It should be noted that these are a combination of how I feel the games will break-down this weekend, mixed in with both the BCS projections as well as my own top 25 version.
It is never easy to project the exact numbers (somebody call my boy Brad Edwards up!) although we do know that the BCS is once again made up of three formulas: “USA Today Coaches Poll, Harris Interactive College Football Poll and an average of six computer rankings. Each component will count one-third of a team’s overall BCS score in the BCS Standings.”
So, while the sport is fluid as ever and the games have yet to be played, let us all take a deep dive into my way too projected BCS Standings for the opening weekend.
Just Missed The Cut: Ohio, Iowa State, Louisiana Tech, UCLA, Northwestern, Michigan State (Ohio State, Penn State are not eligible)
25. Mississippi State Bulldogs (Projected Record, 5-1)
Their home contest against the Vols is huge in the SEC West, and it also a battle between the East against the West. A win would be vital since a top 10 ranking could be calling although a loss of course would have them on the outskirts of the top 25. If you would like to throw the Ohio Bobcats in here, I would have no beef (wait until we get to Halloween before we talk about BCS busters though).
24. Tennessee Volunteers (4-2)
Tyler Bray and that offense get’s a ton of praise, but an underrated running game and defense better rise to the occasion if they expect to make these brand new standings.
23. Boise State Broncos (5-1)
Hey they have won ugly for so many years, but this season has taken it to a whole new level. Demolishing Fresno State on the blue carpet would be a start. The only realistic hope would be to run the table since Sparty has been so inconsistent thus far.
22. Baylor Bears (4-1)
Maybe their close loss (and depressing for defensive fans) to West Virginia will pay off after all?
21. Oregon State Beavers (4-1)
A healthy Sean Mannion (knee surgery) would likely keep them in the top 10, but if they do loss to the Cougars then this is right where they will likely find themselves.
20. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-1)
If they manage to stun the unbeatable (so it seems) Mountaineers at home, they ascend high in these opening standings. If they lost, you may be wondering if they will play in a bowl game. Oh, the fluidity of college football makes for the greatest sport in the world.
19. Michigan Wolverines (4-2)
“Holy moly”, Denard and the boys are back in business? All of a sudden with an ineligible Ohio State, we might just see the Maize and Blue smelling roses if they manage to come away with a few huge victories in October and November (their season may simply come down to battle with Buckeyes).
18. Oklahoma Sooners (4-1)
It should go without saying that the biggest game of their season is this weekend in the Red River Rivalry, but try to not act like the sky is falling if they have suffered a second loss before November. This offensive line is in shambles and there is really no patching up left to think of.
17. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-0)
The Big East is legit these days at the top of the chain, and it is all because of their stingy and yet under appreciated defenses. They can hit you in the mouth and make you bleed, so be wary.
16. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (6-0)
15. Texas A&M Aggies (5-1)
The Aggies young freshman Johnny Manziel is taking us by storm and who would have thought that A&M against Louisiana Tech in October would have such an impact on the BCS?
14. Louisville Cardinals (6-0)
The ‘Ville would love a No. 14 ranking and there will be no padding on the backs since Charlie Strong will strive for perfection. They will easily be the biggest and most unrealistic dark horse out there to play for it all if they manage to run the table, but let the boys (more like men these days) from the Big East dream big.
13. Clemson Tigers (5-1)
Tajh Boyd and these Tigers may honestly be the biggest unknown and under appreciated team in the top 20 since they have failed to play any defense so far. Still, the offense is dazzling and they should not lose to anybody on paper until South Carolina comes calling.
12. Texas Longhorns (5-1)
Can somebody please fix their defense or maybe Jordan Hicks will just make the world of differences up? David Ash has pinpointed excellent these days and they might just be able to outscore a Sooners team that throttled them last year.
11. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1)
Geno Smith would still be the Heisman favorite if they lose one or more games this month, but this is the one team I am not ready to rejoice over yet. Texas Tech pulls off an upset seemingly every season and a game in Lubbock could make-or-break WV’s BCS title aspirations.
10. Georgia Bulldogs (5-1)
Aaron Murray will bounce back because is far too talented, but what on earth happened to this defense. It was almost as if adding Rambo and Ogletree destroyed their chemistry and on field play. Maybe, just maybe the hype machine got them again and that damn gauntlet in the SEC is too much these days? Or maybe the SEC East is the best division in all of sports?
9. Florida State Seminoles (6-1)
Hey, congrats guys you all let us down again but the season is not over despite every prognosticator in America saying just that. They have failed to start 6-0 the last three times they reached 5-0. The good news is that back in 1999 when they lost to NC State on the road, they ended up still running the table and playing for the BCS title. Those chances are shady at best since the ACC continues to go three steps backwards after taking one step forward. However, there is still a punchers chance since they may play an undefeated and or top-five Gators squad at the end of the season. Run the table and who knows, at the very worst you could still be playing on New Year’s night as the ACC Champions (Orange Bowl).
8. USC Trojans (5-1)
Lane Kiffin may still be hated by everybody and quite frankly he doesn’t care because his feelings are immune. The guy wants to win just as much as the next guy, and he will actually have his chance to make America hate his program even more. The cupboard of talent is far from dry and playing the Ducks is the perfect scenario to get a crack at some sort of BCS Bowl.
7. South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1)
Their devastating schedule that features LSU and Florida in consecutive weeks has to be illegal. When did the 1985 Chicago Bears and the 1978-1979 Pittsburgh Steelers jump on the slate? These next two defenses may get somebody obliterated and coming out alive would be a miracle. While Spurrier certainly is capable of becoming the savior (isn’t he already considered?), not sure Alabama or Oregon would even do better than a split in these games.
6. LSU Tigers (6-1)
The Bayou Bengals better be back or people will forget how awesome Les Miles. That crazy mad hatter is a winner I tell you, and his hostile ‘Death Valley’ crowd should back him up on Saturday night. If not, then will you mine as well back the truck up since people will have ‘Wanted’ signs for a team that is arguably talented as any.
5. Kansas State Wildcats (6-0)
Collin Klein and Bill Snyder are so boring it almost makes me sick to the stomach, but you have to appreciate these wizards. They have to be considered the smartest and most disciplined duo out there, and their nasty defense could keep them around the top five all year long.
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-0)
Nobody on the face of the earth would have envisioned the Brian Kelly-led Domers to start out in the top five of the first annual 2012 BCS Standings. A BCS bowl is in the sights but there is something brighter and bigger in the back of their minds as well (more like on the tip of the tongue).
3. Florida Gators (6-0)
Take it from me, but there is not a team out there that wants to play this team on a neutral field right now. I personally would take them over both Alabama and Oregon, but they better worry about the likes of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida State and potentially Alabama! Forget what I said about being the best, they need to win a few more heavyweight battles before we even get to November.
2. Oregon Ducks (6-0)
The quickest team in the country is capable of scoring 50-plus in any way they want to. Chip Kelly is toying with the Pac-12 and there is seemingly nothing the competition can do to slow down these young pups. Talk about being in the driver’s seat, they may end up being number one if they threw out a high school defense thanks to their unstoppable track freak.
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (6-0)
Nick Saban or Lane Kiffin, who would you prefer to have a drink with? I kid because I care, but seriously the Crimson Tide are so premier it makes everyone wonder if they will ever fall out of the top spot ever!
Follow @Dan Vasta and like Gridiron Grit on Facebook