Simulated BCS Rankings Week Three: Ohio State Enters Top Five, Florida State Climbing


Like in years past, it takes a certain kind of result to truly convince everyone that the top preseason teams are truly worth of the spot. In recent years, those teams have often included Alabama and Oregon, and like in these past couple of years, the Crimson Tide and Ducks passed that early test.

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 respective victories over Texas A&M and Tennessee in week three staked Alabama and Oregon to a large lead in the early simulations of the BCS rankings. In fact, the distance between Alabama and Oregon, which is still around a sizable .04, is less than a third of the gap between Oregon and No. 3 Clemson.

How did we figure these simulated BCS rankings out? We made the following changes to the BCS formula, to account for the pieces we have and the pieces we’re missing:

  • We’ve replaced the Harris Poll, which wont be available until mid-October, with the AP Poll
  • We’re ONLY using the available, reasonably well-connected and up-to-date BCS computers, which at this point is just Massey’s non-BCS, Sagarin’s and Billingsley’s rankings. You’ll notice that at this point, “well-connected” means computer systems with a preseason bias and component. As the season progresses we can eliminate those rankings which hold such a bias as the teams become well-connected in 2013 alone.
  • Available computers, but not included: Massey’s BCS and Colley’s Matrix.
  • In total, we’ll say these rankings reflect the real BCS rankings with 50% accuracy

You might have noticed that Stanford and Clemson flip-flop again this week, thought their differences are small when you look at the bound either team would have to make an impact on the top two squads in the country.

Weeks of lingering in the lower regions of the computer rankings continues for Ohio State, but the Buckeyes are finally able to leap into the top five at No. 5 — up one spot — despite it’s much higher viewing in the polls.

LSU and Florida State also improve their lots, as LSU is up one spot and Florida State up two as we reach the halfway point in the first month of the season. Plenty of football to be played before the first BCS standings, but it’s a fun exercise…

Here are the simulated preseason BCS rankings at the end of the third week:

2013 Simulated BCS Standings — September 16

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9951
2 Oregon Ducks .9561
3 Clemson Tigers .8167
4 Stanford Cardinal .7939
5 Ohio State Buckeyes .7562
6 LSU Tigers .7464
7 Florida State Seminoles .7278
8 Georgia Bulldogs .7200
9 Texas A&M Aggies .6890
10 Oklahoma State Cowboys .5837
11 Louisville Cardinals .5830
12 South Carolina Gamecocks .5746
13 Oklahoma Sooners .5653
14 UCLA Bruins .4874
15 Michigan Wolverines .3713
16 Miami Hurricanes .3249

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Three: Clemson, Louisville Rising


Clemson and Stanford continue to trade blows in a variety of the available rankings early in the 2013 season, and in this week’s Coaches’ Poll, the story is no different.

Clemson leaps the Cardinal for the No. 4 spot during a week where not much else changed. Alabama’s victory over Texas A&M convinced all but one voter that they were the No. 1 team, as Oregon gets the lone other vote.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – September 15

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1549 .999
2 Oregon Ducks 1477 .953
3 Ohio State Buckeyes 1398 .902
4 Clemson Tigers 1331 .859
5 Stanford Cardinal 1314 .848
6 Louisville Cardinals 1128 .728
7 LSU Tigers 1121 .723
8 Florida State Seminoles 1113 .718
9 Texas A&M Aggies 1033 .667
10 Georgia Bulldogs 1022 .659
11 Oklahoma State Cowboys 908 .586
12 Oklahoma Sooners 839 .541

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — September 15


Alabama got it’s fair share of scare on Saturday but survived a trip to Kyle Field and continues to ride atop the college football landscape in the early parts of the final year of the BCS.

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 for now, not much changes in the picture we’re painting of the 2013 college football season. Alabama and the SEC continue to put a scare into most.

Though perhaps not Oregon, whose fans were calling for Alabama after crushing Tennessee. They might just get the chance:

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

Comment: Alabama traveled to Kyle Field and survived in the way they could not last season. The Crimson Tide still captured the title last season after a loss to the Aggies, now with Manziel and Texas A&M out of the way, is the path cleared for a return trip? So far so good. Stanford had a little trouble waking up against Army, but eventually got past the Black Knights with ease. We still project them getting by Oregon for the Pac-12 title and a title game berth.

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

Comment: No Braxton Miller, no problem for Ohio State as the Buckeyes easily dispatched California, and look still like the Big Ten favorites, as Michigan struggled, Nebraska lost and Wisconsin … something. Oregon looked their classic attacking offensive selves, crushing Tennessee so soundly that fans started chanting for a shot at Alabama.

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

Comment: Georgia had the week off, and Michigan struggled mightily with Akron at home, but with a chance to get things worked out next weekend against Connecticut, the Wolverines still look well in control of a possible at-large bid, as do the Bulldogs.

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

Comment: No game on the docket for Clemson, and though Florida State did look the part of ACC champs this weekend, Clemson’s victory over Georgia is the standard-bearer in the conference thus far. Oklahoma had a little trouble separating from Tulsa early, but were fine down the stretch and have again started the season strong. Can they keep it up?

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

Comment: Louisville look just okay against Kentucky, but it was more than enough to get by, and the Cardinals are still well in control of their destiny for a final BCS bid. Oklahoma State blasted Lamar this weekend, but the Cowboys will get a chance to prove they’re for real over the next few weeks, as they take on a meaty Big 12 schedule.

Simulated BCS Rankings Week Three: Georgia up to No. 4, Stanford to No. 5 as USC goes tumbling

A first major upset of the season always seems to re-center the focus of the college football nation. In 2012, that upset came courtesy of a Stanford victory over previously feared USC, and the rankings certainly reflect the impact of such a result.

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

Most notably, USC tumbles in our latest simulated BCS rankings, which still have Alabama and LSU well above the rest of the competition. The surprises come almost immediately after that, however, as Georgia springboards past South Carolina into the top-five simulated BCS rankings.

Then at No. 5, Stanford appears on the strength of the nation’s second-best computer aggregate score, trailing only Alabama in that category. Despite not getting the bounce they might have expected after the upset of the No. 2 or No. 3 team in the country — depending who you asked — the Cardinal certainly enjoyed a bounce in the BCS rankings, landing at No. 5.

Finally seeing some support from the computers, Florida State enters the top 10, at No. 8. And Notre Dame, on the strength of their victory over previously loved Michigan State, also enters the top 10 of the simulated BCS rankings for the first time.

West Virginia is still suffering from a lack of support from the computers, sitting at No. 12 in the simulation despite No. 8 and No. 7 votes of confidence from the polls.

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.

Among the four computer rankings we’re using, only Kenneth Massey’s is the non-BCS version, as his non-margin of victory rankings are not well-connected enough yet to signify an accurate ranking. We’ll likely cross that threshold next week.

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. Enjoy!

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 three:

Simulated BCS Standings — September 16

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9918
2 LSU Tigers .8940
3 Oregon Ducks .8339
4 Georgia Bulldogs .7706
5 Stanford Cardinal .7337
6 Oklahoma Sooners .7305
7 South Carolina Gamecocks .6889
8 Florida State Seminoles .6202
9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish .6103
10 Florida Gators .5708
11 Clemson Tigers .5523
12 West Virginia Mountaineers .5520
13 Texas Longhorns .5377
14 Kansas State Wildcats .5118
15 USC Trojans .5018
16 TCU Horned Frogs .3481


USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Three: USC slips, while Oregon climbs to No. 3 and SEC domination continues

After the season’s first major upset, USC plummets to No. 12 in the most recent USA Today Coaches’ Poll as Stanford climbs to No.11 following their upset victory.

Oregon takes over USC’s previously held No. 3 position, with No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 Oklahoma rounding out the poll’s top five.

The SEC lands their normal top two here, as Alabama claims 54 first-place votes and a .996 vote share, while LSU claims the other five, with a .957 vote share. Georgia is up to No. 6, while South Carolina grabs the No. 8 spot.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – September 16

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1470 .996
2 LSU Tigers 1411 .957
3 Oregon Ducks 1339 .908
4 Florida State Seminoles 1240 .841
5 Oklahoma Sooners 1201 .814
6 Georgia Bulldogs 1150 .780
7 West Virginia Mountaineers 1114 .755
8 South Carolina Gamecocks 1071 .726
9 Clemson Tigers 955 .647
10 Texas Longhorns 869 .589
11 Stanford Cardinal 868 .588
12 USC Trojans 779 .528

Heisman Watch Week Three: Geno Smith, Denard Robinson dominate lesser competition

De’Anthony Thomas

It’s no small accomplishment that De’Anthony Thomas’s name is among Oregon’s leaders in both rushing and receiving week in and week out. But the regularity with which it occurs sometimes detracts from the sophomore’s shocking skill and ability.

The speedster did it again this weekend against Tennessee Tech, helping the Ducks coast to a 63-14 victory over the Golden Eagles. Thomas posted 62 yards rushing and 73 yards receiving on just six offensive touches. Who knows what kind of numbers Thomas could have posted with a few more touches. He’s certain to see more in the coming weeks, which could produce some thrilling highlights and statistics.

Denard Robinson

Denard Robinson has reemerged in a big way in the Heisman race, putting up two big games after a tough start to his 2012 campaign against Alabama. The seemingly perennial “September Heisman” has put his name in the mix once again after posting 291 yards and three touchdowns against UMass on Saturday to go with his 106 yards and one score on the ground against the Minutemen.

In a stumbling Big Ten conference, Denard Robinson might be provided with a chance to lead the Wolverines to a conference championship, which would certainly bolster any Heisman hope for the versatile quarterback. A nationally televised game against seemingly reinvigorated Notre Dame next weekend could do plenty, as well.

Matt Barkley

Stanford has never been kind to Matt Barkley, and it was especially crushing on Saturday. Barkley threw two picks and completed less than half of his passes against the Cardinal, bringing his Heisman candidacy down at least a few notches and severely threatening the Trojans hopes at a national title shot. Barkley’s 253 passing yards were fine, but unable to pocket that “Heisman moment” when given the chance late in the fourth quarter, Barkley is certain to lose plenty of support in this race.

Barkley is certainly not out of this race, as no real frontrunner other than the USC quarterback has emerged as of yet, but he will certainly have work to do.

Geno Smith

Geno Smith did every thing you might expect the West Virginia senior to do against a foe like FCS James Madison. He threw, he ran, and he helped the Mountaineers dismantle the Dukes, 42-12. Smith’s 411 yards through the air with five touchdowns was more than enough against James Madison, and again proves just what an offensive force the quarterback can be.

Of course, this was not the type of test that will truly find Smith’s viability as a Heisman candidate. Those matchups are to come, including a non-conference showdown with Maryland next week before West Virginia starts its inaugural Big 12 schedule against Baylor.

Montee Ball

Against a very game Utah State team, it was Montee Ball’s 39 carries for 139 yards and a touchdown that helped the Badgers survive another upset bid, and this one at home in Camp Randall Stadium. After a really rough outing against Oregon State, where he was held to 61 yards on the ground and without a touchdown, Ball is back in the Heisman conversation.

With the Big Ten schedule about to begin for the Badgers, Ball has a solid chance to return to the conversation and the national consciousness if he can string a few strong performances together in the coming weeks.

Braxton Miller

Seemingly flying under the radar as the quarterback of bowl-ineligible Ohio State, Braxton Miller has certainly made a forcible impact during his first three games of 2012. Against California in an intriguing non-conference game, Miller certainly put his name on plenty of radars, passing for 249 yards and four touchdowns against the Golden Bear defense.

Miller is certainly a force to be reckoned with in the Big Ten, and despite the Buckeyes’ inability to contend for a national title, they could prove a huge thorn in other teams’ sides with Miller at the helm.

On The Radar:

Le’Veon Bell

A star of the first two weeks, both because of Michigan State’s return to the national conversation and strong performances, Bell was held in check against Notre Dame in the Spartan’s tough loss. Just 77 yards and no scores for the junior, but he’s not out of this yet.

Marcus Lattimore

Eighty-five yards and a score against UAB was strong for the junior Gamecocks tailback. Given the performances that were either sub par or against weaker competition on the national scale, anything can happen for Lattimore in the weeks to come.

Simulated BCS Standings Week Three: Oklahoma Newest No. 1

A big victory over Florida State gives Oklahoma just enough to get by Alabama and LSU to take the top spot in this week’s BCS simulation.

Yes, three different weeks, three different BCS No. 1’s. But with more games, the computer rankings begin to smooth out, so this upheaval we’ve seen each week is sure to settle down at least a little moving forward.

Boise State, Stanford and Oklahoma State round out the top six, while Florida State takes a big tumble to No. 15.

Our first Big East team makes an appearance, as West Virginia gets enough overall support for the No. 16 spot this week.

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 three of the six computer ranking systems, the Anderson and Hester system and the Peter Wolfe rankings and Colley’s Matrix are either non-operational or have incongruities to the point where their ranking system is not reflective of the season thus far. For the time being, we’ve substituted the AP poll for the Harris, and will include three available computers — Sagarin, Massey 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 12th

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Oklahoma Sooners .9686
2 LSU Tigers .9467
3 Alabama Crimson Tide .9173
4 Boise State Broncos .8448
5 Stanford Cardinal .8090
6 Oklahoma State Cowboys .7638
7 Wisconsin Badgers .7222
8 Nebraska Cornhuskers .6119
9 Oregon Ducks .5859
10 South Carolina Gamecocks .5737
11 Texas A&M Aggies .5541
12 Virginia Tech Hokies .5414
13 Florida Gators .4867
14 Arkansas Razorbacks .4859
15 Florida State Seminoles .4208
16 West Virginia Mountaineers .3815

Some thoughts:

  • A week after being No. 1 in the simulated BCS, Alabama falls hard to No. 3 after a unimpressive (to the computers at least) victory over North Texas.
  • Oklahoma, on the other hand, gets a big computer victory over Florida State. Combine that with already strong support from the human element, and the ingredients were in place for the Sooners to take back the No. 1 spot.
  • Stanford gets a nice bump for their victory over Arizona, entrenching themselves in the No. 5 spot pretty firmly moving forward.