After eight weeks of college football we finally have BCS rankings to look at and scrutinize. The Big Ten has three teams appearing in this initial standings release for the 2013 season, with two more teams on the fringe with a chance to jump up into the field of 25.
Ohio State is the first of the Big Ten teams to appear in the standings at number four. The two teams sitting between the Buckeyes and a spot in the BCS title game are Florida State and Oregon. While the Seminoles have already jumped one major hurdle in beating Clemson, they still have a game against the No. 7 Miami Hurricanes in two weeks. Oregon has games against No. 6 Stanford, No. 12 UCLA and No. 25 Oregon State left on its schedule. The chances for Ohio State to jump up to number two in the standings are still there if the Buckeyes can take care of their own business.
Another concern for Ohio State is potentially getting leapfrogged by the Missouri Tigers, currently ranked number five. The remaining schedule for Missouri compared to Ohio State is much tougher as far as playing ranked teams go. It’s possible that the Buckeyes could get the help of losses by Florida State and Oregon, run their own table, and still not see the national championship game if Missouri takes care of its own business.
The fates of No. 22 Michigan’s and No. 24 Nebraska’s hopes of getting into the top 10 of the BCS standings and a likely at-large berth lie mostly in their own hands. Of the teams in between them and that 10th spot, the vast majority of them have at least one game against another team currently ranked in the BCS. If one of those teams can win out this regular season, which includes a November 9th head-to-head game in Ann Arbor, their chances of getting a BCS at-large are good.
Two teams that are currently on the outside looking in are Michigan State and Wisconsin. Wisconsin is ranked 22nd in the current AP poll and 24th in the coaches’ poll. Unfortunately, the Badgers’ remaining schedule doesn’t offer much of a boost and Wisconsin will have to hope for help to score an at-large berth. Michigan State is currently unranked in both polls but winning out the regular season and the Legends division may be enough to get them into the conversation of at-large teams.
With five weeks yet to play in this college football season, the only thing we know for certain about the Big Ten’s BCS fate is that it’s too early to tell. The results of the games yet to be played in the conference and across the nation will have a lot to say about where these teams end up.
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