This weeks Monday Morning Quarterback will have a little different flavor than in weeks past. Last night marked the release of the initial 2013 BCS rankings, the same rankings that decide which two teams will play in the BCS National Championship game, along with the other four BCS bowl games. While the initial rankings don’t mean a thing, it’s gives a clear view of the landscape across the nation and identifies who will, and who won’t have a shot at heading to Pasadena to play for it all. Below we’ll take a look at some story-lines of those teams that found themselves in the BCS top 10, Without further adieu, your initial BCS top ten rankings are as follows.
- Florida State
- Ohio State
- Texas Tech
Alabama being at #1 surprises absolutely no one. I’ve had Oregon as my #1 team in the nation since about week two, but I’ve also stated over and over that as the weeks go on, Alabama will continue to get better and finally be deserving of that #1 ranking. That happen this past Saturday. Bama manhandled and shutout Arkansas, and I finally feel comfortable saying their a notch above everyone else. Here’s where it gets interesting, or rather “controversial”. The Oregon Ducks come in at #3 after knocking on the door of being #1. They put up 62 points on Washington State, but still managed to give up 38. What we do know, is that the Ducks can score at will, what we don’t know is how good this Oregon defense really is. I have a hunch we’ll get a better idea this Saturday when the Ducks welcome Jim Mora Jr. and his UCLA Bruins.
The team that jumped the Oregon Ducks for the #2 spot was none other than The Florida State Seminoles. The Noles made the biggest statement of any team this season when they walked into “death valley” Saturday night and absolutely manhandled the previously #3 ranked Clemson Tigers, 51-14. The Noles broke the will of the Tigers and simply made them quit. Redshirt Freshman sensation QB Jameis Winston lit up the Tigers, much like his smile does a room. He threw for 444 yards and accounted for 4 TD’s in the Seminoles blowout victory. Winston may have also vaulted to the top of the Heisman charts with his exceptional performance on the prime-time stage. While FSU finds themselves at #2 now, conventional wisdom says that won’t hold up by season’s end, if both FSU and Oregon remain undefeated. Oregon will likely end the season with a better SOS, all but assuring they’ll jump the Noles. FSU just needs to take care of what they can, go out and win each week, and hope the Ducks (or Crimson Tide) drop one along the way.
Two more undefeated teams round out the top five, and odds are both schools are looking at their ranking in vastly different ways. The Buckeyes of Ohio State come in at #4, and are surely upset that they’ve been jumped by the Seminoles. Those feelings surely are NOT warranted. While the Buckeyes haven’t tasted defeat in nearly two years, they just haven’t looked that good so far this season, and surely not dominant like the 3 teams ahead of them. The Buckeyes may again finish the season undefeated, and out of the championship game. The Missouri Tigers surprised many by dominating the Florida Gators this weekend, with a freshman QB, making his first start, and were rewarded handsomely with a top 5 BCS ranking. While you can certainly argue the Tigers belong in the top 5 at the moment, I have a hard time believing they’ll even win the SEC east, let alone the SEC as a whole, meaning this top 5 ranking will at best, get them a BCS at large bid, and even that I don’t see happening.
Stanford and Miami come in at #6 and #7 respectively in the initial BCS rankings. Stanford, who were stunned on the road by Utah two weeks ago, still have an outside shot at the national title game after beating the previously unbeaten UCLA Bruins this past Saturday. The Cardinal would of course have to run the table, a table that includes the #3 ranked Oregon Ducks. The unbeaten Miami Hurricanes find themselves behind a one loss Stanford team, and quite frankly, they shouldn’t even be this high. Miami nearly escaped Chapel Hill with a victory last Thursday night, again proving that they are wildly overrated. A match-up with the #2 Seminoles in Tallahassee now looms in two weeks. One of these teams is elite, the other is mediocre, I think y’all know who is who. If not, just tune in November 2nd.
Baylor, Clemson, and Texas Tech round out the BCS top 10. The Baylor Bears can score with the best of them (71 this past weekend), and have to be considered the current favorites in the Big 12. They host the Oklahoma Sooners next Thursday (Nov 7th) in a game with huge Big 12 and possibly national title implications. Clemson is sitting at #8, simply because everyone else behind them in the top 10 also lost. While Clemson lost by 37 at home this past weekend, they lost to a superior team, and are still a very good squad. Clemson could certainly still run the table in the ACC, and be a victory over in state foe South Carolina away from a BCS at large bid. Texas Tech remains unbeaten and sits at #10 in the BCS rankings. Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury has brought over the magic he had last year with Johnny Manziel to Lubbock and the Red Raiders. If Tech can stay unbeaten over the next few weeks, their trip to Baylor on November 16th could be a game that decides who from the Big 12 will be heading to the BCS.