The BCS standings in a Nutshell

The BCS standings finally have come out. The weeks and days leading up to the release of the initial poll, every talking head had virtually the same question; where will the computer put Boise St.? I guess we found out on Sunday evening that the computer slotted Boise St. at number three; behind Oregon and Oklahoma. The interesting thing to me is this, the computer takes various formulas which include your record, the record of your opponents and the record of your opponents, opponents, mix in scores and other secret ingredients and you get the poll. However, it almost seemed as if the computer had a human element. The BCS knew that Boise St would get passed down the stretch, and knew that there would be an uproar at some point when you had let’s say Oklahoma passing Boise St. or TCU down the stretch for the number one or two spot, for instance while Oklahoma is playing Oklahoma St. , TCU is playing New Mexico, Boise St plays Nevada. It would be difficult to explain to the public that after a win, a team drops in the polls. So the computer slotted Boise St. not one or two, but three.

Oklahoma was a team that has not even been mentioned as a BCS title contender, in fact even after beating a Texas team that was destroyed at home by UCLA, the Sooners were still not on the BCS championship radar. This is the same Oklahoma team that needed a little luck against both Air Force and Utah St.(not to be confused in any way with Utah) to pull out victories. Heck, Oklahoma’s best win this year was over the ACC version of Oklahoma (an underachieving program with a storied history), Florida St. As it is Oklahoma plays in a mediocre conference, in fact the interesting thing is that this weekend’s game versus Missouri is being billed as a showdown. This is the same Missouri team that needed a phantom call with less than a minute remaining to beat San Diego St. at home. Yes SDSU is having a great year by SDSU standards, but to be pushed by SDSU says a few things but it says loudly that your team is not that good, sorry Aztec fan. The bottom line in this BCS mess is simple the BCS has proven that when all things are equal the program from the AQ conference will get the benefit of the doubt, and though it seems the BCS has no idea what is going on they know that they need to protect the interests of the AQ programs.

#1 Oklahoma
You barely beat Utah St. (2-4) and Air Force at home and you get the nod?

Best win- Florida St.

Potential stumbling blocks – Nebraska (possible) the Big XII championship game, Oklahoma St.
Biggest fans of: Florida St and Nebraska. Oklahoma needs Nebraska to be a one loss team in the Big 12 title game if it needs the points to ensure a top 2 finish. It needs FSU to run the table in the ACC to at least make the win over an ACC program much more than a cosmetic win. Truth is the Big 12 is not a good conference at present Missouri is an average team and Nebraska as we saw this weekend is limited. Oklahoma St. is also an average team and though they are undefeated will be a two loss team when they face the Sooners.

#2 Oregon
Should be the Number 1 team, but suffers from the perception of the PAC-10 that the media holds. However, the reality is that Oregon has not played anyone of note in the non-conference.

Best Win- Stanford, let’s put this win into perspective. Stanford has not beaten anyone good, and it seems when a team beats Notre Dame (which happens a lot), that team is seen as a top 20 team at least. Problem is Notre Dame though it has then name, is not good. So I ask how good is Stanford really?

Biggest fan of; Arizona and Stanford. Arizona is a Pac-10 program currently ranked in the top 20, since the conference does not have a championship game which is seen nationally, Oregon needs to take every opportunity to beat a quality program on television, and the opponent needs to have a gaudy record. Arizona could lose some games before its date with the Ducks, as starting QB Nick Foles is hobbled with a dislocated kneecap. OUCH!!!!! The issue is, with Foles, Arizona is good enough to keep up with Oregon, but Arizona will probably have lost at least another game by the time they meet Oregon and the Cats could be out of the top 25 by then. We all know losing to a team outside of the top 25 is devastating (unless you lose an SEC game and your QB makes a tearful pledge) much less a team that is lightly regarded because of its record. In addition to Arizona, if Stanford can run the table in the PAC-10 it makes the win over Stanford impressive.

Potential Stumbling blocks; Arizona. Oregon was in a similar situation when a Dennis Dixon led Duck team strolled into Tucson on a Thursday night, and Oregon saw Dixon’s Heisman campaign end along with their chance to play in the national championship game end on that Thursday night in the Old Pueblo. This time the game as at Autzen, but the game could be a problem for Oregon especially if Foles returns and Arizona has lost games between now and then.

#3 Boise St
Should be in the top five but honestly, I don’t believe they are the number one team in the country, by the week their schedule looks weaker and weaker.

Best win- Okay so the best win is their last one and Wyoming. Hear me out on this one, Boise St is going to be compared to TCU and Utah. TCU, Utah and Boise St have a common opponent in Wyoming, so whether it is right or wrong that common opponent angle will get some mention. Additionally Boise St. has to destroy every team the rest of the way, especially with there being no other legitimate top 25 teams left, (after Nevada decided to spend Saturday night on the beach and have Honolulu St. Louis High dress up in their uniforms, and lose a golden opportunity to gain national recognition). As far as their latest win angle being their best win; truth is the only way the Broncos stay in the voters and the computers consciousness is to pummel the teams on their schedule, it is not enough to wax opponents 44-0 they have to hang scores that are eligible for Social security (65 and up).

Biggest fan of Hawaii. Hawaii is the new flavor of the month in the WAC, the hope for Boise St. is that they can pound Hawaii, and the Rainbows can finish the season with three losses

Potential Stumbling Blocks- Are you kidding? Does anybody really think that the Broncos are going to lose to anyone in the WAC? Even if Nevada came in 11-0 we knew that Boise St would treat Nevada like every other WAC program.

#4 Auburn
Auburn has a Heisman trophy candidate, high powered offense and a resurrection story to boot. It is really a nice story, but does that mean that Auburn would go to the championship game if it loses a game from here forward. The old saying is, “it is better to lose early than to lose late.” Auburn now has the pressure of being the hunted, so will this team wilt under that pressure?

Biggest win; South Carolina. The team that knocked off Alabama was actually ahead of Auburn at Auburn! South Carolina fans must be throwing up in their collective mouths knowing that they had Auburn beaten and the old ball coach who must have some grudge against Steven Garcia, as he pulled the ‘Cocks signal caller for a freshman who committed the same offense Garcia was pulled for; turning the ball over.

Biggest fan of themselves. Auburn controls its own destiny. The SEC is perceived by many as the toughest conference so if Auburn navigates its schedule unscathed, then they are in the championship game. Heck, they could lose one game and still be a candidate as long as they make the SEC championship game, but I would not advise they lose any games at this juncture.

Potential stumbling block LSU. This is a big game, it may be an elimination game in the SEC west, and for the national championship game. Auburn loses this game they are done, win, this game then they survive another week, with a rivalry showdown with Alabama looming on the horizon.

#5 TCU
is lurking at five, the Frogs need four programs to lose in front of them because their schedule strength is not going to be seen as great.

Best win- Baylor. On a schedule with SMU, Oregon St, and BYU thus far the Frogs schedule comes down to two games; Utah and Air Force. Utah is a legitimate top 10 team Air Force is not a top 25 program presently but may appear in the top 25 the week of the TCU game.

Biggest fan of Utah- TCU’s resume does not have a marquee win, if Baylor is your best win that says your schedule is not very strong. The OSU win is not a good one considering OSU will probably drop to the second division of the PAC-10 by year’s end. Utah could be firmly in the top seven, which could give the Frogs points should they beat Utah.

Stumbling Block; Air Force. A loss to Air Force, which is more than capable of beating TCU will doom any hope the Frogs have at going to the championship game much less a BCS bowl game.

#6 LSU-
The luckiest team in FBS somehow keeps winning. LSU will run out of luck sometime soon but who knows; this is a team that has 18 showing at the Black jack table and continues to hit, but amazingly has yet to bust.

Best Win- Florida. You wish they would have done this last year so you could hear a tearful, pledge by #15 again.

Biggest fan of themselves. LSU controls its own destiny. The SEC is perceived by many as the toughest conference so if LSU navigates its schedule unscathed then they are in the championship game. Heck, they could lose one game and still be a candidate as long as they make the SEC championship game.

Stumbling block- If you believe the SEC hype machine, every game in the conference is a potential stumbling block, but the biggest stumbling block could be some columnist who refuses to drink the SEC brand of Kool Aid and makes the statement that “the SEC might be down this year”, which may resonate with some when they look at the Non conference exploits or lack of any good wins outside of the conference for the majority of the conference. Yes, ACC fan the SEC made their name this year by beating ACC programs, but I am not sold on your conference which is a step above the Big East.

#7 Michigan St.
The Big 10 is so overrated, Michigan State needed a trick play at home to beat an average Notre Dame team and parlayed that and victories over other overrated little 10 teams to have a #7 ranking. There are programs in the next 10 spots that could beat MSU badly.

Best win Notre Dame. Are you kidding me, when you look at the Spartans schedule there not a lot of football powerhouses.

Biggest Fan of Michigan. The Big-10 has its own cheering section in the media so no matter how bad the conference is, it is seen as one of the top two conferences. It must kill MSU fans that they actually should root for Michigan to be the second best program in the Big-10 and clean up what the Spartans cannot.

Stumbling Block- pick a Big 10 team. When I say the league is balanced I do not mean that in a positive way. The best win for any conference program is wait for it…… against Miami at home (Ohio St). In case you were wondering Miami is not very good this year. The next best win is Wisconsin over a second division PAC-10 team (Arizona St.). I am waiting for someone nationally to throw out the question; why do we consider the Big-10 a good conference? Because its members can beat Notre Dame?

#8 Alabama
You are in a great position, you have all of the real contenders in front of you and you can make up ground by beating those teams. You need to not lose a game the rest of the way however.

Best Win Florida. Florida will probably win more games during the year.

Biggest fan of themselves. The Tide controls its own destiny , it has both teams in front of them in the BCS standing s on their schedule.

Stumbling block: very simple. Alabama cannot lose another game. The loss could come in the form of their rivalry game with Auburn which would be tragic as red clad fan will need to be talked off of ledges if the Tigers beat ‘Bama.

#9 Utah
has a few big games remaining, Utah, Air Force and TCU will be playing a round robin. Yes Air Force is out of the BCS conversation and is almost out of the conference crown conversation but those are the three best teams in the Mountain West Conference.

Biggest fan of TCU. The Utes need TCU to be undefeated, that game will be a showdown between two unbeatens and the Utes have the Frogs at home. A win propels Utah into the top seven and a BCS bowl bid at least. Utah also has a game with Notre Dame and we know how much weight a victory over Notre Dame carries, of course that may only work in the case of Big 10 programs.

Stumbling Block TCU and Notre Dame. Utah needs to win both games for any hope of being a BCS bowl game contender.

# 10 Ohio St
Your best win in the non conference was over a mediocre Miami team at home. Yes I know everyone believes the Big-10 is such a great conference, but truth is the Big-10 is not great, and Wisconsin a team that nearly lost at home to an average Arizona St. team tells you where the Big-10 is.

Best win- Miami. How far have the Canes fallen. Maybe they can get Mike Leach.

Biggest fan of- every Big 10 team, the hope is that each team knocks off each other so they can pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and proclaim; “see how tough our conference is, we beat each other up.”

Stumbling block- Voter and computer intelligence that may actually call “bovine pucky” on the notion that the Big 10 is a great conference.