BCS Rankings Analysis - Welcome Back

Notre Dame got its break, but no one benefited more than the SEC.

2012 BCS Analysis

Week 6 ... Nov. 18  

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

BCS Top 25
- Expanded BCS Rankings

1. Notre Dame
2. Alabama
3. Georgia
4. Florida
5. Oregon
6. Kansas State
7. LSU
8. Stanford
9. Texas A&M
10. Florida State
11. Clemson
12. South Carolina
13. Oklahoma
14. Nebraska
15. Oregon State
16. Texas
17. UCLA
18. Rutgers
19. Michigan
20. Louisville
21. Oklahoma St
22. Boise State
23. Kent State
24. Arizona
25. Washington
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
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So, did anything interesting happen this weekend?

Now the BCS becomes easy, at least as long as Notre Dame beats USC.

If the Irish beat the Trojans, they're going to play for the national title. Done. However, if USC rises up and pulls out the win, then it's going to be a mad scramble to see who gets the No. 2 spot behind the SEC champion.

Of course, that's assuming that Alabama doesn't choke against Auburn and Georgia doesn't gag against Georgia Tech.

The only other wild part of the puzzle could come if Florida State beats Florida. The BCS computers have no interest whatsoever in the Seminoles, but a win over the Gators, and if Clemson can beat South Carolina, might change things around just enough to make it close.


• You saw Florida vs. Louisiana-Lafayette. We all saw Florida vs. Missouri. The computers didn't. All they see is a W without the style points, and being No. 2 here matters. Even though Oregon is ranked fourth in the human polls, a win by the Gators over Florida State would likely be enough to get into the top three, and possibly the top two if USC beats Notre Dame.

• The computers have Notre Dame No. 1 across the board, and both human polls have the Irish No. 1. However, computers are fickle. If the Irish lose, then the SEC big boys — mainly Florida, Georgia and Alabama — all move up a slot.

• How much does Kent State want the Kentucky game back and how much would Northern Illinois like to redo the late hiccup in the opener against Iowa? The Golden Flashes are 23rd, and while NIU isn't ranked, it would be in the at-large automatic slot at 11-0.

• Boise State is No. 22 in the BCS rankings. However, it's the only team to not be ranked in the top 25 by any of the computers. Meanwhile, only two computers have Louisville ranked.

1. Notre Dame 11-0 BCS Score: 0.997

All the pieces have fallen into place. The Irish probably just needed one more loss out of the top two after Alabama lost to Texas A&M, but now the speculation and worrying are all gone with Oregon and Kansas State both stepping aside. Beat USC, play for the national title. It's that simple.

Predicted Wins: at USC
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 12-0
Predicted Bowl: BCS championship game
Loss Alert: at USC

2. Alabama 10-1 BCS Score: 0.933

Alabama got the breaks it needed, and now it's time to bring it home needing just three more wins to give Nick Saban his second straight national championship, his third in four years and the fourth in his phenomenal career. No. 3 among the computers, it doesn't matter. The Tide has their destiny in their own hands.

Predicted Wins: Auburn, Georgia (SEC championship game)
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 12-1
Predicted Bowl: BCS championship game
Loss Alert: SEC championship game

3. Georgia 10-1 BCS Score: 0.876

All of a sudden, Georgia went from lurking in the shadows to being front and center in the national-title discussion. No one other than USC, technically, has a tougher game left on the schedule, so if the 'Dawgs can take care of business against Georgia Tech and get by No. 2 Alabama in the BCS championship game, then it's on to Miami with a chance to play for the national title for the first time under head coach Mark Richt.

Predicted Wins: Georgia Tech
Predicted Losses: Alabama (SEC championship game)
Predicted Final Record: 11-2
Predicted Bowl: Capital One
Loss Alert: Georgia Tech

4. Florida 10-1 BCS Score: 0.843

Big things are still on the table for the Gators, helped by a phenomenal No. 2 ranking among the computers. All it will take is a USC win over Notre Dame to get the ball rolling with the possibility of the one-loss Gators rising up into the top two. While they've looked awful over the last few weeks, style points won't count if they can beat Florida State. If that happens, they'll have beaten Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina and Florida State. It might not have been pretty, but they'll have earned their stripes. If the Irish win, beating Florida State and going to the Sugar, most likely, wouldn't be too bad.

Predicted Wins: at Florida State
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl: Sugar
Loss Alert: at Florida State

5. Oregon 10-1 BCS Score: 0.832

Oregon has to start rooting hard for UCLA. If Stanford beats the Bruins, the Cardinal win the North and play for the Pac-12 title. A Stanford loss and an Oregon win over Oregon State means a showdown with UCLA for the Pac-12 title with at the very least a Rose Bowl bid on the line. However, if Florida State beats Florida and Notre Dame loses to USC, all of a sudden, the Ducks are right back in the national championship chase. Here's the problem — the computers. The computers despise the Ducks, ranking them seventh. That's a killer. At absolute worst, a win over the Beavers will likely mean the Fiesta Bowl.

Predicted Wins: at Oregon State
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl: Fiesta
Loss Alert: at Oregon State

6. Kansas State 10-1 BCS Score: 0.769

The loss to Baylor was a complete and utter disaster in the human polls. Oregon only slipped to fourth in the coaches' poll after its loss, but Kansas State dropped to a crippling eighth to all but forget about any hopes of playing for the BCS championship. But by beating Texas, the Wildcats will win the Big 12 title and go to the Fiesta Bowl. If you had told KSU fans before the season that they'd be going to Glendale, they'd have been ecstatic.

Predicted Wins: Texas
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl: Fiesta
Loss Alert: Texas

7. LSU 9-2 BCS Score: 0.731

The loss to Alabama is more and more painful by the minute now that the Tigers know what they missed out on. They were one drive away from likely playing for the SEC title and playing for the national title, but now they have to hope for a slew of losses to combine with a win over Arkansas to have a shot at an at-large BCS slot. The computers aren't fans, ranking the Tigers eighth, which should mean it'll be just too tough to rise up to No. 2 if chaos ensues.

Predicted Wins: at Arkansas
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Chick-fil-A
Loss Alert: at Arkansas

8. Stanford 9-2 BCS Score: 0.708

Stanford all of a sudden jumped up to be a part of the fun. The Cardinal are getting the respect from the computers with a No. 5 ranking, but the humans aren't so hot ranking them 11th in both polls. None of it matters. It's Rose Bowl or bust at this point, needing to beat UCLA twice, or hoping for an Oregon State win over Oregon, to get in.

Predicted Wins: at UCLA, UCLA (Pac-12 championship game)
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 11-2
Predicted Bowl: Rose
Loss Alert: at UCLA

9. Texas A&M 9-2 BCS Score: 0.653

Everyone is going to want Johnny Manziel in their bowl, and if there can be a slew of losses up top, it could be possible for the Aggies to slide into a BCS game. However, there's way too much traffic to deal with and way too many teams to get past for an at-large BCS slot. The computers have them 10th, but if their eligible, again, someone will want the hot team.

Predicted Wins: Missouri
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Cotton
Loss Alert: Missouri

10. Florida State 10-1 BCS Score: 0.636

What did Florida State ever do to the Massey formula, which has the Seminoles unranked? But even beyond that, FSU isn't higher than 15th in any other computer poll despite being sixth in the Harris and fifth in the coaches'. Will a win over Florida and an ACC championship be enough to get the respect needed to rise up to the top two? It's doubtful, but a win over the Gators would all but ensure a BCS appearance of some sort.

Predicted Wins: ACC championship game
Predicted Losses: Florida
Predicted Final Record: 11-2
Predicted Bowl: Orange
Loss Alert: Florida, ACC championship game

11. Clemson (10-1) .606
12. South Carolina (9-2) .587
13. Oklahoma (8-2) .568
14. Nebraska (9-2) .479
15. Oregon State (8-2) .450
16. Texas (8-2) .424
17. UCLA (9-2) .383
18. Rutgers (9-1) .243
19. Michigan (8-3) .225
20. Louisville (9-1) .217
21. Oklahoma State (7-3) .204
22. Boise State (9-2) .104
23. Kent State (10-1) .096
24. Arizona (7-4) .084
25. Washington (7-4) .064

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