Power Dozen: FSU Reigns; BCS Upsets Shape Final Ranking
There's no controversy: In the last season of the BCS, Florida State is the nation's best team.
The Seminoles top our final Power Dozen of the 2013 season with ease after beating No. 2 Auburn on Monday.
There are a couple of clear risers and fallers after BCS performances. Michigan State (No. 3) surged late, dispelling doubters by clearing out Ohio State (Big Ten championship) and Stanford (Rose Bowl).
South Carolina snuck all the way up to No. 4, the SEC's second-highest ranking, despite finishing second in the weaker SEC East as the Gamecocks say goodbye to quarterback Connor Shaw, one of the most underrated performers in college football this season, and defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, one of the most overrated ones.
Oklahoma, which edged into the Power Dozen thanks to what looked like a big upset against rival Oklahoma State to end the season, then took down mighty Alabama in the Sugar Bowl to finish in the top half of our rankings to the surprise of many.
UCF also managed to convince voters of their legitimacy with a win against Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl, finally entering our Power Dozen at No. 9. Road wins against Louisville and Penn State and a close loss to South Carolina hadn't been able to do the trick.
On its way to the grave, the BCS managed to sabotage Alabama (fell four spots), Stanford (six spots), Ohio State (six spots) and Baylor (six spots) for losing as favorites.
Interestingly, by edging Oregon for the ninth spot, the Knights assured the newly-formed American Athletic Conference had a team ranked higher than the best Pac-12 squad. Louisville, which showed up on our radar and was the second-rated AAC program, also finished ahead of Pac-12 No. 3 UCLA in our Power Dozen.
The SEC claimed four of the top seven teams, while no other conference placed three in the Power Dozen.
Less Than Max Score Of 225: Baylor (205), Louisville (207), LSU (215), UCLA (223).
Dropped Out: Baylor.
Power Dozen Scuttlebutt
|1||Florida State||Will Winston play baseball? Make Manziel-like tour? Improve?|
|2||Auburn||Was '13 lucky, or will Malzahn and Marshall make run at CFP?|
|3||Michigan State||Can Spartans retain DC Pat Narduzzi for Big Ten title defense?|
|4||South Carolina||Gamecocks finally should fall back some after major talent drain.|
|5||Missouri||Franklin, Josey leave team in hands of star freshman QB Maty Mauk.|
|6||Oklahoma||Trevor Knight's Sugar Bowl: One-hit wonder or harbinger?|
|7||Alabama||Last time Tide was here it won back-to-back national titles. Who's QB?|
|8||Clemson||Tigers will miss Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins.|
|9||UCF||Ditto for Knights (Blake Bortles, Storm Johnson), but AAC is theirs.|
|10||Oregon||Not what Ducks envisioned, but get another shot with Marcus Mariota.|
|11||Stanford||Theme of three losses? Played good defenses: Utah, USC, Mich. St.|
|12||Ohio State||A long way to fall after coming so close to national championship game.|
Not much variance at the top. One voter slotted Michigan State ahead of Auburn at No. 2. Clemson received a stray No. 4 vote and one vote at No. 9, otherwise landing between six and eight. Stanford represented the most divisive school as three voters left the Cardinal out of their Power Dozen entirely and another ranked the team No. 6 ahead of Oklahoma and Clemson.
Voters: Christopher Smith, David Seigerman, Joe Coughlin, Joe Jenkins, Dan Harralson, Chris Wuensch, Ken Pomponio, Matt Natali, Jon Coffey, Veair Green, Chris Stephens, Henry McKenna, Eric Russell.