Without further adieu I present to you the new, updated BCS top ten rankings.
- Florida State
- Ohio State
After dismantling Tennessee 45-10 there was no doubt that the Crimson Tide would hold on to the #1 spot in the BCS rankings. Bama just continues to get better each and every week and only LSU and Auburn will create a challenge for the Tide down the stretch run of the regular season. As expected by myself, and many, the Oregon Ducks have jumped the Florida State Seminoles for the #2 ranking this week. While FSU only needed their starters for a half after jumping out to a 42-0 lead against NC State, the Ducks looked almost as impressive versus a very darn good UCLA Bruins team, winning 42-14. The Bruins came in ranked #12, while the Wolfpack is, and was unranked on Saturday.
The Ducks simply need to win out to make it to Pasadena, while the Noles will likely need to win out, and have either the Ducks or the Tide drop a game down the stretch for them to reach the BCS National Title game. Both teams will be facing top ten opponents next on their schedule as the Noles host #7 Miami this Saturday in primetime, and the Ducks travel to #5 Stanford next Thursday, Nov 7th. The Noles opened as a 21 point favorite against the Canes, and while it is a rivalry game, and stranger things have happened, I fully expect FSU to dismantle the “U” Saturday night. I also fully expect the Ducks to have their hands full on “the farm” against the Cardinal. While the bye week should immensely aid the Ducks, the fact that it’s a Thursday night game against a big, strong, smart team in Stanford, will be a lot for the Ducks to overcome. I’m not yet convinced the Cardinal will or even can beat Oregon, but the Ducks will surely be in for a war.
I must tip my cap to Urban Meyer and his Ohio State Buckeyes for their masterful performance Saturday evening against a scrappy Penn State team. From the opening kick, OSU imposed their will on the Nittany Lions, cruising to an EASY 63-14 win. The win gave the Buckeyes a percentage bump in the polls, but they are still a long ways away from contending with the Seminoles for the #3 spot. I still believe their only chance to get to Pasadena is with losses by two of the top three teams in the BCS rankings. With that said, I have a feeling Ohio State is going to drop a game this season, taking themselves fully out of national title contention.
The Stanford Cardinal jump up to #5 in this weeks rankings after a hard fought 20-12 victory over the Beavers of Oregon State. Coach Shaw and his Stanford team just seem to always find a way, reaching deep to come out on top in most close contests. The Cardinal now head into their bye week, with the Oregon contest looming next Thursday. Stanford gets nearly two weeks to prepare for the high powered Oregon offense and Heisman front-running QB Marcus Mariota. UCLA did a great job of slowing down Mariota, and STILL got blown out. I don’t know if anyone can beat the Ducks, but as of today, I am giving the Cardinal an ok shot at pulling the upset.
The Baylor Bears vault up to #6 in this week’s BCS rankings. That high powered offense of Art Brile’s did not miss a beat Saturday, hanging 59 on Kansas. While this Baylor offense is putting up amazing numbers, let’s remember that they’ve yet to face a defense worth a damn. They get this week off, and begin a three game stretch versus Oklahoma, Texas Tech, and at Oklahoma State. The jury is still out on the Bears until we can see what they can do against the top half of the Big 12.
Staying at #7 is the Miami Hurricanes, after yet again scraping by an inferior ACC opponent. Let’s be frank here, the Canes are not the 7th best team in the country. Just for giggles, here’s a few teams ranked behind the Canes, who I firmly believe are better than them. Clemson, Missouri, Oklahoma, Auburn, LSU, Texas A&M, UCLA, Texas Tech, South Carolina, Louisville, and there’s many more. Barring a miracle, the Canes will come back down to earth Saturday night after their clash with the Seminoles. Likely dropping them out of the top 15, which will still be too high for this team.
The Tigers of Clemson and Missouri come in at #8 and #9 respectively this week. Clemson, after starting extremely slow against a depleted Maryland team, rallied for a 40-27 victory on the road. I said after their dismantling at home at the hands of Jameis Winston and Florida State last week that they’re a better team than what the scoreboard indicated, but their not helping their case any. With that said, Clemson still has a great shot a running the table and getting a BCS at large bid. Something else I said last week in this column, was that I did not believe in Mizzou. It didn’t take long for my inkling to come to fruition, as the Tigers lost in OT at home to South Carolina. Connor Shaw entered the game in the 4th for the Gamecocks and led three straight scoring drives to force OT, where the Tigers missed a chip-shot field goal to prolong the game. Ironically enough, had Shaw played all game, South Carolina likely cruises to an easy victory.
Making their first appearance in the BCS top ten this week, is the Oklahoma Sooners. Saturday afternoon, the Sooners hosted the then #10 ranked Red Raiders of Texas Tech, in one of the weekend’s most exciting games. With a strong second half, OU outlasted Tech, giving the fighting Kliff Kingsbury’s their first loss of the season. We’ve now seen two drastically different OU teams this season, the one that rolled over against a really bad Texas team, and the one who thoroughly outplayed a darn good Tech team. The Sooners will not rest up and get ready for their trip to Waco next Thursday in a showdown with the #6 ranked Baylor Bears. That will be a true measuring stick game for both teams, with HUGE Big 12 title implications.