BCS Rankings Breakdown

Should Oregon be worried? Could Boise State slip in? The breakdown of Week 2 of the BCS rankings.

2012 BCS Analysis

Week 2 ... Oct. 21 

- 2012 CFN Rankings
- 2012 Harris Poll
- 2012 Coaches' Poll
2012 AP Rankings 

BCS Top 25
- Expanded BCS Rankings

1. Alabama
2. Florida
3. Kansas State
4. Oregon
5. Notre Dame
6. LSU
7. Oregon State
8. Oklahoma
9. USC
10. Georgia
11. Miss State
12. Florida State
13. South Carolina
14. Texas Tech
15. Rutgers
16. Louisville
17. Stanford
18. Clemson
19. West Virginia
20. Texas A&M
21. Boise State
22. Michigan
23. Texas
24. Ohio
25. Wisconsin

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 Fiesta, Sugar, Orange 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, the Sun Belt, or the WAC 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.

- Since TCU went to the Rose Bowl last year, the Bowl doesn't have to take a non-AQ at-large team.

E-mail Pete Fiutak
Follow us ... @ColFootballNews  

Is it time for Oregon fans to panic?

The Ducks were ranked third behind Alabama and Florida when the first BCS rankings came out, which might as well have been a No. 2 ranking considering only one team can come out of the SEC undefeated. However, Oregon destroyed a decent Arizona State team on the road, Kansas State destroyed a decent West Virginia team on the road, and the two flip-flopped with the Ducks No. 4 and the Wildcats No. 3 in the latest BCS rankings.

So, does that mean if Kansas State goes unbeaten it's a lock to get into the top two? Not at all.

Remember, the human polls mean just about everything in the final tally, and Oregon is second in both the Harris and USA Today. The computers aren't on board yet, but with at least one date with USC and battles with Stanford and Oregon State still to deal with, the Ducks aren't budging from the 2 spot in the human polls. Throw in the Pac-12 championship — a 13th game Kansas State doesn't have — and Oregon has no reason whatsoever to panic. If the Ducks go 13-0, Kansas State won't finish higher in the final BCS rankings, and neither will an unbeaten Notre Dame or Big East champion. However, the potential is there to see one whale of a battle for the second spot next to the SEC champion.

And what if the SEC champion has one loss? Will America be OK with a 12-1 Alabama not playing for it all with Kansas State and Oregon battling it out? That's for another day; there are still plenty of crazy things certain to happen in the next few weeks before the BCS gets to that point.

The main thing to remember right now is that nothing is set in stone. Every team still realistically in the BCS championship chase still has at least two major hurdles to get over, and there are still plenty of upsets and surprises that are bound to happen along the way to throw all the projections and all the beliefs into a tailspin.


- Ready for the curve ball? Boise State. The schedule is squishy-soft the rest of the way, so it's very, very likely that the Broncos finish 11-1. The computers aren't fans, but the human polls have a way of allowing teams to slide on up as long they keep winning. All Boise State has to do is finish in the top 12 to get an automatic berth — that's not going to happen — or finish 16th and ahead of a BCS conference champion. There's a chance that the Big Ten champion doesn't get into the top 16, especially if Wisconsin loses one more game but pulls out the title, and the Big East champion might be just on the outside if it suffers a loss or two, as well.

However, the computers are never going to be on board and will be an anchor to the BCS ranking, and if push comes to shove, the humans might find a way to rank the Broncos 17th just to avoid the automatic tie-in.

- The team with the potential to rise up the fastest over the next few weeks? Texas Tech. No. 11 Mississippi State can race to the top with a win over Alabama nest weekend, but No. 14 Texas Tech could see a slow, steady climb if it keeps on winning. Already ninth according to the computers, there's lots and lots of room for growth being ranked 17th in both human polls.

- Yeah, Ohio State and Penn State aren't eligible, but it's still a major embarrassment for the Big Ten that Michigan is the top-ranked team at No. 22.

1. Alabama 7-0 BCS Score: 0.963

It continues to be Alabama's world with everyone else taking up space. There could be some argument about Florida being the more deserving No. 1 pick — the computers certainly think so — but the Tide have everything in their hands needing to win out to play for the national title even though they are fourth in the computers. However, what happens if they lose once? If they lose at LSU in a squeaker and finish 11-1, do they vault to the top of the one-loss teams other than LSU? For now, everything is set up perfectly to play for a third BCS championship in four years, but there can't be a major gaffe.

Predicted Wins: Mississippi State, at LSU, Texas A&M, Western Carolina, Auburn, SEC championship
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 13-0
Predicted Bowl: BCS championship
Loss Alert: Mississippi State, at LSU, Texas A&M

2. Florida 7-0 BCS Score: 0.931

With wins over Texas A&M, Tennessee, LSU and South Carolina, Florida is the clear No. 2 overall while getting even more respect from the computers. No. 1 by the combination of the formulas, and by a wide margin, the Gators might be playing so well and beating so many good teams that the stage is being set for a shot at the No. 2 spot even if they lose the SEC championship game. But that's getting way ahead of the game with Georgia and Florida State still to deal with.

Predicted Wins: Georgia, Missouri, Louisiana-Lafayette, Jacksonville State, at Florida State
Predicted Losses: SEC championship
Predicted Final Record: 12-1
Predicted Bowl: Sugar
Loss Alert:  Georgia, at Florida State

3. Kansas State 7-0 BCS Score: 0.911

It's not a done deal that the Wildcats are going to simply slide into the No. 2 spot after Alabama or Florida loses, but it's close. No. 2 among the computers with two first-place votes, there's no questioning the résumé according to the objective part of the formula. However, there's still a problem with the humans, who have the Wildcats No. 4 in both polls. As long as Oregon is No. 2, the Ducks are not going to move if they keep on winning. Basically, the Ducks have to lose — or the SEC champion has to have one loss — for a 12-0 KSU to play for it all.

Predicted Wins: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, at TCU, at Baylor
Predicted Losses: Texas
Predicted Final Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl: Fiesta
Loss Alert: Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, at TCU, Texas

4. Oregon 7-0 BCS Score: 0.897

The human polls are to the BCS like Ohio is to the presidential campaign. Whichever candidate wins Ohio this year will probably win the election, no matter what the other polls say or how the other numbers come out. As long as Oregon is second both polls, it really won't matter what the computers come up with. If the Ducks go to the Pac-12 championship, they'll get one extra game that Kansas State, Notre Dame and the Big East champion won't. Throw in dates against USC, Stanford and Oregon State, and as long as Oregon keeps winning, nothing else matters. At No. 2, Kansas State can't and won't move up in the computer polls, while Oregon has plenty of room to grow at No. 6.

Predicted Wins: Colorado, at USC, at California, Stanford, at Oregon State, Pac-12 championship
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 13-0
Predicted Bowl: BCS championship
Loss Alert: at USC, Stanford, at Oregon State

5. Notre Dame 7-0 BCS Score: 0.851

This much has become crystal clear: Notre Dame needs help. The schedule that looked like such a killer to begin the season is helping with the computers, who have the Irish ranked third, but the humans aren't buying in. If the Irish win out, at the very least they'll need Kansas State and Oregon to lose once, or else they have to pray for the SEC champion to have a blemish. On the plus side, a spot in the BCS is almost a lock. But to play for it all, first there has to be a win at Oklahoma this week to charge up the base. If nothing else, a victory in Norman will give the campaign a rallying point.

Predicted Wins: Pitt, at Boston College, Wake Forest, at USC
Predicted Losses: at Oklahoma
Predicted Final Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl: Fiesta
Loss Alert: at Oklahoma, at USC

6. LSU 7-1 BCS Score: 0.786

The Tigers are in a terrific position. If they win out, that will mean they will have beaten Alabama, Mississippi State, South Carolina and, possibly, gotten revenge over Florida in the SEC championship game. If that happens, a 12-1 LSU almost certainly would get in over an unbeaten Big East team and would be No. 1 in the pecking order of one-loss squads. It would still take a loss from Kansas State, Oregon and/or Notre Dame to have a shot, but even if that doesn't happen, as these latest rankings show, LSU can get very, very close.

Predicted Wins: Mississippi State, Ole Miss, at Arkansas
Predicted Losses: Alabama
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Cotton
Loss Alert: Alabama, Mississippi State

7. Oregon State 6-0 BCS Score: 0.742

Can an unbeaten Oregon State end up getting into the No. 2 spot? Absolutely. If the Beavers win out, they will have come up with a victory over Oregon as well as the Pac-12 South champion, likely USC, to finish with one extra win than an unbeaten Kansas State or Notre Dame would. It would take a little convincing in the human polls to force anyone to vote for Oregon State over Notre Dame, but the computers are already in a position to give up the respect with a No. 5 ranking now that will only rise up with more wins.

Predicted Wins: at Washington, California, Nicholls State
Predicted Losses:  Arizona State, at Stanford, Oregon
Predicted Final Record: 9-3
Predicted Bowl: Alamo
Loss Alert: at Washington, Arizona State, at Stanford, Oregon

8. Oklahoma 5-1 BCS Score: 0.713

The Sooners are in a decent spot, but they need lots and lots and lots of help to start knocking on the door of the top two. On the plus side, the loss to Kansas State now looks respectable, and it happened early enough to give the team time to improve and impress. If the Sooners can thump Notre Dame handily, then everything changes and the No. 7 ranking in both human polls probably becomes a five — at worst — next week. Meanwhile, the yawning computers would love a big, splashy victory over their No. 3 Irish. The problem is that there's not much else to get excited about. Oklahoma State? TCU? West Virginia? That's not like facing the schedules that the top SEC and Pac-12 teams have to deal with down the stretch.

Predicted Wins: Notre Dame, at West Virginia, at Iowa State, Baylor, Oklahoma State, at TCU
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl: Sugar
Loss Alert: Notre Dame, at Iowa State, Oklahoma State, at TCU

9. USC 6-1 BCS Score: 0.577

The biggest problem is that USC just isn't playing well. It crushed a bad Colorado team, but that's been about it. However, if the Trojans can beat Arizona, Oregon, Arizona State, UCLA and Notre Dame, and then can win the Pac-12 championship to finish 12-1, style points won't count. Even so, it'll take lots of work and a little luck to get into the top two from the No. 9 spot. There's room to move, especially with the computers currently ranking USC 16th. That would quickly change with some big wins.

Predicted Wins: at Arizona, Oregon, Arizona State, at UCLA
Predicted Losses: Notre Dame
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Rose
Loss Alert: at Arizona, Oregon, Arizona State, at UCLA, Notre Dame

10. Georgia 6-1 BCS Score: 0.538

Georgia might be looking lousy, and the defense has hit the skids, but one win over Florida would flip the BCS race on its head. The Dawgs aren't likely to lose after the Cocktail Party, so if they can get by the No. 2 Gators they're going to finish 11-1 and they're going to likely be going to SEC championship and potentially playing for a shot at the national championship.

Predicted Wins: Ole Miss, at Auburn, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech
Predicted Losses: Florida
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Chick-fil-A
Loss Alert: Florida, Ole Miss, Georgia Tech

11. Mississippi State (7-0) .527
12. Florida State (7-1) .493
13. South Carolina (6-2) .480
14. Texas Tech (6-1) .474
15. Rutgers (7-0) .470
16. Louisville (7-0) .420
17. Stanford (5-2) .385
18. Clemson (6-1) .369
19. West Virginia (5-2) .218
20. Texas A&M (5-2) .212
21. Boise State (6-1) .207
22. Michigan (5-2) .190
23. Texas (5-2) .122
24. Ohio (7-0) .117
25. Wisconsin (6-2) .059

Scout CFB Top Stories