Simulated BCS Rankings Week Two: Stanford Hops To No. 3, Michigan Up To No. 12


While No. 1 Alabama rested at home in the second weekend of the 2013 season, things in the Crimson Tide’s own conference and around the country got a bit of a rattling.

Simulated BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 Oregon Ducks
3 Stanford Cardinal
4 Clemson Tigers
5 Texas A&M Aggies
Scroll down for more

Georgia, which dropped a tough game to Clemson last weekend, rebounded with a victory over top-10 South Carolina, reviving their BCS strength and giving Clemson’s win all the more luster.

And yet, the Tigers fall a spot in the BCS, landing just behind No. 3 Stanford in this week’s simulated BCS rankings after the Cardinal made their season debut Saturday.

How did we figure these 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. As the various computers are released before the start of the season, we’ll add them here and update the standings.
  • In total, we’ll say these rankings reflect the real BCS rankings with 50% accuracy

South Carolina’s loss actually turned out to help along teams unconnected with the early results. Teams like Stanford, Texas A&M and even Oregon picked up some of the points the Gamecocks vacated, as their BCS stock was strengthened while Clemson took a slight hit.

The computers also helped Stanford into the third position, as Billingsley named Stanford its No. 1 team this week, while Sagarin left Clemson out of the top handful of teams all together.

Louisville and Ohio State, which were keyed here early as teams lacking in computer faith, got a little boost this week, but still need plenty of help from their upcoming schedule to invigorate their respect in the mathematical element. The numbers, at least now, are not in the Buckeyes’ and Cardinals’ favor, but that could change as we move forward.

Elsewhere, Michigan, Northwestern and Baylor secure spots in the top 16 after strong weekend victories

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

2013 Simulated BCS Standings — September 9

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9887
2 Oregon Ducks .9167
3 Stanford Cardinal .8745
4 Clemson Tigers .7949
5 Texas A&M Aggies .7722
6 Ohio State Buckeyes .7311
7 LSU Tigers .7261
8 Georgia Bulldogs .7253
9 Florida State Seminoles .6572
10 Louisville Cardinals .6111
11 South Carolina Gamecocks .5715
12 Michigan Wolverines .5609
13 Oklahoma State Cowboys .5582
14 Oklahoma Sooners .5443
15 Northwestern Wildcats .2999
16 Baylor Bears .2983


USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Two: Oregon Vaults Ohio State to No. 2


With early victories, pollsters are clearly taking a closer look at the teams they preordained to be the 2013 favorites, as Oregon leaps over previous No. 2 Ohio State to take the position directly behind Alabama in this week’s USA Today Coaches’ Poll.

Elsewhere, South Carolina’s exit from the top 10 gives Texas A&M, Louisville and LSU a chance to scoot up a few spots in the top-10.

Alabama’s vote share is unchanged, but Oregon climbs closer than Ohio State was last weekend. Explore it for yourself:

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – September 8

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1545 .997
2 Oregon Ducks 1447 .934
3 Ohio State Buckeyes 1429 .922
4 Stanford Cardinal 1327 .856
5 Clemson Tigers 1307 .843
6 Texas A&M Aggies 1242 .801
7 Louisville Cardinals 1121 .723
8 LSU Tigers 1067 .688
9 Florida State Seminoles 1040 .671
10 Georgia Bulldogs 1021 .659
11 Oklahoma State Cowboys 866 .559
12 Michigan Wolverines 860 .555

Projected 2014 BCS Bowls — September 8


Things have often fallen apart for some favorites in the early goings of the BCS seasons that have transpired in these last few seasons.

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

This year will be no different, as South Carolina, Texas and Florida took hard tumbles in the second week of 2013. But all is not lost. From strong conferences with plenty of title and BCS contenders, these teams have time to reinvigorate the run at final BCS glory.

Is it to be this season? We’ll soon find out. But for now, here are some projected BCS bowls for the final season of this era:

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

Comment: To pull yourself out of the off-season routine takes something special. And for both Alabama and Stanford, it seemed like things were not so easy on their first tries out of the gate. But with favorable schedules, though laden with plenty of roadblocks, the Crimson Tide and Cardinal could be headed on a red collision course.

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

Comment: Things like Virginia and San Diego State serve little more than minor speed bumps in the journey of teams like Ohio State and Oregon’s roads to a BCS bowl bid. But more worrisome can be injuries like the one Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller suffered Saturday. Could the Buckeyes survive without him? It certainly seems like the Ducks keep rolling no matter who’s coaching, playing or running. The interesting part will be to see if Ohio State can persevere if Miller is to miss some time.

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

Comment: Georgia bounced right back after last week’s disappointing loss to Clemson with a big win over South Carolina to right their ship. That puts them in a good spot for an at-large bid in the BCS. Michigan got its much-ballyhooed victory over Notre Dame in the final appearance in the Big House featuring the two squads. Both seem in contention for at-large bids.

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

Comment: No problems for Clemson against much lesser South Carolina State, but it’s the Oklahoma Sooners with a big victory over West Virginia in the face of a shocking Texas loss to BYU that sets the Sooners up with a chance to claim an at-large bid in the final BCS slate. With the first selection after the auto-bids are filled, the Orange Bowl might have a chance to attract the team with the second-most BCS appearances in the era.

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

Comment: Louisville coasts and Oklahoma State more than survives as the two conference favorites continue early successes in the 2013 season. With a Fiesta Bowl bid guaranteed to the Big 12 champ if they are to miss the national title game, the Cowboys land here, and with a weak schedule leading to an undefeated run to the end of the season, the Cardinals land here, perhaps undeservingly.

Simulated BCS Rankings Week Two: Alabama, LSU continue to lead, while South Carolina springs to No. 5

Alabama and LSU might once again lead the simulated BCS rankings after two weekends of action, but after a handful of upsets and surprises, the rankings are anything but stagnant after two weeks of simulating the BCS.

Simulated BCS Rankings
Rank Team
1 Alabama Crimson Tide
2 LSU Tigers
3 Oregon Ducks
4 USC Trojans
5 South Carolina Gamecocks
Scroll down for more

The fearsome foursome — the Crimson Tide, Tigers, Oregon and USC — continue to lead the simulated BCS rankings. USC, despite holding an edge on the Ducks in both polls, are undone by a far weaker showing in the computers for a second straight weekend.

The surprises begin early this week, as South Carolina lands at the No. 5 spot to give the SEC three teams in the simulated top five. The Gamecocks land just ahead of Oklahoma and Michigan State, both of which bow barely more than .01 behind South Carolina.

The Gamecocks were the beneficiaries of level support among all elements, while the Sooner suffer from a No. 23 ranking from the early Sagarin rankings, and Michigan State still trails both teams in the polls.

If any team is truly undone by a component, however, it is No. 10 Florida State, which rests comfortably the top six in both polls, but ranks below the point-receiving threshold in all three available computers, pulling in a zero aggregate computer score.

No. 8 Georgia and No. 9 Kansas State see stark improvements in the computer rankings and polls, in large part as a result of space created by the upsets of the weekend.

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 three of the six computers (all six of which account for another third), these rankings are about 50 percent “complete.” What we do have, however, is the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, as well as early looks at Kenneth Massey, Richard Billingsley and Jeff Sagarin, for what we’d call a 50 percent confidence that these rankings are a “good” reflection of the BCS.

We took a computer aggregate without eliminating any of the three 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/75)/3

Here are the simulated rankings after week two:

Simulated BCS Standings — September 10

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Alabama Crimson Tide .9924
2 LSU Tigers .9437
3 Oregon Ducks .8562
4 USC Trojans .8445
5 South Carolina Gamecocks .7178
6 Oklahoma Sooners .7074
7 Michigan State Spartans .7069
8 Georgia Bulldogs .6964
9 Kansas State Wildcats .5337
10 Florida State Seminoles .5183
11 West Virginia Mountaineers .5063
12 Clemson Tigers .4816
13 Stanford Cardinal .3962
14 Virginia Tech Hokies .3755
15 Texas Longhorns .3685
16 Florida Gators .3570


USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Two: LSU up to No. 2

On the strength of their victory over Washington, LSU is your new No. 2 team in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll, as the Tigers pass USC, who falls to No. 3.

The real story of the weekend was the upsets suffered by Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin, which all see their stocks plummet in these rankings, as well as in the AP and in the various computer elements.

Oregon and Oklahoma round out the top five in the Coaches’ Poll, as neither struggled much this weekend. Much of the top 10 remained stagnant, as starting with No. 10 Michigan State, teams begin to enjoy bumps from those who had occupied those spots falling over the weekend.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – September 9

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Alabama Crimson Tide 1455 .986
2 LSU Tigers 1380 .936
3 USC Trojans 1363 .924
4 Oregon Ducks 1292 .876
5 Oklahoma Sooners 1203 .816
6 Florida State Seminoles 1153 .782
7 Georgia Bulldogs 1120 .759
8 West Virginia Mountaineers 1024 .694
9 South Carolina Gamecocks 1008 .683
10 Michigan State Spartans 950 .644
11 Clemson Tigers 904 .613
12 Texas Longhorns 730 .495

Heisman Watch Week Two: Thomas, Barkley Strong Again As Others Falter

De’Anthony Thomas

If you want any indication of the impact De’Anthony Thomas can have on any one game, just take a look at the sophomore’s stat line from Oregon’s victory over Fresno State on Saturday. Thomas touched the ball all of 11 times, but accounted for two touchdowns and 128 yards, simply outflanking the Bulldog defense at every turn.

After three touchdowns against Arkansas State in week one, Thomas is already compiling the type of stat lines that make Heisman candidates, especially from the Pac-12. Of course, he’s not yet tested against Pac-12 defenses this season, but if 2011 is any indiction, Thomas will have no trouble turning it up a notch, a scary thought for the rest of the conference.

Montee Ball

Wisconsin and Montee Ball had a weekend to forget against Oregon State, as the Badgers fell hard, 10-7, and Ball was held out of the end zone. Among preseason favorites in the Big Ten and Heisman races respectively, things have started rather slowly for Wisconsin, which had trouble warming up against Northern Iowa before topping the Panthers in the first week.

Ball ended up with 61 yards rushing and 18 yards receiving on Saturday, not the type of numbers that keeps running backs in a Heisman race. He’s not anywhere close to out of it yet, but things will have to improve against the much tougher schedule staring Wisconsin down as the season progresses.

Matt Barkley

Things were relatively simple for Matt Barkley and USC against Syracuse, as the Trojans topped the Orange 42-29 behind Barkley’s six passing touchdowns. And again, Barkley was efficient in spreading the ball around to his dangerous wide receiving corp, hitting Robert Woods (two), Marqise Lee (three) and Xavier Grimble (one) for scores.

His career-high in passing touchdowns on the day was almost overshadowed by the strong performances put on by his wide receivers against the deficient Orange secondary, and Woods and Lee will continue to hang around the Heisman race as long as Barkley does.

Geno Smith

Geno Smith and the Mountaineers had the weekend off, but with few stellar performances, Smith is in no immediate danger of dropping off of the Heisman radar. Smith will get a chance to fill up the scoreboard and stat sheet against FCS James Madison next weekend in the Mountaineers’ second game of the season.

If Smith can put up the type of numbers against a lesser opponent in the Dukes that he did against always dangerous Marshall, he may well be on his way to a stunning statistical season in the already stacked Big 12.

Le’Veon Bell

It wasn’t the game-changing performance that he had against Boise State in the season’s opening week, but it sure was effective, as Le’Veon Bell ran for two touchdowns and 70 yards in Michigan State’s convincing victory over Central Michigan. Bell rushed for 210 against Boise State last week, and this was certainly not that, but it was exactly what the Spartans needed.

Bell scored the game’s first two touchdowns, which proved all the Spartans would need on the day as Michigan State prevailed 41-7. Bell’s performance in the early going, before seeing a lighter load than he did against Boise state, is a sign that he’s in this race for the long haul.

On The Radar:

Marcus Lattimore

Only 40 yards against East Carolina’s just not going to do it in the Heisman race. The passing game was key for the Gamecocks on Saturday. Can Lattimore put up bigger numbers on moving forward?

Denard Robinson

Much better for the Michigan quarterback through the air against Air Force, but still not his best. It was his ground work — 218 yards and two touchdowns — that shone through. He’ll have to balance that out if he wants a shot at the trophy.

Simulated BCS Standings Week Two: Alabama Jumps LSU to Top Spot

Two weekends in the bag, and we already have a surprise at the top of the (simulated) BCS standings.

Alabama, on the strength of its road victory over Penn State, saw enough gain in support in the computers to jump LSU and Oklahoma to the top spot of this week’s simulated rankings.

LSU slides back a spot to No. 2, although they are not far behind the Crimson Tide. Oklahoma, No. 1 in both human elements, sees a relative lack of support in the computers, and bows at No. 3.

Boise State and Stanford round out the top five as they did last week. Oklahoma State makes a large jump up to No. 6 from No. 8 last 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 Alabama Crimson Tide .9502
2 LSU Tigers .9492
3 Oklahoma Sooners .9330
4 Boise State Broncos .8452
5 Stanford Cardinal .7257
6 Oklahoma State Cowboys .7120
7 Florida State Seminoles .6146
8 Oregon Ducks .6032
9 Wisconsin Badgers .5914
10 Virginia Tech Hokies .5569
11 South Carolina Gamecocks .5568
12 Texas A&M Aggies .5380
13 Nebraska Cornhuskers .5199
14 Arkansas Razorbacks .4949
15 Ohio State Buckeyes .4703
16 Auburn Tigers .4177

Some thoughts:

  • Alabama’s climb is nearly all attributable to the computer rankings. LSU did not see a fall in support, only Alabama claiming some of the vacated space by teams like Stanford and Boise State, who lost ground in both components.
  • Oklahoma State is already strong in the computers, but a victory over Texas A&M in two weekends would only improve those rankings.
  • The bottom half of the top 16 is pretty stagnant, but a more smooth distribution of the computer rankings gives almost all of the teams a bump in BCS Score, even if their rankings did not improve.