BCS standings finally revealed: University of Alabama only SEC team in Top 10
By Hunter Jameson
ASST. SPORTS EDITOR
The long anticipated Bowl Championship Series rankings in college football were finally revealed on Sunday. After eight weeks filled with upsets, dominance and heroic finishes, fans now have an understanding for which bowl game their team might end up in. These rankings will continue to change as the weeks progress, but as of right now there are teams who should be extremely happy and others who have a right to be disappointed with where they stand.
It comes to no surprise that the University of Alabama Crimson Tide is the number one team in the BCS standings. They are still a perfect 7-0 on the season and have dominated on both offense and defense, but defense in particular. They have the best defense in the nation, allowing just 9.7 points per game through the first seven, including two shutouts. A whopping 52-0 victory against Southeastern Conference opponent University of Arkansas Razorbacks shows how well they have been playing, as Arkansas was a top 25 team just two short years ago. The most underrated quarterback in college football, AJ McCarron, has continued to be as efficient as the previous two years where he has lead the Crimson Tide to back-to-back national Championships. Alabama still has two games against ranked opponents, those being the No. 13 Louisiana State University Tigers and the No. 11 Auburn University Tigers.
The shocker of the standings is the emergence of the Florida State University Seminoles, who had not broken the top four yet this season. They were given the No. 2 ranking in BCS standings, putting them in the national championship against Alabama if both teams remain undefeated and keep their rankings. A huge victory against then No. 3 Clemson University Tigers on Saturday bumped them up to No. 2. Freshman quarterback Jameis Winston has continued to shine and is one of the top three players in contention for the Heisman Trophy. Winston already has 20 touchdown passes with 1,885 yards passing on the season, boasting some of the most impressive statistics for a quarterback in the country. The only big test left for the Seminoles comes on Nov. 2 against No. 7 University of Miami Hurricanes, unless a different team is able to pull off an upset.
The team that has a right to be disappointed and frankly shocked should be the University of Oregon Ducks. The Ducks have been No. 2 in every poll since the start of the season but were ranked No. 3 in the first BCS standings, leaving them out of the National Championship at the moment. They are still undefeated at 7-0 but the one downfall so far is their strength of schedule. They have only played against one ranked team where they put a beating on the No. 16 University of Washington Huskies, but have one of the toughest remaining schedules of any team in the country. They still have games against No. 12 UCLA Bruins, No. 6 Stanford Cardinal and the Civil War against No. 25 Oregon State Beavers. The next two weeks will decide the fate of the Ducks’ season. If they can come up with wins against UCLA and Stanford, there is no reason why they won’t be No. 2 in the BCS standings three weeks from now. Sophomore quarterback Marcus Mariota is the leading contender for the Heisman Trophy with 2,051 passing yards, 19 touchdowns, and still no interceptions. He also has 493 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.
After six of the top ten teams lost this past Saturday, many teams jumped tremendously in the rankings and should be very excited for their chances at a BCS Bowl. Auburn made one of the largest jumps in recent years, going from No. 24 all the way up to No. 11 after a huge victory against the Texas A&M Aggies and last year’s Heisman winner, Johnny Manziel. The Stanford University Cardinals were the highest one-loss team at No. 6. Their game against the Oregon Ducks is the deciding factor for whether they can move up in the rankings with one loss. If an undefeated team happens to lose in the remaining weeks, don’t be surprised in the BCS voters give Stanford the nod over another one loss team. The Ohio State Buckeyes and University of Missouri Tigers round out the top five, both still being undefeated.
There are also a few teams that are not usually among the top 25 in the country but still have hope for a BCS Bowl game. Teams like No. 10 Texas Tech Red Raiders, No. 12 UCLA Bruins and No. 17 Fresno State Bulldogs all have the hopes of making a BCS bowl game this season for the first time in years. Making one of the pivotal BCS Bowl games would mean being placed in either the Rose Bowl, the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, the Discover Orange Bowl, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, the AT&T Cotton Bowl or the VIZIO BCS National Championship.
There is one shocking statistic that hasn’t been seen in at least the last five years: only one SEC team remains in the top-10 BCS Standings. All of the pressure rests on the shoulders of the Alabama Crimson Tide, and my guess is that a different conference will take home the National Championship for the first time in the last seven years.