BCS Standings Analysis - Who's Worrying?

Should Oregon be worried about its No. 4 ranking in the latest BCS standings? CFN puts it all under the microscope.

Don't worry, Oregon. Really, don't worry.

Let's make this as simple as humanly possible. Don't get caught up in all the bells and whistles. Don't worry about the computers yet, because the formulas take the entire season from Day 1 until the championship games into account, and some are going to change their rankings wildly once the regular season is over.

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The coaches' poll and Harris rankings — it needs to be repeated: NOT the AP poll — are almost certainly going to determine the final result atop the standings. Since the Ducks are already No. 2 in both, and with the potential of a 13th game in the Pac-12 championship that Kansas State and Notre Dame won't have, they're not going to drop as long as they keep winning.

Yes, it would've been nice for Oregon if USC had played up to its talent level, and it would've been a plus if Oregon State didn't lose to Washington, but at the end of the day, beating the Trojans, the Beavers, Stanford and their opponent in the Pac-12 championship game will be enough to make the computers just happy enough to let the Ducks get by.

So, Oregon, don't worry. If you win the rest of your games, even though you're at No. 4 right now, you're going to play for the national title.

The bigger overall storyline going forward might be Boise State and the at-large bids.

If Boise State wins out and finishes in the top 16 in the final BCS rankings, which it looks like it could do even though it's ranked No. 19, and if it finishes ahead of a BCS conference champion, which it almost certainly will do with the Big Ten and Big East sucking wind, then that's it. The Broncos, as mediocre as they might be, will get into one of the big-money exhibitions.

Marcus Mariota and Oregon should be just fine ... as long as they win out. (Photo: US Presswire)

The other issue is that there aren't going to be a slew of worthy at-large contenders. The Big Ten and Big East aren't going to get two teams into the BCS, and if Boise State gets in, the Pac-12 might not have a second team with USC going down against Arizona.

The SEC will get two in, Notre Dame will get an invite, and the champions of the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 get slots, meaning there will be two spots left. If Boise State takes one, then it should come down to the Clemson-South Carolina game at the end of the regular season.

If Clemson is 11-1 and doesn't play for the ACC title — the Tigers lost to Florida State in the Atlantic division — it'll get in over a 10-2 Oklahoma. If Florida State loses the ACC championship, it would probably get the nod over Clemson but would have to battle with a second Big 12 team to get the invite.

Of course, it all comes back to Boise State and whether or not it would deserve and get into the top 16. The humans might find a way to adapt and adjust accordingly to keep the Broncos out, but at No. 14 in the coaches' poll and No. 17 in the Harris, and with more losses sure to come from the top teams, it could be really, really hard to push them behind the velvet rope.


- Notice the razor-thin margin between Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon. It's not going to take much for the Ducks to fly right by.

- The computers HATE Boise State, and that's not going to stop. At No. 23, the computers aren't going to push the Broncos much higher, but that might keep the humans from actively worrying about moving them down in their polls.

- Don't count out Florida just yet. LSU or Alabama will lose this week, and one of them or Georgia will have to lose — if the Dawgs beat Ole Miss and get to the SEC championship. Don't be shocked in any way if the Gators keep on rising up.

- Ohio State and Penn State aren't eligible, but there's only one Big Ten team ranked in the top 25. The SEC has seven ranked, the Big 12 has six and the Pac-12 has five.

1. Alabama 8-0 BCS Score: 0.9789

Alabama wins out and it's the No. 1 team without any worries or any questions. HOWEVER, what if there's a repeat of last year? What if LSU wins this Saturday and Alabama goes 11-1? It'll be a tough sell, especially over an 11-1 Florida, but the Tide would probably end up as the leader of all the one-loss options. Even so, they would need a ton of help to get into the national championship.

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

2. Kansas State 8-0 BCS Score: 0.9400

Sorry, Kansas State, but you're just renting your spot in the penthouse. Ranked third in the human polls, the Wildcats aren't going to be able to stay at No. 2 overall unless they can get into the top two according to the people. The computers are happy, ranking KSU co-No. 1 along with Notre Dame, but that's going to change with a weaker finishing kick than the Irish, USC and Alabama.

Collin Klein and Kansas State may be out of luck no matter what. (Photo: KStateFans.com)

Predicted Wins: Oklahoma State, at TCU, at Baylor, Texas
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 12-0
Predicted Bowl: Fiesta
Loss Alert: Oklahoma State, at TCU, Texas

3. Notre Dame 8-0 BCS Score: 0.9147

Notre Dame is in the exact same boat as Kansas State. The computers are in love— putting the Irish No. 1 overall in a tie with the Wildcats — but the humans are not as enamored, Notre Dame No. 4 in both polls. At that spot, there's no chance of ever getting into the top two without two of the top four teams losing. Style points are going to count from here on, so just getting by Pitt, Boston College and Wake Forest won't be enough.

Predicted Wins: Pitt, at Boston College, Wake Forest, at USC
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 12-0
Predicted Bowl: Fiesta
Loss Alert: at USC

4. Oregon 8-0 BCS Score: 0.9136

Oregon is just fine. The No. 2 spot in the Harris and Coaches' polls will never change as long as the wins keep coming, and the computers are going to start to come around. Ranked fifth overall by the wires and circuits, but only a fraction behind the Irish in the overall rankings, the Ducks will have no problems getting into the top two if they go 13-0.

Predicted Wins: 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. LSU 7-1 BCS Score: 0.8163

Here's the big question: Does Alabama have so much juice right now that an LSU win would mean a top-two BCS ranking for the Tigers? It would be a tough sell, but the computer formulas are going to like the Tigers more and more, and if they can beat the Tide and win the SEC championship over Georgia, or better yet, in a rematch against Florida, all of a sudden, it's going to be hard to convince anyone that Kansas State or Notre Dame is more deserving of a BCS championship spot.


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

6. Georgia 7-1 BCS Score: 0.7753

The Dawgs need to win out and have to hope for Alabama to blast away to 12-0 and be bigger than life coming into the SEC championship game. If Georgia goes 12-1 with a win over the mighty Tide, good luck convincing anyone that two other teams deserve a spot in the BCS championship game. However, the math might not work out. The humans aren't going to put 12-1 Georgia ahead of 12-0 Kansas State, 12-0 Notre Dame AND 13-0 Oregon.

Predicted Wins: at Auburn, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech
Predicted Losses: Ole Miss
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Capital One
Loss Alert: Ole Miss, Georgia Tech

7. Florida 7-1 BCS Score: 0.7604

Two not-so-crazy scenarios. 1) Georgia loses to Ole Miss; Florida goes 11-1 with an impressive win over No. 9 Florida State and then wins the SEC championship. If that happens, with wins over LSU, South Carolina, Florida State and Alabama on the résumé, the computers are still going to gush over the Gators and the humans are going to make the BCS championship game appearance happen. 2) Georgia loses the SEC championship to Alabama; Florida thumps Florida State; and Kansas State, Notre Dame and Oregon all lose. Florida will play the Tide for the whole ball of wax.

Florida may still end up playing for the BCS title. (Photo: Aggie Websider)

Predicted Wins: Missouri, Louisiana-Lafayette, Jacksonville State, at Florida State
Predicted Losses: SEC championship
Predicted Final Record: 11-2
Predicted Bowl: Sugar
Loss Alert: at Florida State

8. South Carolina 7-2 BCS Score: 0.5968

The Gamecocks are stuck. There's no way they're going to play for the BCS championship and they're a near-lock to not sniff an at-large BCS bid. At best they go 10-2 and get a nice New Year's Day bowl bid, and at reasonable worst, they go 9-3 and get a nice New Year's Day bowl bid. However, if Florida loses to Missouri and Georgia loses to Ole Miss or Auburn — but not both — then things get interesting. Florida would eliminate itself from the three-way tiebreaker after losing to two SEC East teams, and it would come down to South Carolina vs. Georgia head-to-head. The Gamecocks would represent the East in the SEC championship game.

Predicted Wins: Arkansas, Wofford
Predicted Losses: at Clemson
Predicted Final Record: 9-3
Predicted Bowl: Outback
Loss Alert: at Clemson

9. Florida State 8-1 BCS Score: 0.5743

The problem is NC State, NC State and NC State. The Seminoles would probably be No. 2 in the BCS rankings if it wasn't for the collapse against the Wolfpack, and Florida losing to Georgia didn't help. Even so, the Gators are getting enough respect that a win and a 12-1 record, including a win in the ACC championship game, could be enough to get close. However, the computers are never going to be fans, currently ranking the Noles 21st.

Predicted Wins: at Virginia Tech, at Maryland, ACC championship
Predicted Losses: Florida
Predicted Final Record: 11-2
Predicted Bowl: Orange
Loss Alert: at Virginia Tech, Florida

10. Louisville 8-0 BCS Score: 0.5661

Is it possible for a 12-0 Cardinals team to get into the BCS championship? Not only would everyone of note have to lose, but it might take something crazy happening in the SEC to keep two teams from playing each other for the title over the Big East champion. The computers aren't that down on the Cardinals with a No. 13 ranking, and the humans are on board. Louisville can probably get close, but it's going to take a few miracles to get up to No. 2.

Predicted Wins: Temple, Connecticut
Predicted Losses: at Syracuse, at Rutgers
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Russell Athletic
Loss Alert: at Syracuse, at Rutgers

11. Oregon State (6-1) .5559
12. Oklahoma (5-2) .5454
13. Clemson (7-1) .5095
14. Stanford (6-2) .4863
15. Mississippi State (7-1) .3913
16. Texas A&M (6-2) .3593
17. USC (6-2) .3509
18. Texas Tech (6-2) .3242
19. Boise State (7-1) .3123
20. Nebraska (6-2) .2568
21. West Virginia (5-2) .2512
22. Arizona (5-3) .1692
23. Texas (6-2) .1640
24. Oklahoma State (5-2) .0893
25. Louisiana Tech (7-1) .0784

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