The latest edition of the BCS standings isn’t just the last one for the 2013 College Football season, but the final top 25 we’ll ever get to see, as the sport moves on to a playoff system instead of polls + computer rankings to determine the two teams to make the national championship game. By the way, no surprise there, as Florida State and Auburn finish at 1-2, heading to play for the Crystal ball.
Alabama took the number 3 spot, which sends them into the Sugar Bowl where they’ll face Oklahoma, rising to #11 after their win over Oklahoma State. Ohio State dropped five spots to #7 after losing in the Big Ten championship game to Michigan State, rising to #4, not enough to play for the national title, having to settle for the Rose Bowl, where they’ll play against #5 Stanford.
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The only new face in the top 25 are USC, enjoying Texas finding their way out again after a 20-point loss to Baylor in what turned out to be the Big 12 championship game. It won’t get them into a big bowl game, having to play Fresno State in a rare Las Vegas Bowl with two ranked teams.
Central Florida finish at #15, which is good enough to give them their first ever BCS bowl. I’m pretty sure the folks at the Fiesta Bowl wanted a slightly more interesting matchup than Baylor and UCF, but things will change next year with the introduction of the playoff system.
Northern Illinois and Fresno State, always threatening to be the BCS busters this year, fell just before the finish line, with the Huskies falling all the way down to #23, while the Bulldogs dropped to #20, both teams finishing the season with one loss.
Duke still remain in the top 25 despite getting obliterated in the ACC championship game by Florida State, although it’s hard to find too many people who actually think they belong in the top 25 this season, enjoying a weak year in the ACC and a very easy schedule, that had them avoid both Florida State and Clemson.
In a different year, this would have made an excellent playoff, and a bit of a debate as well – one undefeated team, Florida State, without anything to worry about. Then come Auburn, Ohio State, Michigan State, Baylor and Alabama to claim their place in the final four. Who would have gotten left out? Going by the final week and the tradition of later losses being more painful and effective on the voters, Ohio State would have gotten left out, while Alabama would have deserved to be booted as well because they didn’t win their conference.