Monday, December 03, 2012

2012 Gus Rankings: Week 14

Here are the final Gus Rankings of the year.  (Army plays Navy next week but that should have no bearing on either end of the rankings.)  Notre Dame maintains a stranglehold on the top spot.  Stanford, Florida, Ohio State and Alabama round out the top 5.  Notre Dame claims the Gus National Title easily with a win over Alabama in the National Championship Game, though also has a fair chance to claim the GNT even with a loss to Alabama depending on how the remaining bowl games shake out.  A Florida win over Louisville presents the strongest threat to Notre Dame's top spot.  We shall see how it all shakes out!

On the other end of the spectrum, New Mexico State claims their own national title-- Gus' Worst Team in America.  New Mexico State edged out Southern Mississippi over the last weekend; perennial favorites Akron and Massachusetts finished just behind the Aggies.

As these are the final Gus Rankings, Gus would have the BCS as follows:

National Championship Game: Notre Dame (At-large) vs. Stanford (Pac-12 champions)
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin (Big 10 champion) vs. Florida (At-large)
Fiesta Bowl: Kansas State (Big 12 champion) vs. Oregon (At-large)
Sugar Bowl: Alabama (SEC champion) vs. San Jose State (At-large)
Orange Bowl: Florida State (ACC champion) vs. Louisville (Big East champion)

The National Title Game features the top two teams, Notre Dame and Stanford (technically, Stanford and Florida are tied-- if you put Florida in the title game, simply swap Florida for Stanford).  As Stanford is the Pac-12 winner, the Rose Bowl gets first choice in replacing them and the highest remaining team is Florida.  They would face Wisconsin, automatic qualifiers from the Big 10.

The Fiesta Bowl gets the next choice of teams.  Kansas State, champions of the Big 12, automatically qualify.  The next highest remaining eligible team is Oregon at #6.  Alabama automatically makes the Sugar Bowl as SEC champions; the Sugar Bowl is left to choose between two other automatic qualifiers-- Louisville as Big East champions, and...San Jose State!  (Gus overlooked the Spartans last week on the incorrect assumption that a non-BCS-conference automatic qualifier needed to be a conference champion.  No such requirement exists.)  Everyone knows Northern Illinois' story by now, and they do finish at #16 in the final Gus Rankings...but San Jose State outpaces them at #14, and both teams are well ahead of Big 10 champion Wisconsin (#37) and Big East champion Louisville (#29).  SJSU, as the highest remaining eligible team, heads to the Sugar Bowl.  That leaves the Orange Bowl with Florida State (ACC champions) and Louisville.

Next week, we'll update the rankings to capture Army/Navy and pick the winners of every bowl game.

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