Championship Week 14 to Answer All BCS Questions

Each week we like to say something to effect that the BCS picture is clearing up and we’re getting a better understanding of the BCS picture.

It’s a lie.

In reality, with the unpredictable nature of the BCS and college football as a whole, the only time when we’ll ever have a clear picture is after the final game is played.

Luckily (or unluckily depending on how you view it) we will finally get the clarity that we’ve been working towards all season this weekend, as the 2010 regular season comes to an end with Championship Weekend.

Championship games in the Big 12, SEC and ACC along with conference-deciding games in the Big East will make this final weekend an exciting one beginning to end, and nearly every game has an effect on postseason positioning — especially of the BCS variety.

Among the guarantees of this weekend — which are few and far between — are that the winners of the three automatic qualifying conference championship games will be headed to BCS Bowls. And in all likelihood, the winner of the ACC game (Virginia Tech or Florida State) will be going to the Orange Bowl and the winner of the Big 12 game (Nebraska or Oklahoma) will be on their way to the Fiesta Bowl.

But past that, it gets a little more complicated. A win in the SEC Championship Game would obviously give the Auburn Tigers a berth in the BCS National Championship Game, but what if they lose to South Carolina? Where would Auburn end up and how would that shuffle the picture?

Where will TCU end up? The Horned Frogs are done with their season and would be headed to the Rose Bowl if they don’t get to the BCS title game and Oregon does, but what would it take to send the Horned Frogs to Glendale?

Oregon and Auburn stand in their way, and although the Ducks have already clinched a spot in the BCS, they will need to beat instate rival Oregon State on Saturday to secure their spot in the title game. A loss, and who knows, we could actually have the non-AQ team in the title game everyone has been talking about.

The Big East will also be supplying a team to the BCS, however it could easily be any of the three remaining teams in contention for the crown — who will all be in action on Saturday. Connecticut, West Virginia Pittsburgh, remain alive, with the Huskies controlling their fate despite having four losses to their name.

The final weekend of college football always features a bevy of possibilities to be pondered, but this year’s edition raises an exceptionally large number of questions and possibilities.

BCS Know How will be here on Saturday guiding you through the action and then on Sunday as bowl selections and BCS rankings are released.

To get up-to-the-second updates from BCS Know How follow us on Twitter @BCSKnowHow.

We’ll also be setting up a live chat for any questions and selection weekend hub page to help you gather all the information you’ll need in order to fully understand the selection process and BCS system when the time comes for the final announcements.

It’s going to be a great weekend, enjoy.

BlogPoll Week 13: Hold On Tight

So a bunch of teams lost, but it doesn’t riddle this ballot with changes. That’s what happens when all the losses come to ranked teams.

One week left, how sad is that?


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What I’m Thinking:

  • As I said, I’m not so big on punishing ranked teams for losses to other ranked teams, I think my ballots have been that way all season.
  • So the ones who drop are; LSU, Oklahoma State, Iowa and Boise State. Furthest drop is Oklahoma State at five spots, but that’s intensified by Nevada’s jump.
  • Nevada is also the beneficiary of the biggest leap because of an upset victory over a ranked opponent, moving five up.
  • New teams: Utah, for escaping BYU, which verified them beating San Diego State last weekend. Mississippi State for taking an Egg Bowl. Hawaii for being part of a WAC conference that is obviously better than advertised.
  • Dropouts pretty self explanatory: NC State for dropping the chance at a ACC Championship Game berth. Iowa for losing to Minnesota (???). Arizona for losing to No. 1 Oregon, although if the ballot were more than 25 teams, they wouldn’t drop more than a couple spots.
  • My preseason darling Connecticut is lurking here, and a Big East championship would practically force me to give them a spot next weekend, just for amusement’s sake.
  • Conference Breakdown: SEC (6), Big 12 (5), WAC (3), Big Ten (3), Pac-10 (2), ACC (2), MWC (2), MAC (1), Big East (1).

So what do you think? Missing anyone? Giving anyone too much/too little credit? Let me know!

Seventh BCS Rankings of 2010: Auburn New No. 1, Stanford Claims Important Fourth Spot

Changes at the top, changes at the middle, developments in a variety of conference championship races — the dominoes certainly started to fall on rivalry weekend, and with a new set of BCS rankings finally out, we can begin to judge the impact.

The changes start at the very top — Auburn retakes the No. 1 spot on the strength of their victory over Alabama, leaping Oregon by a a scant .0002 points to ascend to No. 1.

Auburn made up a big chunk of ground on Oregon in both the Harris Poll and Coaches’ Poll after their thrilling come-from-behind victory over the Tide, which was instrumental in the somewhat unexpected change.

TCU — who seemed to all to be on the verge of losing their No. 3 spot to Boise State — instead retains that position after the Broncos took an unexpected tumble to Nevada.

The Broncos fall all the way to No. 11, and will likely be left out of the BCS picture come bowl selection time, a result of two costly missed field goals.

The positioning at the top is interesting, although the changes have basically no impact on the BCS and national title picture. The changes a little further down, though, have serious implications as we head to the final week.

Stanford is the new No. 4, which is an enviable position to be in without a game remaining on their schedule. If Stanford remains at that spot the Cardinal will automatically qualify for inclusion in the BCS standings as the highest-ranking automatically-qualifying BCS conference member who did not win their own conference’s automatic bid and is in the top our.

Despite being ranked fifth in both human polls, the Cardinal utilized very strong support from all six computers to jump into that all-important No. 4 spot.

The Cardinal are followed by Wisconsin, who does just enough to stay ahead of Ohio State to claim that No. 5 position. The fact that the Badgers held off the Buckeyes is huge, as the BCS standings will be used on December 5th to decide which of the three (Michigan State is the third) Big Ten teams who all claimed a share of the conference crown will be headed to the Rose Bowl. With no games remaining on any of the teams’ schedules, Wisconsin is all but booking their tickets to Pasadena.

A little further down the standings, another conference race was decided by the BCS standings, as the Oklahoma Sooners captured the Big 12 South crown and a Big 12 title game bid by finishing ahead of both Oklahoma State and Texas A&M in this week’s BCS standings. The Sooners will face Nebraska next Saturday for the right to the Big 12’s automatic BCS bowl bid.

So with all of that in mind, here’s this week’s set of BCS rankings:

BCS Standings Week Seven – November 28th

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Auburn Tigers .9779
2 Oregon Ducks .9777
3 TCU Horned Frogs .9167
4 Stanford Cardinal .8413
5 Wisconsin Badgers .8185
6 Ohio State Buckeyes .7632
7 Arkansas Razorbacks .7189
8 Michigan State Spartans .6980
9 Oklahoma Sooners .6780
10 LSU Tigers .6067
11 Boise State Broncos .5805
12 Missouri Tigers .5148
13 Nebraska Cornhuskers .5071
14 Oklahoma State Cowboys .4630
15 Virginia Tech Hokies .4396
16 Alabama Crimson Tide .4201

Some thoughts:

  • BCS Know How’s Projected BCS vs. Actual BCS Rankings
    • The gains that Auburn made were not completely unexpected. If you’ve been following the bowl projections we’ve been doing, you will have seen that next to Auburn we’ve placed “(BCS No. 1),” so this ascension was coming, it only just came a week earlier than expected.
    • Other than the switch at the top, pretty good week, nailed 3-8, switched around 9-11 yet again, my bad.
  • Next weekend will be filled with conference championship games, could BCS drama also be in store? Make sure you stick with BCS Know How throughout the next seven days to get the best end-to-end coverage of everything Bowl Championship Series.

Harris Interactive Poll Week 13: Auburn Closes Gap on Oregon, Wisconsin New No. 4

As in the newest Coaches’ Poll, Stanford and Wisconsin slide into the No. 4 and No. 5 spots in the Harris Interactive Poll after losses by LSU and Boise State.

Auburn also gains ground on Oregon in Harris voting as well, which very likely could be enough to get the Tigers to the No. 1 spot in tonight’s BCS standings.

Arkansas makes a nice jump into the top ten after their victory over LSU, and are the highest ranking two-loss team.

TCU reclaims the No. 3 spot after losing it for a few weeks to Boise State, and will likely be headed to the Rose Bowl if neither Oregon nor Auburn lose next weekend.

Oregon picks up 70 first place votes, while Auburn takes home 42. TCU is left with just two.

Harris Interactive College Football Poll – November 28th

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Oregon Ducks 2803 .984
2 Auburn Tigers 2769 .972
3 TCU Horned Frogs 2621 .920
4 Wisconsin Badgers 2441 .856
5 Stanford Cardinal 2417 .848
6 Ohio State Buckeyes 2301 .807
7 Michigan State Spartans 2080 .730
8 Arkansas Razorbacks 1997 .700
9 Oklahoma Sooners 1809 .634
10 Boise State Spartans 1802 .632
11 LSU Tigers 1569 .551
12 Virginia Tech Hokies 1503 .527

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week 13: Stanford and Wisconsin Move Up

Fueled by losses by LSU and Boise State, the Wisconsin Badgers and Stanford Cardinal are rewarded for convincing wins on the weekend, jumping up to No. 4 and No. 5 respectively.

TCU also reclaims the No. 3 spot after seeing it slip through their grasp and into the hands of the Broncos these past few weeks.

Oregon remains the No. 1 team, although they lose some of their lead on the Tigers, who pick up most of the first place votes that the Broncos lost.

Only Oregon, Auburn and TCU receive first-place votes, with the Ducks receiving 46 of the possible 59, Auburn taking 10 and TCU claiming the remaining three.

Boise State falls from No. 3 to No. 10 and LSU falls from No. 6 to No. 12.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – November 28th

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Oregon Ducks 1459 .989
2 Auburn Tigers 1419 .962
3 TCU Horned Frogs 1343 .911
4 Wisconsin Badgers 1282 .869
5 Stanford Cardinal 1233 .836
6 Ohio State Buckeyes 1213 .822
7 Michigan State Spartans 1083 .734
8 Arkansas Razorbacks 1012 .686
9 Oklahoma Sooners 943 .639
10 Boise State Broncos 869 .589
11 Virginia Tech Hokies 843 .572
12 LSU Tigers 796 .539

Projected BCS Rankings: Stanford and Wisconsin Prosper in Seventh BCS Standings

Update: The seventh BCS standings have been released, check them out HERE.

Being down is certainly not the same as being out. If this weekend taught us anything, it should be this.

Auburn and Nevada, both down double-digits in the second half, came all the way back to capture victories over conference rivals — and in Nevada’s case pulled one of the upsets of the season by beating the non-AQ darling Boise State Broncos.

Add a somewhat unexpected victory by Arkansas over LSU and an entertaining edition of the Bedlam game, and rivalry weekend did not disappoint.

But what does it all mean for tomorrow’s BCS standings?

Well, although it won’t be anything truly drastic, changes are certainly in store.

The most important developments start at the spot Boise State had been in possession of these past few weeks — No. 4. With losses by the Broncos and LSU, Stanford is in line to take over that spot.

Now normally moving up two spots is not huge deal in the BCS standings if it isn’t a move into the top two spots — but in this case, its of the utmost importance.

As the highest ranking team from an automatically qualifying BCS conference that will not receive its own conference’s automatic BCS bid, and ranked in the top four, Stanford would be guaranteed a BCS bowl bid.

Poised to take over the next spot at No. 5, Wisconsin is also very interested in maintaining the pecking order from last weekend — as the BCS standings will be used to break a three-way tie created by the Badgers, Ohio State and Michigan State after victories on Saturday and send the winner to the Rose Bowl.

With a cushion to work with, Wisconsin is likely to be ahead of the pack come tomorrow’s standings, and when the final BCS standings are released.

That cushion will certainly come in handy, as Ohio State is likely to land in that No. 6 spot right behind the Badgers, likely making up some ground on the Badgers with some added support from the human side. But with no more games to be played in the Big Ten race, it’s all but over.

After that it’s going to start to get a little messy. The section of the standings that was the domain of one-loss BCS conference teams is sure to be a muddled mess come tomorrow.

Most importantly, that group will include Oklahoma and not Texas A&M or Oklahoma State — giving Oklahoma the Big 12 South title that it needs in order to continue its quest for a BCS bowl bid.

Boise State, who was poised to take over the No. 3 spot with a victory over Nevada, will also likely be in this group, and almost certainly headed for the Boise, Idaho-hosted Humanitarian Bowl.

Arkansas should lead the group of two-loss squads, with their losses coming at the hands of Auburn and Alabama, with Michigan State, Oklahoma, LSU and Missouri tagging along in that same general area.

And as an added bonus, the distance between Oregon and Auburn should continue to be paper thin.

So with all of that in mind, here’s what the BCS standing will likely look like when they are released tomorrow at 8:15 p.m. ET on ESPN:

Projected BCS Standings – BCS Week Seven (November 28th)

Rank Team
1 Oregon Ducks
2 Auburn Tigers
3 TCU Horned Frogs
4 Stanford Cardinal
5 Wisconsin Badgers
6 Ohio State Buckeeys
7 Arkansas Razorbacks
8 Michigan State Spartans
9 Boise State Broncos
10 Oklahoma Sooners
11 LSU Tigers
12 Missouri Tigers

BCS Dominoes Ready to Fall in Rivalry Week 13

The Iron Bowl. Bedlam. The Backyard Brawl. The Game.

These are all rivalry games that rile up emotions regardless of record, implication, ranking or even sport. It just so happens, however, that during this extended Thanksgiving-weekend slate of college football games, all four have massive BCS implications. And they aren’t the only matchups this weekend that could send shock waves through the BCS and college football landscape.

Yes, just a week removed from all three top-three BCS teams taking the weekend off, we’ve come to a defining moment in the 2010 college football season, a Rivalry Week 13 that could start the domino effect that defines the BCS national title race and the BCS race as a whole.

Of course, we have to start in Tuscaloosa, where Auburn and Alabama will be playing a Friday afternoon showdown with huge BCS implications. An Auburn win would be great, and would likely help make Auburn the No. 1 team in the next set of BCS rankings. However, the chaos scenario that everyone’s been projecting since the BCS standings came out — a Crimson Tide victory — could start some BCS chaos that would be almost unmatched in the BCS era.

Oregon and Auburn have ridden the BCS wave at No. 1 and No. 2 respectively for a couple of weeks now, and they’ve yet to show signs of slowing down, however this Friday matchup could be the end of four weeks of relative BCS calm after we got off to such a raucous start with No. 1’s Alabama, Ohio State and Oklahoma falling on consecutive weekends.

The question has loomed for a while now — who would replace Auburn in the BCS national title picture if they were to fall to Alabama? Could it be Boise State, who will be tested sorely against Nevada late Friday? Or would it be TCU, who will have a rather pedestrian New Mexico team to deal with on Saturday?

These questions are ones that have been projected on for a while now, but the Tigers could render them all moot with a victory on Friday, and would likely be heavy favorites to make it all the way to the BCS National Championship Game with a win.

It may not have the title game implications of the Iron Bowl, but Bedlam in Stillwater on Saturday will play a deciding factor in at least one BCS bowl bid come bowl selection Sunday, as Oklahoma and Oklahoma State will likely be playing for a Big 12 South title and the accompanying Big 12 Championship Game bid.

Equally important to the BCS bowl picture, and possibly a deciding factor in who the Big 12 champion ends up playing in the Fiesta Bowl might be played out Friday afternoon in the Backyard Brawl between West Virginia and Pittsburgh. Both have spent the season as prime contenders in the muddled Big East title race, with Pittsburgh faring better thus far with just one conference loss to their name.

A loss by West Virginia here would almost certainly give the Panthers the inside track to the Big East crown, but a Mountaineer win would open up the conference race to four teams — the Mountaineers, Panthers, Connecticut and Syracuse — which would have to wait until the final week to be decided.

Finally, “The Game’ between Ohio State and Michigan is among three monumentally important Big Ten games occurring Saturday afternoon in which the Buckeyes will be playing for the possibility of a Big Ten title, along with Wisconsin and Michigan State. If all three win or all three lose, the race will have to be decided by the BCS standings (the Big Ten’s tiebreaker rule for three teams). However, a variety of other circumstances could occur, with the possibility remaining of all three claiming the title.

Other games from around the country, including Arkansas-LSU, Oregon State-Stanford and Maryland-NC State will all have seriously important implications on the final two BCS standings that will decide a number of variables in the college football season.

The question is now, how will it all turn out and will the BCS dominoes begin to settle into place, or fall all around the country?

We’ll find out over the course of three action-packed days.

BlogPoll Week 12: The Big East Is Back(ish)

A Big East team! A Big East team!

West Virginia makes a reappearance in my poll this week, at No. 24, although their date with Pittsburgh this coming weekend could end this run rather quickly.


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What I’m Thinking:

  • Yes, West Virginia makes an appearance after weeks on the outside looking in.
  • NC State, Florida State and Arizona also all reenter the rankings after good wins over the weekend. All four new teams in my poll this week have been ranked before, but fell out of it for one reason or another.
  • Big losers to stay in the poll this week: Iowa and Nebraska for losing to other ranked teams.
  • I really do like Stanford a lot, so that bump over Ohio State is less a referendum on the Buckeyes than the Cardinal.
  • Also yes, you might think that the bump I gave NC State is a tad generous, but when I think about it, I think they’d give teams like Northern Illinois and Iowa fits.
  • Arkansas is looking good late in games. Maybe they’ll get a upset win over my No. 8 LSU this weekend?
  • Speaking of next weekend, here are the games that are gonna make this Thanksgiving weekend awesome, with my rankings attached:
    • No. 1 Oregon vs. No. 25 Arizona
    • No. 2 Auburn vs. No. 9 Alabama
    • No. 3 Boise State vs. No. 18 Nevada
    • No. 8 LSU vs. No. 12 Arkansas
    • No. 11 Oklahoma State vs. No. 13 Oklahoma
  • This is gonna be some kind of week.
  • Conference Breakdown: SEC (5), Big 12 (5), Big Ten (4), Pac-10 (3), ACC (3), WAC (2), MAC (1), MWC (1), Big East (1).

So what do you think? Missing anyone? Giving anyone too much/too little credit? Let me know!

ACC, Pac-10 and SEC Rundown Week 12

Atlantic Coast Conference

Conference Leaders: Florida State (8-3, 6-2; Atlantic Division) and Virginia Tech (9-2, 7-0; Clinched Coastal Division)

Lurking: North Carolina State (8-3, 5-2; Atlantic Division)

Game of Last Week: North Carolina State 29 vs. North Carolina 25. Down nine points late, NC State used a couple of exciting plays to stay alive in the Atlantic Division race until its final weekend.

Game of Next Week: NC State vs. Maryland. A victory for the Wolfpack would give them the Atlantic Division crown, while a Maryland victory would hand the title to Florida State.

Bowl Eligible Teams: Florida State Seminoles, Virginia Tech Hokies, Maryland Terrapins, North Carolina State Wolfpack, North Carolina Tar Heels, Miami Hurricanes, Boston College Eagles, Clemson Tigers, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

Pac-10

Conference Leader: Oregon (10-0, 7-0)

Lurking: Stanford (10-1, 7-1)

Game of Last Week: Oregon State 36 vs. USC 7. USC continued its historic struggles in the state of Oregon, falling to Oregon State yet again, this time barely putting up a fight while Matt Barkley had to leave the game after injuring his ankle.

Game of Next Week: Oregon vs. Arizona. What will likely be Oregon’s final matchup against a ranked team until bowl season may be the final time Oregon could be in danger of falling victim to an upset.

Bowl Eligible Teams: Oregon Ducks, Arizona Wildcats, Stanford Cardinal.

SEC

Conference Leaders: South Carolina (8-3, 5-3; East Division) and Auburn (11-0, 7-0; West Division) have clinched their respective conference titles and will play in the SEC Championship Game on December 4th.

Game of Last Week: Arkansas 38 vs. Mississippi State 31. The Bulldogs and Razorbacks went back and forth on Saturday, neither team ever taking control until Arkansas finally was able to contain the Bulldog offense in the second overtime.

Game of Next Week: Auburn vs. Alabama. The Iron Bowl. Two top-12 teams. A chance for the No. 2 team in the country to fall victim to its instate rival looking for a season-defining win. What could be better?

Bowl Eligible Teams: LSU Tigers, Auburn Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide, Mississippi State Bulldogs, Arkansas Razorbacks, South Carolina Gamecocks, Florida Gators, Kentucky Wildcats.

Sixth BCS Rankings of 2010: Big Ten and Non-AQ Races Shape Up

Another week gone by of college football without many major upsets, and in turn, a very uneventful BCS release.

But look closer, and you’ll see the seeds of change that are in store for the next few weeks.

Boise State is in position, even at No. 4, to make the move by No. 3 TCU after another weekend of gaining good ground on the Horned Frogs as they sit just .0135 behind TCU after this week.

With a meeting set with Nevada for next weekend, Boise State could make that move back on top of the Horned Frogs and into the No. 3 spot — which not only would assure them of a BCS bowl bid, but would be the first replacement spot for a shot at the BCS title.

The other race to note of course is the Big Ten race, which if it comes down to a three-way tie, will be decided by the BCS standings.

Ohio State takes advantage of Nebraska’s loss over the weekend to slide up a spot, however the Buckeyes still trail the Badgers with one game remaining on each teams’ schedules.

It will be a tough road for Ohio State to make up the ground sitting .05 back with just the one game remaining, but as we’ve seen in the past, anything can happen in the final few weeks of the BCS standings.

Both teams’ computer rankings are slowly creeping up, but the Badger’s computer rating remains .04 ahead of the Buckeyes (.68 to .64) and a victory over Michigan for Ohio State while Wisconsin takes care of Northwestern might not be enough to sway the BCS in the Buckeeys’ favor.

For this week at least, we haven’t got much to talk about in terms of actual changes, but the changes are coming.

You can be sure of that.

So with all of that in mind, here’s this week’s set of BCS rankings:

BCS Standings Week Six – November 21st

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Oregon Ducks .9764
2 Auburn Tigers .9682
3 TCU Horned Frogs .8995
4 Boise State Broncos .8860
5 LSU Tigers .8193
6 Stanford Cardinal .7763
7 Wisconsin Badgers .7688
8 Ohio State Buckeyes .7148
9 Oklahoma State Cowboys .6815
10 Michigan State Spartans .6063
11 Alabama Crimson Tide .6019
12 Arkansas Razorbacks .5697
13 Oklahoma Sooners .5041
14 Missouri Tigers .4564
15 Nebraska Cornhuskers .4423
16 Virginia Tech Hokies .4213

Some thoughts: