Simulated BCS Rankings Week Six: Clemson, Stanford Continue to Battle


Though we’re still two weeks removed from the first official BCS rankings of the season, with so many teams running through the early part of their schedules without a bump, it seems like we’re bound to be in for some real intrigue.

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

The kind of back-and-forth in the rankings that we’ve come to expect manifests itself this week with the ongoing battle between Clemson and Stanford, two teams that have traded the No. 3 spot in our simulated BCS rankings since the start of the season. How are we figuring 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, Anderson & Hester and Billingsley. However, we will not remove any of the rankings, as BCS usually does, as to get a better overall sense of where we stand. No need to eliminate when we don’t have the complete picture to begin with. Five computers used means a total possible score of 125 in the component.
  • In total, we’ll say these rankings reflect the real BCS rankings with about 61% accuracy

This week, despite Stanford’s bounding gains in the computer rankings, it’s Clemson that takes the No. 3 spot. That’s what happens when the two-thirds of the formula based on the voting polls favors the Tigers. That margin, however, is small. To the point where no more than a handful of votes in either the Coaches’ or AP polls could have swung the tides in Stanford’s favor.

So with the Tigers and Cardinal set in their 3-4 tandem, we instead turn our attention to Ohio State and Florida State, two teams that saw wide-spread support from the voters in the early going, but struggled to find that computer love every BCS contender needs.

All that has changed in the last few days, as victories over Northwestern and Maryland, respectively, have given the duo new life in the computers. The Buckeyes averaged a 8.6 ranking while Florida State pulled in an average of 4.6 across the five computer rankings.

Both are stronger than they had been in the early goings of these simulations, positive steps for two teams possibly gearing up for a fight to the finish with a bevy of other undefeated squads.

But enough talk — here are the simulated preseason BCS rankings at the end of the sixth week:

2013 Simulated BCS Standings — October 6

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9789
2 Oregon Ducks .8893
3 Clemson Tigers .8736
4 Stanford Cardinal .8627
5 Ohio State Buckeyes .8186
6 Florida State Seminoles .7982
7 Georgia Bulldogs .7466
8 Oklahoma Sooners .6560
9 LSU Tigers .6256
10 Louisville Cardinals .5699
11 UCLA Bruins .5664
12 Texas A&M Aggies .5617
13 Miami Hurricanes .5100
14 South Carolina Gamecocks .4769
15 Baylor Bears .4668
16 Michigan Wolverines .3827

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Six: Florida State’s Week To Move


A blowout win did wonders for Florida State this week, vaulting the Seminoles from No. 8 to No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

Interestingly, Alabama loses a little ground on the rest of the field this week, with Oregon gaining double the number of first-place votes as the week before, and watching teams like No. 4 Clemson and No. 3 Ohio State creep every closer to the top. With two more weekends before the first BCS rankings and one more weekend until the Harris Poll appears for the first time, the Coaches’ Poll is the one to watch for now.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – October 6

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1544 .996
2 Oregon Ducks 1486 .959
3 Ohio State Buckeyes 1379 .890
4 Clemson Tigers 1356 .875
5 Stanford Cardinal 1327 .856
6 Florida State Seminoles 1188 .767
7 Georgia Bulldogs 1130 .729
8 Louisville Cardinals 1105 .713
9 Texas A&M Aggies 1067 .688
10 Oklahoma Sooners 964 .622
11 LSU Tigers 953 .615
12 South Carolina Gamecocks 833 .537

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — October 6


The BCS has always had trouble with too many teams finishing the season undefeated. It’s seasons like 2004 that have brought the BCS to its knees and foretold the end of this era. But how fitting would it be for the BCS, in its final year, to bow out with one last blowout controversy with a handful of undefeated teams and no true way to differentiate them?

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

With Stanford’s big win over Washington and Ohio State’s big win over Northwestern, we might just be headed for a season’s end with bevy of deserving teams with spotless records. Though it seems pretty assured an undefeated SEC team would make the title game, who would get the nod to play that SEC squad in the title game?

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

Comment: An impressive and tight victory over a very good Washington team was among the best wins of the weekend among title contenders, and with Oregon in Palo Alto facing the Cardinal squarely down the road, things could be coming up Cardinal in the last BCS title game. Alabama, for their part, has had little trouble starting their season with another undefeated run through early opponents.

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

Comment: Ohio State’s strong victory over Northwestern was as important as Stanford’s Washington victory, but with only a game against Michigan during the final Big Ten regular season week left as far as tough games, is there enough to push Ohio State past a potential Pac-12 undefeated team? As for Oregon, if they come up short of a Pac-12 title and an undefeated run through their season, they’d land softly in the Rose Bowl.

Sugar Bowl: Georgia Bulldogs (At-large selection) vs. Florida State Seminoles (At-large selection)

Comment: Georgia continues to keep their national title and BCS hopes alive with impressive victories in nationally televised games with Aaron Murray at the helm. Sure, the Bulldogs’ loss to Clemson was crushing to open the season, but it seems all the more likely that Georgia belongs in the upper echelon of teams in the country. With that in mind, the Sugar Bowl would likely want to take the Bulldogs as a replacement and pair them with the ACC’s second-best team, Florida State.

Orange Bowl: Clemson Tigers (ACC champion) vs. Michigan Wolverines (At-large selection)

Comment: After two weeks of struggling against lesser foes, Michigan showed their strength against Minnesota for a much-needed easy victory in Big Ten play. Though it hasn’t been impressive, Michigan has won five games to open the season, and even if they are unable to top Ohio State at the end of this year, a one-loss Big Ten team will be hard to pass up for an at-large BCS bid. As for the Tigers, will a victory over Georgia and a potential victory over Florida State be enough to push them into the national title game or will they have to settle for an Orange Bowl bid as simply the ACC’s champion?

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

Comment: Louisville might be at the very bottom of the totem pole when it comes to teams with the chance to capitalize on an undefeated season. Mostly, that’s a result of the schedule laid in front of them in the all-new AAC. But that’s not to say that things couldn’t fall in their favor, there’s just a lot that has to happen. As for Oklahoma, the Sooners will be tested against a Baylor team that seems unstoppable, but if they are able to triumph there, they’d be favored to make the Fiesta Bowl as the Big 12’s champion and host.

Heisman Watch Week Six: McCarron, Winston and Boyd Set The Tone


Johnny Manziel

Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M had the week off to prepare for Ole Miss. Though the toughest part of Manziel’s season, his matchup with Alabama, is behind him, he still has plenty of chances to make an impact in the Heisman race with strong performances against schools like upcoming Auburn and Mississippi State, not to mention a showcase meeting with LSU as the season winds down in late November.

Tajh Boyd

Four hundred and fifty-five yards will jump out at you on a stat sheet and a box score. That’s what strikes you first when you look at Clemson’s easy win over Syracuse from Saturday. Clemson certainly didn’t need the five touchdowns Body contributed to the win, but it was sure to fun to watch Boyd pick apart the new-to-the-ACC Orange defense in his time in the game before coach Dabo Swinney took his star out.

Teddy Bridgewater

Playing in the newly formed American Athletic Conference for the first time Saturday, Teddy Bridgewater and Louisville had little trouble with Temple, using a 24-point first half and suffocating defense to top the Owls. Bridgewater, for his part, contributed two touchdowns and 348 passing yards to help the Cardinals breeze by Temple and continuing their undefeated start to the season.

AJ McCarrron

Georgia State might not have put up much fight against Alabama and AJ McCarron, but McCarron took his game to a different level, as he completed 15 of 16 passes for four touchdowns and 166 yards. His completion percentage set a record for Crimson Tide and the victory was an easy walkover for the Tide before their SEC schedule sets in.

Marcus Mariota  

Seven touchdowns, no matter who they are scored against, is an impressive stat line for any quarterback to submit in a college football weekend. Yes, Marcus Mariota passed for five touchdowns and ran for two more against Colorado, but it was a stunning line none the less. Mariota also pushed near to 400 yards against the Buffaloes. The Ducks didn’t even score after the third quarter and Mariota played little more than a half.

Jameis Winston

A ranked matchup against Maryland should have promised a tough battle between two ACC schools in the middle of the conference’s resurgence. Instead, Winston and Florida State demolished the Terrapins, with Winston delivering highlight reel play after highlight reel play. Add to that SportsCenter-ready package Winston’s 393 passing yards and five touchdowns and you’ve got a Heisman highlight-type game that could stick out this year.

Aaron Murray

Though Georgia’s matchup with Tennessee didn’t seem to offer much in the way of drama, the SEC battle turned out to be among the weekend’s best games, and offered one of the week’s best performances in support of a victory, in Aaron Murray’s charge to lead the Bulldogs’ rally for a win. Importantly, Murray’s comeback bid helped Georgia keep its national title hopes alive as well with his 196 yards and three touchdowns

BlogPoll Week Six: South Carolina, West Virginia and Florida prosper during moving week

Perhaps the best part of college football as we approach the BCS rankings is the sudden shaking that the rankings undergo on certain weeks. Occasionally there are calm, quiet weeks where everything turns out as expected.

And then there are the weekends where a bevy of ranked matchups give us a nice shaking of the things we thought we knew.

That is most evident in this ballot with LSU, which I was probably gave way too much credit for some pretty poor performances. Winners of the SEC battles this weekend prosper big, as they did in the real rankings.

But the darling here is West Virginia, a team I think could hang with just about anyone given the offensive powerhouse it is.

Don’t agree? Criticize away!

Simulated BCS Rankings Week Six: South Carolina rockets to No. 3 on strength of weekend’s best win

The first real moving weekend of the college football season certainly proved a strong primer for the first BCS standings of the season — due out next week — as losses from top squads opened the way for teams such as South Carolina, West Virginia and Florida to make their way up in the latest simulated BCS rankings.

Simulated BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Oregon Ducks
3 South Carolina Gamecocks
4 West Virginia Mountaineers
5 Florida Gators
Scroll down for more

And, though the arrangement of teams is changed, the makeup remains overwhelmingly SEC-based, as the conference lands three of the top five teams in the latest simulation. Of course, the biggest story is the sudden upward jump of South Carolina, which bounds to No. 3 this week on the strength of a victory over Georgia.

West Virginia, which had languished a bit with lacking support across the board, sees a nice bump with teams moving out of the way in front of the Mountaineers, as West Virginia lands at No. 4.

Every team continues to trail an increasingly strong No. 1 Alabama team, which collects by far the heaviest support across the board on the week. One place where the Tide did not dominate, however, is in the computers. The technical aspect of the BCS favors a different SEC squad, the Florida Gators, which land at No. 5 with the nation’s second-best computer support.

No. 6 Notre Dame barely edges out the Gators for the best computer support in the land, grabbing first-place votes in two of the five available computers, while Florida grabs one. Oregon and Alabama each grab one first-place vote, but do not enjoy the complete support across ratings systems that the Gators and Fighting Irish do.

With just one weekend before the release of the first BCS standings, we’re beginning to collect a nearly complete picture of the BCS standings to come.

Available now are the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, Harris Interactive Poll, and five of the six computers — good enough to call this simulation 94 percent complete. Peter Wolfe will be the lone holdout, releasing his first set next week.

We took a computer aggregate without eliminating any of the five available polls to not only keep extra transparency, but also to give an extended view-point on the rankings. Take that as you will. The formula for the human elements remains intact.

Just one week until the first BCS rankings, here’s the best look we’ll have at the BCS until then.

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

BCS Score = (Harris Interactive Poll Score/2825 + Coaches Poll Score/1475 + Computer Poll Aggregate/125)/3

Here are the simulated rankings after week six:

Simulated BCS Standings — October 8

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9512
2 Oregon Ducks .9182
3 South Carolina Gamecocks .9053
4 West Virginia Mountaineers .8639
5 Florida Gators .8446
6 Notre Dame Fighting Irish .8331
7 Kansas State Wildcats .7980
8 LSU Tigers .5828
9 Oregon State Beavers .5750
10 Georgia Bulldogs .5554
11 USC Trojans .5332
12 Stanford Cardinal .5011
13 Oklahoma Sooners .4482
14 Texas Longhorns .4296
15 Florida State Seminoles .4006
16 Mississippi State Bulldogs .3831


Harris Interactive Poll Week Six: Alabama, Oregon debut at the top of the Harris

Though its first iteration of the season, the Harris Poll did not include many surprises when released Sunday afternoon, as many of the top teams in the Coaches’ Poll were represented similarly in the Harris Poll.

Like with the coaches, South Carolina finds favor after a convincing victory over Georgia. West Virginia also sees a top-five bow after teams move out of the way.

Much like in the coaches’ poll, LSU is the top-ranked one-loss squad, but has Florida State on its tail, and not USC, which falls behind the Seminoles, as well.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – October 7

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 2820 .999
2 Oregon Ducks 2706 .958
3 South Carolina Gamecocks 2565 .908
4 West Virginia Mountaineers 2376 .841
5 Kansas State Wildcats 2355 .834
6 Florida Gators 2305 .816
7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2210 .782
8 LSU Tigers 1901 .673
9 Florida State Seminoles 1736 .615
10 USC Trojans 1643 .582
11 Georgia Bulldogs 1532 .542
12 Oregon State Beavers 1516 .537

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Six: South Carolina shoots to No. 3

With LSU, Florida State and Georgia out of the way, it’s South Carolina that proves the new star of the week’s polls, bowing at No. 3 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

The other big winner is West Virginia after the Tigers, Seminoles and Bulldogs suffer their first losses of the year at the hand of conference foes.

LSU is now the highest ranked one-loss squad, at No. 8, followed by No. 9 USC.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – October 7

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1474 .999
2 Oregon Ducks 1411 .957
3 South Carolina Gamecocks 1345 .912
4 West Virginia Mountaineers 1296 .879
5 Kansas State Wildcats 1216 .824
6 Florida Gators 1165 .790
7 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 1152 .781
8 LSU Tigers 961 .652
9 USC Trojans 940 .637
10 Oklahoma Sooners 872 .591
11 Florida State Seminoles 819 .555
12 Georgia Bulldogs 761 .516

Heisman Watch Week Six: Klein, Smith shine against Big 12 foes

De’Anthony Thomas

De’Anthony Thomas continues to collect yards in bunches, pushing Washington’s defense to the limit in his reduced work load against the Huskies, and staying in the middle of the Heisman race. On just 10 carries, Thomas racked up 75 yards and a touchdown to go with a 12-yard reception. Thomas also provided 35 yards of field positioning offense from two kick returns in the early part of the game.

Geno Smith

In the biggest of spots, against a rising Texas team, Geno Smith was skillful yet again on Saturday, throwing for four more touchdowns and 268 yards to help lead West Virginia past the Longhorns. Sure, Smith’s 10 incompletions were his second highest on the year, but Smith was his usual efficient self, providing the offense the Mountaineers needed to win in their first trip to Austin as a member of the Big 12.

With more Big 12 action in store, all of which promises more of the offensive fireworks we’ve seen already, Smith is likely to continue to collect the same impressive numbers he’s been grabbing all season. Smith

EJ Manuel

Just a week after shining against South Florida, EJ Manuel and Florida State came back to earth in a shocking loss to North Carolina State, a game which saw Manuel and the Seminoles come out strong, but falter toward the end to bring Manuel back to the Heisman pack. Passing for 218 yards and a touchdown against a game Wolfpack defensive attack, Manuel was unable to lead the Seminoles to a second-half scoring drive.

With plenty of season remaining, Manuel has all the time he needs to rebound from the loss, but he will need to lead the Seminoles to victories in the coming weeks if he hopes to stay in the conversation.

Braxton Miller

In an all-out rout of presumed Big Ten favorites through the season’s first month, Braxton Miller had a coming out party on the ground, leading Ohio State past Nebraska and showing the country just what kind of damage he can do. Breaking a Ohio State record, Miller broke off a 72-yard touchdown run that helped the Buckeyes top the Cornhuskers, 63-38. In all, Miller rushed for 186 yards and a score on a day where his arm was not needed nearly as much — as Miller only completed seven of 14 attempts for 127 yards and a touchdown.

Collin Klein

Not needing to give everything he had against Kansas, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein still racked up strong stats against the Jayhawk defense, continuing a strong start to the Wildcats’ season. Klein scored twice through the air and twice on the ground to lead the Wildcats to a convincing 56-16 victory in a game that had all the makings of a stat sheet filler for Klein coming into the contest — a promise Klein kept.

Looking every bit the runner and the passer performances like the one Klein gave against Kansas on Saturday would be sure to keep him among the most important names in college football for weeks to come.

On The Radar:

Matt Barkley

More of what you might expect from Barkley against Utah, as the senior passed for three touchdowns and 303 yards against the Utes defense.

Aaron Murray

Murray chose a bad time to have his worst performance of the season, against South Carolina, unable to help the Bulldogs muster much offense and completing just over a third of his passes.

Simulated BCS Standings Week Six: Alabama Claims Top Spot While Oklahoma, LSU Battle For No. 2

Alabama remains atop this week’s simulated BCS rankings, while Oklahoma and LSU take the No. 2 and No. 3 spots, respectively.

The Crimson Tide used first-place votes from three of the five BCS computers (Sagarin, Massey, Colley) to remain ahead of the Sooners and Tigers in this week’s projections. LSU (Billingsley) and Oklahoma (Anderson and Hester) each picked up one first-place computer vote

Now you may be wondering why this simulation differs slightly from the one announced by ESPN themselves. The simulation procedure is slightly different, as explained below, but the important thing is that the difference between the Tigers and Sooners is negligible. The race for No. 2 is a virtual dead heat after six weeks of play, and that’s where we stand as of right now.

Oklahoma State pushes past Boise State for No. 4, giving the Big 12 and SEC two teams each in the top four of the simulation.

Other surprises further down the rankings show Michigan in a surprisingly strong spot, while Oregon gets some tough love from some of the computers.

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.

We have the two human elements covered, as both the USA Today Coaches’ Poll and the Harris Interactive College Football poll are available. We do not, however, have all six computer rankings. Peter Wolfe’s rankings will not be released until next week, when the actual BCS rankings are finally made available.

Because of the lack of full-scale computer components, we will not take out the high and low computer rankings, as the BCS normally does. That would only cloud the rankings this early in the season. For now, with a 94.4 percent confidence, if the BCS rankings were released today, this is what they would look like:

Simulated BCS Rankings — October 10th

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9634
2 Oklahoma Sooners .9534
3 LSU Tigers .9512
4 Oklahoma State Cowboys .8266
5 Boise State Broncos .8066
6 Wisconsin Badgers .7604
7 Clemson Tigers .7480
8 Stanford Cardinal .7021
9 Michigan Wolverines .6091
10 Arkansas Razorbacks .5636
11 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets .5512
12 Oregon Ducks .5196
13 Illinois Fighting Illini .5021
14 Kansas State Wildcats .4464
15 South Carolina Gamecocks .4064
16 Nebraska Cornhuskers .3948

Some thoughts:

  • Oregon continues to slide although it keeps winning, finding itself all the way at No. 12 this week.
  • Clemson and Wisconsin swap places even though the Badgers were idle. No much to the switch, though, as the two are separated by less than .0200.