There’s no change in the higher reaches of the BCS Standings after week 13. Alabama and Florida State at the moment heading to the national championship game, Ohio State waiting for someone to fall. That simple? Not really, because the rise of Auburn to number 4 and of Missouri to number 5 really makes it a bit more complicated if either the Crimson Tide or the Seminoles mess up in the upcoming games.
This week was also about a big fall foe Baylor after losing for the first time this season (to Oklahoma State), losing the lead they had in the Big 12. It was also about Arizona State taking control in the Pac-12 South, rising five spots after beating UCLA, and the same goes for the Cowboys, who have a chance to win their conference for the second time in three years if they beat Oklahoma.
With no four-team playoff, there’s quite a mess going on due to the rise of Auburn and Missouri, both one loss teams. Auburn head into the Iron Bowl with a chance not only to ruin Alabama’s season, but to steal their thunder. A win for Auburn will give them the division title and put them in the SEC championship game against Missouri.
Who goes to the BCS games from the SEC, who will surely send two teams? The conference champion, no matter who it is, goes to the national championship game, right? Because it’s either Alabama or a one-loss team (unless Missouri mess up against Texas A&M) that beat the Crimson Tide. What does that say about Ohio State? They need to hope the voters stick with them in case the SEC mess does happen, not to mention beat both Michigan back-to-back and win the conference, while also hope for a Florida State debacle against Florida (not going to happen) and the other ACC team – Duke, Miami, Virginia Tech or Georgia Tech.
What about the at-large bids? Hard to say at the moment. Oregon, Clemson, Baylor, Michigan State, Stanford or Wisconsin all have a shot as long as the top 3 don’t lose and this bunch don’t win their conference. There are Northern Illinois (14) and Fresno State to consider (16). The higher ranked of the two, probably staying ahead of Central Florida, will find itself in a BCS Bowl game, taking away one of the at-large spots, which might piss off those who like to see big names in big bowls, but do justice with a system that usually doesn’t really help small schools stand out.