The Big Ten in the BCS After Week 13

By Derek Helling

With just two weeks until the final BCS standings are released, the Big Ten is sitting in a better position than it has at any point in the BCS standings this season. Three teams from the conference are in the top 15, with one just percentage points away from playing in the BCS National Championship Game.

The Ohio State Buckeyes stayed pat at No. 3, now sitting .497 behind the Florida State Seminoles for the second spot in the standings. Last week, the gap between the Buckeyes and the Seminoles was .792. The Buckeyes’ hopes again lie not only in winning their final regular season game in Ann Arbor against the Michigan Wolverines handily, but in getting some help as well.

No. 2 Florida State pays a visit to Gainesville to take on their in-state rival Florida Gators, and will be heavily favored to defeat a Gators team that just lost a home game to Georgia Southern University. The Buckeyes should have more confidence in the chances of No. 1 Alabama losing, as the Crimson Tide play their final regular season game at No. 4 Auburn.

The next Big Ten team to appear in the standings at No. 11, up two spots from last week, is the Michigan State Spartans. Michigan State could look to move up into the top-10 if they can win their home game against the Minnesota Golden Gophers. In addition to the Alabama-Auburn game, No. 6 Clemson and No. 10 South Carolina play each other this Saturday as well. Two of the current top-10 teams will take a loss this week.

The third and final team from the Big Ten appearing in this week’s BCS standings is the Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin comes in at No. 15, up four spots from last week. The Badgers also could scale the rankings if they win their final game of the regular season at home against the Penn State Nittany Lions, but it may take several upsets for Wisconsin to crack the top-10.

Dropping out of the BCS standings this week was Minnesota, ranked 25th last week. The Golden Gophers lost at home to the Badgers and only managed to score one touchdown. Currently, no other Big Ten teams appear to be on the fringe of cracking the rankings.

Next week’s BCS standings could bring a Big Ten team in position to play for the national championship, another in line for a BCS at-large bid and a third team in the conversation for another at-large bid. All that needs to happen is for several games to bear the correct results.

Derek Helling is a writer for Follow him on Twitter, “like” him on Facebook and add him on Google+. Read more here

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