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BCS Standings: Oregon Ducks Passed Over for BCS At-Large Bid





The Oregon Ducks struggled down the stretch in 2013, losing two conference games down the stretch to lose control of the Pac-12 title race on two separate occasions to the Stanford Cardinal. Those losses put their streak of four-straight BCS bowl appearances in jeopardy this season as they had to hope to get selected as an at-large selection. Despite ranking No. 10 in the final BCS standings before the bowl season, however, Oregon was passed over for the four at-large bids for the BCS, putting a disappointing end to a 2013 season filled with missed opportunities.

With the final BCS standings announced, the at-large bids for the January BCS bowls will be the Oklahoma Sooners and Alabama Crimson Tide in the Allstate Sugar Bowl and the Ohio State Buckeyes and Clemson Tigers in the Discover Orange Bowl. Oregon was at a disadvantage with the Sugar and Orange having selection priority for the at-large selections due to their regional handicap compared to the other qualified at-large teams. They will be heading to a second-tier bowl this postseason despite being ranked higher than both No. 11 Oklahoma and No. 12 Clemson.

But Oregon has nobody to blame for getting left out of the BCS bowl selections this season but themselves. They were handed the inside track to the Rose Bowl when the Stanford Cardinal lost to the USC Trojans but quickly gave it back when they fell flat on the road against the Arizona Wildcats. Add some Oregon players’ disparaging comments about the opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl being “no big deal” to that terrible loss to Arizona and their cross-country location to the available BCS slots, and Oregon was an easy team to leave off the list.

Missing the BCS this season should serve as an important lesson in humility and focus for an Oregon squad that was talented enough to have a truly special 2013 season. Nothing is guaranteed in college football and everything has to be earned. That’s something that Mark Helfrich let slip in his first season as head coach of the Ducks and has to recapture this offseason to get Oregon back to the BCS next season.

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BCS Standings: Oklahoma Sooners Sneak Into BCS with At-Large Bid





The Oklahoma Sooners went into Bedlam without a chance to win the Big 12 title for the first time since 2009. But Oklahoma still had plenty to play for and pulled off an exciting win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys, keeping their in-state rival from winning the conference title and playing their way into the BCS conversation. At No. 11 in the latest BCS standings, Oklahoma qualified for an at-large bid and will be headed to the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Alabama Crimson Tide.

While Oklahoma will be disappointed in the absence of a conference title for 2013, they were able to rally and play their way into the BCS with their strong finish to the season against Oklahoma State. The Sooners join other at-large selections like Alabama, the Ohio State Buckeyes, and Clemson Tigers in the BCS over other teams like the Oregon Ducks who will be left out of the BCS bowl season.

Bob Stoops will have his hands full this bowl season as he gets matched up against an Alabama team that was a wacky field goal return away from playing in the SEC title game on their way to the BCS National Championship. The Tide are playing for some pride and will have plenty of motivation against Oklahoma after Stoops had some disparaging remarks about the SEC before the season started. Now, he’ll get his chance to back up his words on the field, getting a strong Alabama team out to prove a point.

While it wasn’t the bowl game they were hoping for, Oklahoma will be very happy to get their bid to a BCS bowl this season. Can Oklahoma prove they were the right choice for the Sugar Bowl and overcome a strong Alabama opponent?

You can follow me on Twitter @Teeblerone, on Facebook and on Google

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BCS Standings: Auburn Tigers Season of Destiny Heads to BCS Title Game





After the Auburn Tigers upset the then-No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, there was plenty of concern that the SEC would not get the opportunity to extend their streak of seven-straight BCS National Championships. With the Florida State Seminoles and Ohio State Buckeyes finishing the regular season with undefeated records, they appeared locked into the national title game in Pasadena this January. But after Auburn took care of business in the SEC Championship and Ohio State fell in the Big Ten Championship, the Tigers will get their shot at a BCS National Championship.

This season, Auburn has earned a “team of destiny” label with the wild way they’ve gotten to be SEC champions this season. There were the back-to-back miracle finishes in Jordan-Hare Stadium against the Georgia Bulldogs and Alabama in the Iron Bowl before their record-setting performance in the SEC title game against the Missouri Tigers to finish the season 12-1. But that wasn’t going to likely be enough to get them into the BCS National Championship as they watched and waited to see if there would be an upset in the ACC or Big Ten title game.

That was where the Michigan State Spartans did their part to keep the “destiny” tag attached to the 2013 Auburn season. By upsetting Ohio State, ending their 24-game winning streak to start Urban Meyer‘s tenure in Columbus, the Spartans opened the door for Auburn to move up to No. 2 in the final BCS Standings and punch their ticket to Pasadena.

Getting to No. 2 allows Auburn the chance to keep the SEC streak alive while keeping the BCS National Championship in the state of Alabama for the fifth straight season and capture the second BCS National Championship for Auburn in the last four seasons. After going winless in SEC play in 2012, the turnaround under Gus Malzahn has been nothing short of extraordinary.

But the “Team of Destiny” isn’t done yet. Can they finish the biggest bounce-back season in history and win the BCS National Championship?

You can follow me on Twitter @Teeblerone, on Facebook and on Google

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BCS Standings: Florida State Seminoles Leave No Doubt at No. 1





The Florida State Seminoles handled their business in the ACC title game, dominating the Duke Blue Devils to secure the ACC Championship and finish off a perfect 13-0 record heading into the bowl season. After the Ohio State Buckeyes and Northern Illinois Huskies fell short in their conference title game, FSU stands alone as the only unbeaten team in the country, leaving no doubt as their status as the No. 1 team in the final BCS standings, punching their ticket to the BCS National Championship.

2013 has been a season of complete domination for Florida State. On top of being undefeated, the Noles have beaten teams by an average margin of victory of 43.7 points. The offense has been explosive all season long, ranking No. 2 in the nation in scoring offense at a clip of 53.0 points per game while their defense leads the nation in scoring defense allowing just 10.7 points per game. Quarterback Jameis Winston appears to be a lock to win the Heisman Trophy next week as the second straight freshman quarterback to win the award.

They put that dominance on full display in the ACC title game against an overmatched Duke squad as they jumped out to a quick 17-0 lead at halftime and 38-0 lead after three quarters. They closed the game out by emptying their bench and still coasted to the easy 45-7 win. Now, they turn their attention to Pasadena and the Auburn Tigers who have put together a magical run to the SEC Championship behind a rushing attack that has looked unstoppable. They will be the best team that FSU has had to face since they man-handled the then-No. 3 Clemson Tigers earlier this season.

Florida State’s dominance this season has carried them to a perfect record and the No. 1 spot in the final BCS standings. Now, they’ll hope to carry that dominance over into the BCS National Championship this January and take their shot at ending the reign of the SEC and secure the final national title of the BCS era.

You can follow me on Twitter @Teeblerone, on Facebook and on Google

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BCS Standings: Alabama Crimson Tide Just Miss BCS Title Game at No. 3





The Alabama Crimson Tide were forced to sit at home and watch Championship Week after losing the Iron Bowl in dramatic fashion to the Auburn Tigers. At No. 4 in the BCS standings, they needed quite a bit of help if they hoped to get back into the BCS National Championship to play for their third straight national title and fourth in five years. At the end of the day, however, they weren’t able to move up enough in the final BCS standings before bowl selections are made and are just outside the title game at No. 3.

Nick Saban appeared to have the Tide well on their way to another BCS National Championship. They were firmly entrenched at No. 1 for the entire season before the Iron Bowl where they lost on the last play of the game following a missed field goal. That loss knocked them out of the SEC title game as the Tide sat idle while Auburn went on to win the conference title over the Missouri Tigers. For Alabama to get back into the BCS National Championship, they needed absolute chaos at the top of the BCS standings with both the Florida State Seminoles and Ohio State Buckeyes suffering upsets in their respective conference title games.

The Buckeyes did their part, falling short against the Michigan State Spartans, but FSU dominated in the ACC title game to finish the season 13-0 and firmly entrenched at No. 1 in the BCS standings. That OSU loss opened the door for Auburn and Alabama to slide up one spot in this week’s BCS standings, leaving the Tide one spot short of getting to Pasadena to defend their national title. Alabama will now be in line for a bid to the Allstate Sugar Bowl against the Oklahoma Sooners when the bowl games are announced but the team will not be in the bowl they were expecting for the first time in three seasons.

It isn’t often that an 11-1 season is seen as a disappointment, but when that one loss keeps the two-time defending national champs from a third straight appearance in the BCS National Championship, expect some long faces in Tuscaloosa tonight.

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Florida State vs. Auburn: Finally, A BCS Title Game We Can All Enjoy





Who else was thrilled after Auburn shocked the world with their time-expiring missed field goal return to beat Alabama last weekend? Huh, show of hands?

(If you’re raising your hand right now, I do apologize for how you must feel.)

Anyway … I just didn’t want to see the same team who won the last two and three out of four championships to make it into the BCS National Championship Game again. It’s old, boring, redundant — we get it; you’re really, really good. But it was time for something new, and I, for one, am very excited for the upcoming matchup.

Florida State, for those of you who are unaware, finished 13-0 and beat Duke in their ACC Championship Game. Shocker, I know. They’re led by the hopefully-not-a-rapist — well, not legally anyway — redshirt freshman sensation: Jameis Winston. That in itself makes this a very interesting and exhilarating game. Not only is Winston a Heisman finalist with a tremendous shot to win it and become the second freshman to do so since Johnny Manziel did a year ago, but he also has a shot to be the first freshman to ever win a BCS Title Game as the starting QB. To do both of those things in the same season? That would make him the biggest college football star since Tim Tebow … Or maybe just Manziel. Johnny Football is pretty big.

As for Auburn, they took down Missouri in their “Tigers (East) vs. Tigers (West)” matchup — and I’m still not sure which one is which, but you get the point — to be crowned SEC champs. It was a great game, finishing 59-42, with a ton of points scored.

And although Auburn has one loss, they still certainly deserve this and have proven to be the Cinderella of college football this year.

Since losing Cam Newton to the NFL, they’ve been relatively irrelevant. They were the team who got in the way of Alabama’s first potential back-to-back championship run in 2010-11, and considering their historic rivalry, it’s only fitting that they took the Crimson Tide out of it once more. And again, in such dramatic fashion. Because of everything that’s gone down, they’ll certainly be bumped up to No. 2 in the polls with FSU remaining at No. 1.

This year, we finally have what appears to be a great contest, and one that much of the country can be pumped for and realistically expect a close game. Something we didn’t get when Bama took on Notre Dame, or when Bama took on LSU, or when Bama took on Texas. In fact, the last close title game we saw was Auburn-Oregon, and that was a heart-pounding 22-19 game.

Obviously, this Tigers team is much different than before, and the Seminoles aren’t quite the Ducks, but this is a game of two teams who boast dominant offenses — one through the air and one on the ground — and solid defenses. On paper, they stack up pretty well.

And really, it’s just the fact that these two teams aren’t so polarizing where everybody loves or hates them (unless you despise Winston thinking he got preferential treatment, I guess). Instead, they’re two amazing stories with a lot of guys you want to root for and see succeed.

The New Year will bring great change. And at the very least, in the last BCS Bowl season before the four-team playoff system is implemented in the NCAA, we’ll have the luxury of such a good matchup with two teams who undoubtedly earned the right to be there. Isn’t that weird? Right when they’re about to change it, it seems like it actually works.

Tigers vs. ‘Noles — can’t wait.

Brian Neal is a contributor for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianneal23, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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