Predicting the Initial Bowl Championship Series Rankings

Derick E. Hingle – US PRESSWIRE

The initial release of the Bowl Championship Series standings following Week Eight of college football competition is one of the most anticipated days of the season. With enough information available at this point in the season, and armed with knowledge of the BCS calculation process, we’re able to take a crack at how this first BCS should shake out.

Here are our predictions of the first 10 teams for the initial BCS release based on these calculations:

1. ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE

2. OREGON DUCKS

3. SOUTH CAROLINA GAMECOCKS

4. WEST VIRGINIA MOUNTAINEERS

5. FLORIDA GATORS

6. NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH

7. KANSAS STATE WILDCATS

8. LSU TIGERS

9. OREGON STATE BEAVERS

10. GEORGIA BULLDOGS

There are a couple of anomalies in this Top 10 given the way the numbers play out, but the first three spots aren’t really a surprise. The Alabama Crimson Tide have undoubtedly been the best team in college football so far this season, and the Oregon Ducks are 1a to Alabama’s 1. On the right evening, and in the right situation, the Ducks have the best chance of any team in the country of derailing the Tide and ending the streak of SEC National Championships.

Depending on who you ask, the South Carolina Gamecocks have ascended to become the second-best team in the SEC after dispatching an over-matched Georgia Bulldogs team led by a distracted Aaron Murray. The Gamecocks have a rough schedule ahead as they travel to Baton Rouge to take on the LSU Tigers next Saturday, then head to the Swamp a week later to face off with the Florida Gators. If the Gamecocks escape from this two-game test unscathed, they will indeed be waiting in the wings for a shot at the National Championship.

If the West Virginia Mountaineers continue to play with the swagger and confidence that allowed them to knock off the Texas Longhorns on Saturday evening in Austin, they could indeed move into the top three themselves and be positioned for a National Championship run. The four-man terror squad of Geno Smith, Andrew Buie, Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey shouldn’t have any trouble continuing to dissect Big 12 defenses, the Mountaineers’ level of success will be more dependent on their defense.

Florida, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and Kansas State Wildcats in the middle of the pack are all teams that could wreak some serious havoc if they stay consistent during the meat of their schedule and push through October with success. Whether any of these teams could actually work their way into National Championship contention, however, would require plenty of upset losses in the ranks above them.

The teams rounding out the bottom of the Top 10, in our assumed first BCS standings, LSU, the Oregon State Beavers, and Georgia could do much of the same. In spite of a rough loss to South Carolina as mentioned earlier, Mark Richt’s Georgia squad is certain to bounce back and make things difficult for their SEC opponents going forward. LSU will almost certainly do the same, however, if Zach Mettenberger continues to be shaky and the Tigers’ offense cannot get on track things could spiral downward quickly in an SEC that’s as competitive as it has been in years.

Oregon State looks like the giant killer we’ve been accustomed to them morphing into, and will be a pain in the collective butts of PAC 12 teams for the remainder of the conference slate.

Check the initial BCS rankings on October 14th to see if we were right. I have a hunch we’ll be awfully close if things stay intact next Saturday.

Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.

Kris is also the host of the Rant Sports College Football Hour on the TSC Radio Network on Sunday evenings at 8 Central Time and Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.

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