2013 BCS Analysis - Breaking Down The Top Ten

Campus Insiders & CFN
Posted Oct 27, 2013

The weekly analysis of the top ten of the BCS rankings.

2013 BCS Analysis

Week 2 ... Oct. 27 

- 2013 CFN Rankings | 2013 Harris Poll
- 2013 Coaches' Poll |
2013 AP Rankings 

- What matters from the second BCS rankings?

BCS Top 25
- Expanded BCS Rankings

1. Alabama
2. Oregon
3. Florida State
4. Ohio State
5. Stanford
6. Stanford
7. Baylor
8. Miami
9. Clemson
10. Oklahoma
11. Auburn
12. Texas A&M
13. LSU
14. South Carolina
15. Texas Tech
16. Fresno State
17. No Illinois
18. Oklahoma St
19. Louisville
20. UCLA
21. Michigan
22. Michigan St
23. UCF
24. Wisconsin
25. Notre Dame

The Basic Rules

- The top two teams play in the BCS Champ. The natural tie-ins, though, are SEC champ to the Sugar, Big Ten and Pac-12 champs to the Rose, Big 12 to the Fiesta, and ACC champ to the Orange.

- The BCS games that lose their natural tie-ins to the BCS Championship get the first selection of at-large teams. For example, the SEC champion goes to the Sugar Bowl, but if that team finishes No. 1 in the final BCS rankings, then the Sugar Bowl gets its first choice of at-large teams. After those slots are filled, the pecking order goes Orange, Sugar, Fiesta in the selection process.

- Notre Dame is in the BCS if it finishes in the top eight.

- In the computer formulas, the best and the worst rankings for each team are dropped.

- Some bowls ignore the final standings as far as the seedings and pairings.

- The champion of Conference USA, the MAC, the Mountain West, or the Sun Belt will earn an automatic berth in a BCS bowl game if one of the teams finishes in the top 12 of the final BCS standings or if one is in the top 16 and ranked ahead of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls. However, no more than one team gets an automatic bid.

- To be eligible for an at-large bid, a team has to have won at least nine regular season games and it has to finish in the top 14. 

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1. Alabama 8-0 BCS Score: 0.994

It's not becoming more and more apparent - Alabama won't get a huge break by being in the SEC if it loses along the way. A one-loss Tide won't get in past an unbeaten BCS conference champion, so either everyone has to lose, or it can all be simple. Win, Alabama, and you're in.

Predicted Wins: LSU, at Mississippi State, UT Chattanooga, at Auburn, SEC championship
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 13-0
Predicted Bowl: BCS championship
Loss Alert: LSU, at Auburn

2. Oregon 8-0 BCS Score: 0.952

Human polls, human polls, human polls. As long as the Harris and Coaches' love them some Ducks, nothing else matters. If one of the polls, though, puts Florida State into the No. 2 spot, then it's time to worry. However, Oregon has the far better games ahead with Stanford, Arizona and Oregon State still to play. Florida State beating Miami and Florida will compare, but it won't be enough to force a massive change among the flesh and bloods unless the Ducks struggle and the Noles win everything in a wipeout.

Predicted Wins: at Stanford, Utah, at Arizona, Oregon State
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 13-0
Predicted Bowl: BCS championship
Loss Alert: at Stanford, at Arizona, Oregon State

3. Florida State 7-0 BCS Score: 0.921

It's going to be a statistical dogfight with Oregon the rest of the way, but the simple hard truth, as this week showed, is that the Noles have to move up in the human polls. The computers that loved FSU last week bailed, coming in at No. 3, and as long as it's Alabama 1, Oregon 2 in the Coaches' and Harris, that's what the BCS championship is going to be.

Predicted Wins: Miami, at Wake Forest, Syracuse, Idaho, at Florida, ACC championship
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 13-0
Predicted Bowl: Orange Bowl
Loss Alert: Miami, at Florida

4. Ohio State 8-0 BCS Score: 0.884

There's nothing Ohio State can do but win and pray. Two of the three teams between Alabama, Oregon and Florida State/Miami winner have to lose or else there's nothing more to shoot for than Pasadena. Style points don't count; the Buckeyes are firmly in the No. 4 spot in both polls and there won't be any budging without a lot of help.

Predicted Wins: at Purdue, at Illinois, Indiana, Big Ten championship
Predicted Losses: at Michigan
Predicted Final Record: 12-1
Predicted Bowl: Rose Bowl
Loss Alert: at Michigan

5. Stanford 7-1 BCS Score: 0.792

Is there a chance to play for the national title? Yes, but it's going to take an unbeaten rest of the season with wins over Oregon, USC and Notre Dame along the way. The Cardinal can take care of the Ducks, but they'd need Ohio State, Florida State and the Big 12 champion to lose. There's no chance of getting in over a one-loss SEC champion.

Predicted Wins: at USC, California, Notre Dame, Pac-12 championship
Predicted Losses: Oregon
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Rose Bowl
Loss Alert: at Oregon State, Oregon, at USC, Notre Dame

6. Baylor 7-0 BCS Score: 0.765  

The Bears might be putting up ridiculous numbers, and they're up to No. 5 in the human polls, but that still makes them fifth in the pecking order of BCS conference top teams. The computers aren't quite on board, ranking Baylor 10th overall, but that's a two spot jump from last week. On the plus side, there are several big chances coming up to raise the profile.

Predicted Wins: Oklahoma, Texas Tech, at TCU
Predicted Losses: at Oklahoma State, Texas
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Cotton Bowl
Loss Alert: Oklahoma, at Oklahoma State, at TCU, Texas

7. Miami 7-0 BCS Score: 0.756

Maybe it's because the Hurricanes stunk in a win over North Carolina, or needed everything in the bag to sneak past Wake Forest, but the world is still skeptical. All that matters, though, is winning out. If Miami can shock Florida State - and pull off a win over the Noles twice, with the ACC championship the other part of the fun - everything can quickly change. However, an unbeaten Miami almost certainly wouldn't leapfrog other unbeatens into the top two.

Predicted Wins: Virginia Tech, at Duke, Virginia, at Pitt
Predicted Losses: at Florida State, ACC championship
Predicted Final Record: 11-2
Predicted Bowl: Chick-fil-A
Loss Alert: at Florida State, Virginia Tech

8. Clemson 7-1 BCS Score: 0.669

The national title dream is gone, but Clemson can get an at-large BCS bid by winning out. The computers don't like the Tigers after Georgia's losses, but it won't matter. At 11-1, book Clemson into the Orange Bowl at best, the Sugar at worst.

Predicted Wins: at Maryland, at Virginia, Georgia Tech, Citadel, South Carolina
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl: Sugar Bowl
Loss Alert: South Carolina

9. Missouri 7-1 BCS Score: 0.610

Don't despair, Mizzou fans. The South Carolina loss might have been devastating, but there's still a chance for the Tigers to control most of their own destiny. First they have to win out in the regular season. Do that, and South Carolina is irrelevant. Next, win the SEC championship, and if that happens to come against Alabama, all the better. Finally, hope for the best. Three of the four between Oregon, Florida State and Baylor have to drop a game, and then Mizzou should be the best of the one-loss lot. There's a lot of business to take care of before worrying about the various scenarios.

Predicted Wins: Tennessee, at Ole Miss, at Kentucky, Texas A&M
Predicted Losses: SEC championship
Predicted Final Record: 11-2
Predicted Bowl: Sugar Bowl
Loss Alert: at Ole Miss, Texas A&M

10. Oklahoma 7-1 BCS Score: 0.606

Welcome back to the fun, Oklahoma. The win over Texas Tech might have changed everything, and while it'll take a Texas loss or two, or a wacky tie-breaker scenario, to get into the Fiesta Bowl, by winning out, at 11-1 there will be a slot in the BCS somewhere. This might be an uneven and rocky team, but that's the Big 12 - this year, just survive and move on.

Predicted Wins: Iowa State, at Kansas State, at Oklahoma State
Predicted Losses: at Bayor
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Cotton Bowl
Loss Alert: at Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, at Texas

11. Auburn (7-1) .603
12. Texas A&M (6-2) .481
13. LSU (7-2) .463
14. South Carolina (6-2) .449
15. Texas Tech (7-1) .375
16. Fresno State (7-0) .367
17. Northern Illinois (8-0) .334
18. Oklahoma State (6-1) .311
19. Louisville (7-1) .260
20. UCLA (5-2) .234
21. Michigan (6-1) .188
22. Michigan State (7-1) .181
23. UCF (6-1) .179
24. Wisconsin (5-2) .099
25. Notre Dame (6-2) .0-93