The BCS rankings are almost an endangered species. After the rankings on Dec. 1, there are only two more to go in the history of the BCS. Yet it may save the most debatable standings for last, if things break a certain way on Dec. 7.
For now, there is only a mild debate on the order of the standings, as the Florida State Seminoles are the undisputed No. 1 -- on the field, anyway. The Ohio State Buckeyes are the new No. 2, despite being a two-point conversion away from losing to the now five-loss Michigan Wolverines on Nov. 30. Meanwhile, the Auburn Tigers are only No. 3, despite their miracle win over the then No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide.
If Auburn beats Missouri’s Tigers on Dec. 7 for the SEC championship and still stays No. 3, then the real debate and arguing will begin. The BCS era was probably destined to end with a grand debate -- in this case, whether an unbeaten Ohio State team from a weak Big 10 is more deserving than a one-loss SEC champion.
But if Missouri wins the SEC instead of Auburn, the controversy probably won’t be as big. That, as well as an Ohio State loss to the Michigan State Spartans in the Big 10 title game, is all that can save the final BCS rankings now.
Florida State could also lose to the Duke Blue Devils in the ACC title game -- which would spare the risk of the Seminoles reaching the national championship before losing Jameis Winston to rape charges. If that happens and the Buckeyes reach the title game over Auburn, then a Buckeyes-Seminoles pairing would be among the most unappetizing of all time.
The end of the BCS era is inches from being as controversial and unsatisfying as ever before. As such, the next-to-last regular season BCS rankings are the calm before the storm. The accompanying slideshow lists the top 10, although the top 3 are all that anyone will talk about.