The first official BCS standings for 2013 have arrived, and with no surprise, the undefeated and reigning national champion Alabama Crimson Tide is at No. 1. However, the rest of the field saw significant change, as upsets and the notorious BCS computer calculations once again took over the world of college football.
Florida State nudged out Oregon for the No. 2 spot in the initial standings, thanks to its drubbing of No. 9 Clemson last week. The Seminoles are clearly one of the nation’s elite and with the help of its superior computer ranking, they’ve become the new adversary to Alabama.
The highly-anticipated quarterback duel quickly became a game of Tiger hunting for the FSU defense, amassing 4 turnovers in their 51-14 rout of Clemson. Freshman phenom Jameis Winston shined on the big stage, throwing for 444 yards and 3 touchdowns, while adding a score on the ground.
The Seminoles are arguably the most complete team in the country; their 53.2 points per game and 12.3 points against per game are the third highest in the country. With two dominant wins over top-25 teams by a combined score of 114-14, they find themselves with their highest ranking since 2000.
Oregon opens at No. 3 for the second straight year, despite being ranked No. 2 by the AP and Coaches poll. The Ducks have beaten every opponent they have faced this year in convincing fashion, and if they stay consistent, they will see their computer ranking improve with wins over No. 12 UCLA and No. 6 Stanford, which should give them the No. 2 ranking.
UO will lean on the nation’s best offense to get them to a second BCS title game in four years. Marcus Mariota continued his Heisman campaign with 394 total yards and 3 scores and got immense support from the rushing game, led by Byron Marshall and Thomas Tyner. The two accounted for 291 yards rushing and 5 touchdowns.
Next week, the offense will welcome back star running back De’Anthony Thomas to the picture. Thomas has missed the last three games with a foot injury.
Rounding out the top five, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Missouri.
The Buckeyes once again see themselves as being overlooked, despite holding the nation’s longest win streak of 19 games but their hopes are far from over. Urban Meyer’s team is extremely talented on both sides of the ball, and they have survived the majority of their tough games this season. Only a Nov. 30th date at rival No. 22 Michigan, being their last big test.
Missouri continues to rise in the rankings, jumping nine spots after its 36-17 victory over Florida. The defense dominated once again, and the offense ran better than anticipated, led by backup Maty Mauk, out-gaining the Gators 500-151 in total yardage for the game.
Though they have a commanding lead in the SEC east, with South Carolina and Georgia losing conference games last weekend, the question still remains of whether backup Mauk can lead the Tigers to victory against the rest of their competitive schedule, including South Carolina and Texas A&M.
It’s difficult to project how the top five will look as the rest of the season progresses, based on the past two weekends of upsets. Only twice, in 2001 and 2005, have both No. 1 and No. 2 in the initial BCS standings reached the national championship game.
Alabama hosts a surging Tennessee team next week. The Vols have played very well in consecutive weeks, taking Georgia to overtime and defeating South Carolina, but those games were at home and Tuscaloosa is a much different environment. No. 13 LSU and No. 11 Auburn Tigers also remain on the Tide’s schedule.
Florida State will face NC State next week, one of only two teams to beat the Seminoles last season. They also still have to face ACC foe No. 7 Miami at home the week after.
Oregon will play UCLA next week and Stanford the following. The Duck defense has been evidently vulnerable lately, with Washington and Washington State showing much success in the past few weeks, and they will have to play much better to beat two of the Pac-12’s best. Rival No. 25 Oregon State also entered the rankings this week, after losing to FCS power Eastern Washington in the season opener, posing yet another threat to the Ducks race to the title.
We got an early glance at the significance of the BCS computers and it makes me question: did the college football playoff come a year too late?
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