the ball more than 15 times, the Ducks put up nearly 500 yards in offense. Thomas, for his part, played sparingly, but electrified when he touched the ball, as has been the case all season.

His 47 yards rushing, 11 yards receiving and 38 yards on punt returns is nothing to write home about, sure. But he’ll stay in this race as long as he can convince audiences to stay up late just to watch him perform.

Geno Smith

West Virginia had much more trouble handling Maryland on Saturday than many might have expected, but for Geno Smith the win and the performance can speak for themselves. The Mountaineer quarterback led West Virginia with 338 yards passing and three touchdowns to help best a surprisingly game Terrapins squad, 31-21.

Smith was not the same incredibly efficient quarterback he had been in the previous two weeks — which had garnered comparisons to last year’s Heisman recipient, Robert Griffin III. But despite his 13 incompletions, he did not throw an interception. Smith and the Mountaineers get their Big 12 schedule going next weekend against Baylor.

Le’Veon Bell

Just one week after being held nearly silent against Notre Dame, Le’Veon Bell exploded back on the Heisman scene with a massive performance against Eastern Michigan. Helping Michigan State bounce back from a disappointing loss to the Fighting Irish, Bell rushed for 253 yards and a touchdown on 38 carries.

Sure, you might not expect a need for Bell to shoulder that kind of load against a lesser opponent like Eastern Michigan, but his performance certainly does help bolster a Heisman candidacy that saw a bit of a dive after last week. Bell and the Spartans start their Big Ten schedule against Ohio State next weekend.

Braxton Miller

Somewhat quiet through the air, Braxton Miller made up for it on the ground, rushing for two touchdowns and 64 yards against UAB to help Ohio State overcome a slow start to beat the Blazers. It was Miller’s 1-yard rush in the fourth quarter that ended up clinching the victory for the Buckeyes after mistakes helped UAB build an early lead on the Buckeyes.

Despite it’s ineligibility for the postseason, the Buckeyes are one of just three undefeated teams remaining in the Big Ten as it heads toward conference play. The Buckeyes open with Michigan State.

Matt Barkley

Another sub-standard performance out of Matt Barkley, after the senior passes for two touchdowns, but also two interceptions, in the Trojans’ bounce back victory over California. Despite the pedestrian numbers, the performance actually proves a bounce back for Barkley as well, after he struggled mightily against Stanford. Barkley was able to lead the Trojans to scores when they needed it most, including his two scoring strikes to Marqise Lee.

Barkley and the Trojans now get a week off before the meat of the Pac-12 schedule kicks in, and Barkley will have a shot to post some big numbers against the likes of Washington and Utah in the next few weeks.

On The Radar:

Marcus Lattimore

Lattimore rushed for 85 yards for a second straight week, although his two scores do keep him in the conversation moving forward. His performances will have to improve to meet the preseason Heisman hype.

Colin Klein

Though his performance against Oklahoma wasn’t earth-shattering or gaudy, the senior quarterback’s level-headed play helped Kansas State upset Oklahoma in Norman. That kind of national exposure and performance will certainly get people talking about Klein.

Simulated BCS Standings Week Four: LSU Reclaims Top Spot

Once again, LSU reclaims the top spot in the simulated BCS rankings.

We’ve included both Colley’s Matrix in this week’s simulation and utilized Massey’s BCS column, for the fullest picture of the BCS standings we’ve had yet.

As a point of reference, the methodology of the BCS Know How simulated rankings is slightly different than normal BCS procedure — mainly because of a lack of full-scale components.

For starters, there is no Harris Interactive Poll quite yet, and two of the six computer ranking systems, the Anderson and Hester system and the Peter Wolfe rankings are non-operational. For the time being, we’ve substituted the AP poll for the Harris, and will include the four available computers — Sagarin, Massey, Colley and Billingsley — in the simulation. This early in the season, there’s little need to zero out a computer, it would only cloud the picture of this process.

Simulated BCS Rankings — September 26th

Rank Team BCS Score
1 LSU Tigers .9508
2 Alabama Crimson Tide .9146
3 Oklahoma Sooners .8867
4 Oklahoma State Cowboys .8469
5 Boise State Broncos .8175
6 Nebraska Cornhuskers .7219
7 South Carolina Gamecocks .7017
8 Stanford Cardinal .6679
9 Wisconsin Badgers .6294
10 Virginia Tech Hokies .5941
11 Oregon Ducks .5221
12 Florida Gators .5135
13 Clemson Tigers .5038
14 South Florida Bulls .4193
15 Michigan Wolverines .4029
16 Baylor Bears .3858

Some thoughts:

  • By adding Colley and taking Massey’s BCS column instead of his weighted column, much of the standings have shifted.
  • Stanford takes a tumble all the way to No. 8, while Oklahoma State climbs to No. 4, both on the strength of its victory over Texas A&M and an already strong computer showing.
  • Nebraska and South Carolina get a bunch of help in this week’s simulation, as do South Florida and Clemson.

Heisman Watch Week Four: Richardson, Lattimore, Jones Show Versatility

Trent Richardson

Nothing too spectacular out of Richardson this weekend, save for a giant reception down the far sideline for a touchdown that all but showed that the Crimson Tide were the better team against Arkansas on Saturday.

Richardson’s 126 yards on the ground, while impressive, weren’t matched with any scores, which in such a stat-obsessed mindset, is not going to do Richardson any favors on the Heisman level. But if voters were watching, they saw everything that makes Richardson so dangerous, although he did not hit the end zone via a rush attempt.

Landry Jones

Mixed bag would probably best describe the kind of day Jones had against Missouri.

Yes, the junior had 448 yards against a dangerous Missouri team, three touchdowns and once again showed he is the leader of one of the best teams in the nation, but liberally tossing the ball around the field did get Jones in trouble a bit, as he tossed two picks against the Tigers defense.

Of course, rushing for a touchdown always helps open the eyes of voters to your versatility, but Denard Robinson Jones is not.

Marcus Lattimore

One of those games where Lattimore shows his versatility likely did nothing too special for Lattimore’s Heisman hopes, but the running back did taste the end zone twice, once on the ground and once through the air.

His 611 yards on the season are second best in the FBS, behind Oregon’s LaMichael James, who if Lattimore doesn’t pick up his game in the next couple weeks, could reappear right here, knocking Lattimore off the list.

Andrew Luck

Luck had the weekend off, but will be tested severely over the next few weeks as the Cardinal take on the always dangerous Pac-12 gauntlet.

Strong performances in all-important conference games will certainly up the senior’s stock among Heisman voters.

Kellen Moore

Moore tore Toledo apart in just 2 1/2 quarters of play on the blue turf. In classic Kellen Moore fashion, the senior tossed just 29 passes, completing 23 of them for four touchdowns and 279 yards, doing more than enough to ensure the Broncos would end the night victorious.

Games continue to pile up for Moore, and so do the wins for the Broncos, but is he doing enough to make a name for himself in a less than competitive version of the MWC?