Sunday, October 13, 2013

Upsets Shape Up BCS Landscape

Three upsets on Saturday significantly shook up the BCS landscape, making the initial release of the standings next Sunday perhaps less intriguing. Now there's a clear separation of the top five teams from the rest of the pack, and two of them are scheduled for a titanic showdown next Saturday.

In the final simulated BCS standings, the top five teams are, in order: Alabama, Oregon, Clemson, Florida State and Ohio State. After that, there's a big dropoff to No. 6 LSU and the other assortment of one-loss and lesser unbeaten teams. (See BCS Guru for complete Week 7 simulated BCS standings, with an explanation of methodology below.)

The winner of next Saturday's Clemson-Florida State game will emerge as the primary challenger to the presumed Alabama-Oregon pairing, with Ohio State another slot behind. The way the polls and computer rankings are shaping up, the Tide and Ducks will meet in Pasadena on Jan. 6 this season as long as they both remain unbeaten—no matter what happens with the other teams.

Ohio State most likely will play in the BCS title game provided that there are no two unbeaten teams from the SEC, Pac-12 or ACC. The Buckeyes probably won't be jumped by a one-loss team, except for one—if LSU beats Alabama and Texas A&M to win the SEC West and then the conference championship, there is a possibility the Tigers could finish ahead of an unbeaten Buckeyes team, though a remote one.


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