It's Now a Three-Team Race for the BCS Championship

By Kyle Rowland on November 24, 2013 at 8:33p
Eyes on the prize, gents.
1 Alabama .988
2 Florida State .970
3 Ohio State .920
4 Auburn .824
5 Missouri .808
6 Clemson .773
7 Oklahoma State .762
8 Stanford .667
9 Baylor .646
10 South Carolina .610

And then there were three.

Week by week, Ohio State’s path to the BCS National Championship Game becomes more clear. On Saturday, the latest peg fell, as Oklahoma State trounced Baylor 49-17. The Bears were just miniscule hundredths of a point behind the Buckeyes in last week’s BCS standings and would have passed Ohio State with a win.

Now, the Buckeyes need only worry about beating Michigan and Michigan State, then turning their attention to No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida State. Auburn and Missouri round out the top five in the latest BCS standings, but both Tigers are well behind Ohio State’s .920 BCS rating.

The current standings reflect a far-fetched path to the national title game for any one-loss team, including the SEC champion, if two of the top three remain unbeaten. CBS Sports BCS guru Jerry Palm says there is not a scenario where a one-loss team passes the Buckeyes.

“There's no "what if?,” he wrote on Sunday. “There's no situation. There’s no margin. There’s nothing that will cause Ohio State to get jumped if it keeps winning.”

Ohio State picked up 23 voters on Florida State in the Coaches Poll and 38 votes in the Harris Poll. Both set of rankings have an identical top five: Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Clemson and Auburn.

Helping the Buckeyes is a sudden surge in its strength of schedule. Michigan State is 10-1 and ranked 11th in the latest BCS rankings, while two-loss Wisconsin is up to 16th. Non-conference opponents Buffalo and San Diego State are 8-3 and 7-4, respectively. 

In a surprise, Northern Illinois leaped ahead of Fresno State and is now in position to crash the BCS party for a second consecutive season. The Huskies are 14th with the Bulldogs two spots behind. The lowest-rated potential conference champion from a BCS league is AAC front-runner Central Florida at 19.

Full BCS week 14 rankings

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Brutus's picture

Just beat scUM. Worry about the rest later.

Davep160's picture

I agree completely, talking about the championship game means nothing without taking care of business.   I don't even care about MSU right now.  It is ALL TTUN

Knarcisi's picture

We shaved 0.29 off the gap between us and FSU. Now at 0.50. I'm telling you, they have been impressive, but we will have the last chance to impress at they will play a Florida team hat lost to and FCS school and Duke!  Should we bear Sparty, I would challenge any and all to 2 wins vs MSU and Wisconsin. 

WildBear Buckeye's picture

The only way I can see OSU passing FSU without an FSU loss is if FSU barely scrapes by Florida (multiple OT or something like that) and is pedestrian in the ACCCG while OSU blows the doors off both UM and MSU. Specifically, I think OSU needs to hold Michigan to 10 or fewer points and score bunch on MSU (30+ would be bare minimum, really 40+ necessary to make a statement) while holding them below 17 or so as well. In other words nothing new as far as requirements go: demonstrate that the defense is now legit and that the offense can score large against good defenses as well as against the likes of Penn State/Purdue/Illinois/Indiana.

cinserious's picture

Unless we get Zach Boren back at middle linebacker, I find it hard to believe we demonstrate a 'legit' D.
Sure, UM's and MSU's offenses aren't world beaters but they should have more talent than the likes of Illlllinois and Indiana (who combined put up 49 more points than they should have on a 'legit' defense). Point is We need #1 or #2 to loose!

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

shaggybuckeye's picture

Indiana actually has a pretty high powered passing offense, it's their atrocious defense that is the main reason they keep dropping game after game. 
If I recall both Indiana and Illinois have top passing offense ranked in the top 20's. While I agree that giving up 35 to Illinois was a bit embarrassing, giving up 14 to Indiana is decent.  Only Wisconsin has managed to hold them to less than that and that was during one of the biggest wind storms to hit the Midwest this year thus negating most of the Hoosiers offense. I mean even Michigan State, the top ranked Defense in the nation gave up 28.
That being said you are likely correct in that we still get left out unless #1 or #2 loses.

AngryWoody's picture

On top of the gains made in the human polls, check out the difference from last week to this week in the computers:

  Average A&H RB CM KM JS PW %
Week 13 5 4 3 4 6 5 7 .850
Week 14 3 3 3 3 3 4 3 .920

EDIT: Well this was supposed to be a nice organized table but for some reason it isn't formatting right. It's a little harder to read like this, but you get the point.

Our Honor Defend!

Knarcisi's picture

Helps with both when bullshit Baylor is no longer stealing our 3rd place votes. Also, Wisconsin keeps winning, and Iowa is not a bad football team. We get another boost when we play Sparty in 2 weeks. 

Jason Priestas's picture

Holy hell. We've been on this platform for years and the table button hasn't worked for comments this entire time? It's fixed now. Sorry about that.

AngryWoody's picture

Thanks Jason. It's worked in the past, but it wasn't today for some reason.

Our Honor Defend!

WildBear Buckeye's picture

Sadly, I don't think this has anything to do with OSU's performance. Baylor and Oregon both lost big and TAMU also lost big, dragging down Auburn's SOS. Kind of amazed how much of a hit Auburn took, actually.

Youngbuck85's picture

Going out on a limb. We will play in the championship. Lets enjoy the ride

Knarcisi's picture

I think its gonna happen. 

zenshade's picture

Money talks, and causes weird things to happen behind the scenes.  Alabama/Ohio State is a helluva lot more attractive than Alabama/Florida State.  I have a feeling if there's any case at all, Jameis Winston will be arrested next week, and fair or not, pollsters WILL hold that against them.
All we have to do is keep winning.  I'd put odds of being in the championship game at about 70% right now. 

Knarcisi's picture

I've also made the money and attractiveness of the matchup argument for some time. Got 2 more to go. Then 6 weeks to sure up our D, and clean up the turnovers (didn't care for the 3 yesterday). Damn, I hope we are ready for this. 

Maffro's picture

The computers absolutely LOVE NIU and hate Fresno (averages of .730 and .330, respectively) -- that's enough to give NIU nearly a .500 lead on Fresno despite being ranked 6/7 spots lower in the human polls.

johnblairgobucks's picture

Fresno has played 1 fewer game than NIU, due to a postponed Sept. game @ Colorado, when there were flooding rains.  So maybe NIU having played 11 games helps them out considerably compared to Fresno's 10.
OOC Fresno: Rutgers, Cal Poly, Colorado (postponed) and Idaho, who they beat  61-14
OOC NIU: Iowa, E. Illinois, Purdue and Idaho, who they beat 45-35
Side Note**** Idaho has played Fresno State, Northern Illinois and Florida State

blueblazer22's picture

As an alum of Northern Illinois, I am glad to see that people somewhere other than Chicago are paying some attention to the rest of the BCS. Can NIU hang with OSU? Not likely. Can the Huskies play in this particular B1G? I don't see why not. 
i like the schedule comparison between Fresno and NIU. Both teams played Idaho, but NIU struggled some on the road while Fresno did not. However, the rest of the non-con stacks up nicely. Iowa is by far the best win by either team. Eastern Illinois is top 5 in the FCS led by an NFL prospect at qb. Cal Poly is 6-6. Rutgers is barely better than Purdue at this point (though kudos to them for beating bielema). 
All in all seems to me that the computers are closer to being correct on NIU than the humans are. I am certain there is bias against the Huskies for the perception of the Orange Bowl outcome last year. While I am not saying NIU should have won, the fact does remain that they were down 17-10 with the ball in FSU territory going into the fourth quarter, so the final score is misleading. 
As someone who attends multiple games each year in both DeKalb, IL and Columbus, OH I hope both the Huskies and Buckeyes get to the BCS bowls that they deserve. Running the table is not easy to do and both should be commended for accomplishing that feat. Would be nice if Jordan Lynch got an invite to NY as well, but that is probably unlikely. 
Go Huskies and Go Bucks

"They say, "these geeks come a dime a dozen.  I'm lookin' for the guy who's supplyin' the dimes." -Classy Freddie Blassie

TilstheHun3's picture

There is a computer, JS that has Northern Illinois #3 and tOSU #4... But seriously, how the hell is this allowed in today's day and age? Anyway, I'm surprised FSU is #1 in the computers due to Ohio State's schedule looking more and more impressive than theirs everyday. I'm hoping South Carolina beats Clemson to make that win for FSU look even less impressive. Also, it would be nice if Duke lost so FSU would play a 3 loss team in the ACC Championship Game. If MS still only has 1 loss when they play tOSU, it would be great if they were in the Top 10. They have 1 loss now, to ND (who is now #25 in BCS) whereas Stanford lost to Utah and USC. South Carolina also has 2 losses, against Georgia and Tennessee. I hope MS passes both.

What is this? A center for ants?!? How can we be expected to teach children to learn how to read if they can't even fit inside the building?

huber57's picture

The BCS makes him tweak his formula. In the 'real' JS rankings, OSU is #6 and Northern Illinois is #23.
More here:

Why does Dublin have so many round-abouts? Because everyone in Dublin thinks they have the right-of-way.

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

Sagarin's non-BCS (Pure_ELO) ratings:
#8 Ohio State
#47 Northern Illinois
#5 Ohio State
#25 Northern Illinois
#6 Ohio State
#37 Illinois
Is it possible you were looking at last week's numbers?

RedStorm45's picture

And in his "real rankings" he has Wisconsin ahead of Ohio State.

Knarcisi's picture

By the way, pretty reasonable discussion on the selection show about the question of Auburn running the table and passing us. Pollack actually shocked me. 

AngryWoody's picture

I heard that....but did you hear Palmer? I think he's a minority opinion so we don't have to worry about it, but still bugs me.

Our Honor Defend!

Knarcisi's picture

Didn't bother me. He said he didn't think it would happen, but if Auburn beat 2 top 5s to finish the season, would probably change his mind. I think Herbie summed it up fairly, and Pollack shocked me.  Damn, all this winning we keep doing might actually be winning some people over. 

AngryWoody's picture

Damn, all this winning we keep doing might actually be winning some people over.

You might be right. Look what FOX Sports just posted:
Week 13: The moment Ohio State said hello to the BCS title race

Our Honor Defend!

Maffro's picture

That article won me over solely because it included Hamill's Joker laugh.

buckeyes763's picture

Ohio State said hello to the BCS title race the minute that bull shit bowl ban was over and they ran the table on the season, not when the media finally decided to recognize the greatness for what it is.

acapell99's picture

Joker laugh FTW

Roll Hyde

hit_the_couch's picture

It's nice to see tOSU gaining ground again. It would be good if they'd show Wisky some love.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

Seattle Linga's picture

He has been so different than what he was saying earlier in the year. I think it may have started with the Stanford comment the night Oregon to them.

KLF Buckeye's picture

The man with the tight suits will now be referred to as Jesse Face-Palmer. 

ogama843's picture

Nah, Jesse Palmer is just not doing Jesse Palmer commentary.

Holy Buckeye!

CptBuckeye24's picture

The computers showed us some love.  Nice to see.  Hard to expect anything over a 3 these days. 

TheHostileDwarf's picture

Wonder what the rankings would look like now if Wisconsin had won against Arizona State...

unknownmusketeer's picture

In the Colley matrix (one of the computers), Wisconsin beating Arizona State puts us ahead of Alabama.

btalbert25's picture

So what happens if the computers flip Bama and FSU?  Would that give enough of a bump to help the Buckeyes, if we keep picking up ground with the voters? 

Chilimac419's picture

Go bucks 23-0   Wow , it's amazing how all the "experts" make excuses why teams that they think is good , when they lose  and in the same breath down talk a 23-0 record and and never actually look at the saragin SOS   Buckeyes vs bama for the last crystal 

gobucks5413's picture

It'd be nice for s. Carolina to beat Clemson correct? Knock out some sos points for FSU and put MSU in the top 10?

Deadly Nuts's picture

Our lead on Auburn is about .1 which means it is highly unlikely they jump us if they beat Bama.


Deadly Nuts's picture

We would have to root our asses off for Mizzou in the SEC title game, though.


NoVA Buckeye's picture

That's suggesting they play Mizzou. They still have to get by Johnny Foosball

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

BAR43's picture

Just saw an article on espin/bullshitwithoutbrains... "Who is more deserving of the championship OSU or Auburn?". Are they serious. I cannot freaking stand espin or the ranking system, it is such complete bullshit. I dont maintain that I like Clemson or think they are very good but they have a loss to the #2 ranked team in the nation. Auburn has loss to generous 17th ranked LSU, and Mizz to a 10th ranked 2 loss SC team. How in the hell do they feel they should have jumped Clemson?!? I freaking HATE espin and all the absolute bullshit they spew and even more so the ignorant asshole voters that blow the sec. Sorry had to get it out...

southbuc's picture

Clemson got destroyed and hopefully will again to USC 

NoVA Buckeye's picture


The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

Michael's picture

Auburn and Mizzou's only wins against ranked opponents are both against Texas A&M (now #21).
Mizzou actually has a common opponent with Ohio State, as they both played Indiana. Mizzou won 45-28, Ohio State won 42-14.
I'm all for SOS, but it should only help when you win games. A bunch of "quality losses" doesn't really do anything for me.

The Buck Guy's picture

See, there you go, thinking like a non-SEC fan.
Oh, I guess I really didn't need to reemphasize that you are a "non-SEC fan" after already stating that you are "thinking". Too many labels.
Anyway, "quality losses" matter to the SEC and their corporate media mouthpieces. I mean, you can't expect teams to make it through the meatgrinder that is the SEC unscathed. If a team was to actually accomplish that, then there would be no need to even have a BCS title game.
Conversely, losses by Wisconsin and Michigan State show how weak the top of the B1G really is. And the ease with which the Buckeyes have dispatched B1G teams only emphasizes how weak their conference is compared with the SEC. I mean, that 30-6 win by Alabama over an outstanding Mississippi State team is much more meaningful. And the head-to-head comparison of Mizzou and tOSU against the Hoosiers means nothing since Mizzou spanked them prior to being forged into greatness in an SEC crucible of greatness! Learn to go along to get along, will ya?  Sheesh

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

jkrk's picture

Comparing common opponents is absolutely worthless when it makes us look good.

gobucks5413's picture

Need Florida to keep it close and make it an ugly game Saturday. If we blow out TSUN and FSU wins an ugly game against a team that just lost to an FCS team, maybe some votes get switched. Their are still turds out there but no doubt the narrative is changing

Diary of John Frank's picture

The Gators' season is in a death spiral, I wouldn't hope for too much.

Optimism is cowardice

Ralph Waldo Enarson's picture

Flavor of the week teams come and go.
"Unstoppable" offenses sputter down the stretch.

GeorgiaBuckeye2114's picture

Folks we just need to keep winning. We cannot overlook this Michigan State, or even scUM for that matter.

Seattle Linga's picture

Agreed my friend - I think a lot of what you say is what UFM will just focus on this week. Trust me they will be ready to go on noon Saturday.

btalbert25's picture

I agree, for the players, but since we are discussing stuff on a blog it likely has absolutely no impact on the games ahead. 

GOOMBAY's picture

Winning three games: OSU can control. 
Everything else: OSU cannot. 
Any questions? Stay focused; get on it.

Blackbeards Delight's picture

How the hell did MSU not crack the top 10? One of South Carolinas losses is to Tennessee? Tennessee! The other was a loss to Georgia. Also not in the top 25, finally. And Stanford? I guess if they don't play "Stanford football" the rest of the season they can stay in the top 10 too. 

"Pappy Van Winkle's Family Reserve 23yr, it's what's for breakfast"

- Me


Diary of John Frank's picture

Particularly when Sparty's only loss has resurfaced at the bottom of the rankings.  Wake the echoes, the domers are #25.

Optimism is cowardice

NoVA Buckeye's picture

The offseason begins when your season ends. Even then there are no days off.

cinserious's picture

One of South Carolinas losses is to Tennessee? Tennessee! The other was a loss to Georgia.

According to one piece of s--- ESPN radio announcer after Auburn beat Tennessee, " The Volunteers are having a down year but they still SEC caliber athletes on defense!"
Remember, this was well after Oregon de-pantsed Tennessee's 'vaunted' SEC defense and Oregon lost to Stanford. As OSU fans and residents of Big-10 country, we can smell this kind of bullshit a mile away.

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

The Buck Guy's picture

Reece: So Jesse, who do you think has the most compelling argument to compete for a national championship, Ohio State or Auburn?
Jesse: Without a doubt, it has to be Auburn. Just look at their resume. No question.
Reece: Really Jesse? Do you really believe that? Afterall, some might say that you're just bitter about Urban Meyer leaving your Gaytards to go coach for The Ohio State University. Especially just a day following the historic butt whooping your Gaytards suffered at the hands of the FCS Georgia Southern Eagles.
Jesse: I'm not bitter at all! Meyer ruined the Gaytards, I mean Gators!!! His terrible recruiting left the cupboard bare. Anyways, Georgia Southern is a great Southern Conference football program. They play against and win as many games against the same schools as any other SEC team. They beat Chat just like Bama did, and Appy State just like Georgia, and...
Reece: Jesse, calm down, take a breath and let's get back on topic shall we? So, what exactly is on Auburn's resume that you feel would trump the Buckeyes 23-0 win streak and a win against #13 Wisconsin?
Jesse: SEC! SEC! SEC!
Reece: Security! Can we get security in here please? Jesse has lost his mind again. Didn't the Directors promise us that he would stay on his meds this time around?

~ The Buck Guy
Go Bucks!!!!

cinserious's picture

All I want for Christmas is photoshop so I can punch Jesse Palmer's lights out using this:

One day I will valiantly become a political prisoner of 11W jail.

FROMTHE18's picture

For right now, just beat Michigan.

seafus26's picture

Beat scUM. Not pulling a Cooper and thinking passed that. 

Go Bucks and michigan STILL SUCKS!

fairvis's picture

If you play around with the Colley Matrix, if both us and Alabama win out, we'll take over the #2 spot in a few computer rankings... Could get interesting at that point.

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

Fuck Michigan and Flounder Hoke is still fat!!!
GOD I love The Game week!!! 

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced