Fourth BCS Rankings of 2011: LSU Extends Lead on Pack While Alabama Falls Just One Spot

The “Game of the Century” came and went, leaving LSU to reign at the top of the BCS standings for a fourth-straight week, expect this time in much more convincing fashion.

LSU collected unanimous support from the Coaches’ Poll as well as near-unanimous support from the Harris, combined with another strong computer showing give the Tigers a big lead on the pack at the halfway mark of the eight-week BCS season.

Chasing the Tigers’ tail is Oklahoma State, No. 2 this week after beating Kansas State in thrilling fashion. The Cowboys are well in control of their own destiny. But there’s plenty of stumbling blocks ahead.

Then things get interesting. Alabama bows at No. 3, even after losing at home to LSU. Are we setting up for a rematch? The Tide didn’t see too much support go by the wayside, and will stay in the thick of the conversation for at least as long as they keep winning. Alabama’s computer support was especially strong despite the loss, which is to be expected as LSU and Oklahoma State now share the top computer score among BCS teams.

Stanford and Boise State are a stagnant 4-5 this week, which is sure to raise some tempers around the country. Stanford continues to suffer from relatively weaker computer support, as its .770 computer aggregate is only good for seventh best among BCS squads.

One-loss strongholds Oklahoma, Oregon and Arkansas round out the top eight, followed by ACC contenders Virginia Tech and Clemson. All five are jumbled by disagreements between the human polls and the computers regarding each teams’ relative strength.

Houston, on the strength of strong support across the human polls, appears in the BCS top-12 for the first time in school history at No. 11, and could very easily have a shot at an undefeated season, yet another wrench that could be thrown into the BCS mix.

But enough talk, here’s the fourth BCS rankings of 2011.

BCS Standings Week Four — November 6

Rank Team BCS Score
1 LSU Tigers .9931
2 Oklahoma State Cowboys .9447
3 Alabama Crimson Tide .8836
4 Stanford Cardinal .8749
5 Boise State Broncos .8473
6 Oklahoma Sooners .7978
7 Oregon Ducks .7708
8 Arkansas Razorbacks .7452
9 Clemson Tigers .6435
10 Virginia Tech Hokies .5913
11 Houston Cougars .5510
12 Penn State Nittany Lions .4838
13 South Carolina Gamecocks .4528
14 Kansas State Wildcats .3808
15 Georgia Bulldogs .3696
16 Texas Longhorns .3664

Some thoughts:

Fourth BCS Rankings of 2010: Top Four Unchanged, LSU Slides Into Fifth Spot

For the first time this season, we don’t have a new No. 1 team in this week’s BCS standings, but this weekend’s set of upsets brought plenty of change to the fourth BCS standings of the season.

Yes, the top four remain the same, however, after four of the BCS’s top 12 teams were beaten on Saturday we have a very different set of rankings to ponder.

The changes start on a small scale, as TCU uses a boost from the human element polls to build on their lead on No. 4 Boise State. The Horned Frogs also gain on the continuing 1-2 combination of Oregon and Auburn, although still remain a great distance behind the Ducks and Tigers.

The distance between Auburn and Oregon also shrunk to a surprisingly small margin, despite Auburn’s poor SOS quality victory over Chattanooga over the weekend.

After last weekend’s No. 5 Alabama lost to LSU it was expected that a new team would take that spot this weekend and not surprisingly, that team was the LSU Tigers themselves.

The Tigers were the beneficiaries of some very strong computer help to leap over Wisconsin, who was ranked ahead of them in both polls and claim the No. 5 spot.

The Badgers were also eclipsed by the computer strength of Stanford, who also landed behind Wisconsin in both human polls. The Cardinal claim the No. 6 spot, and the Badgers come in right behind them at No. 7.

Stanford uses a nationally televised beatdown of conference foe Arizona to gain support in the human polls and gain an impressive amount in the computer polls to have the largest jump among the top ten teams in the BCS standings.

Nebraska falls a spot despite being the only top-12 Big 12 team to win on Saturday, seeing their computer support drop off slightly.

Ohio State and Oklahoma State round out the top ten, followed by the third one-loss Big Ten team, Michigan State and Alabama.

Iowa, the lowest ranked of the four Big Ten one-loss bunch — and the only one with a second (non-conference) loss on their record — continues to climb back up the rankings after their loss to Wisconsin two weeks ago and lands at No. 13.

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

BCS Standings Week Four – November 7th

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Oregon Ducks .9638
2 Auburn Tigers .9611
3 TCU Horned Frogs .9259
4 Boise State Broncos .8662
5 LSU Tigers .8170
6 Stanford Cardinal .7454
7 Wisconsin Badgers .7349
8 Nebraska Cornhuskers .7298
9 Ohio State Buckeyes .6613
10 Oklahoma State Cowboys .6211
11 Michigan State Spartans .6180
12 Alabama Crimson Tide .5490
13 Iowa Hawkeyes .5223
14 Utah Utes .4669
15 Arkansas Razorbacks .4569
16 Oklahoma Sooners .3900

Some thoughts:

  • BCS Know How’s Projected BCS vs. Actual BCS Rankings
    • Pretty good set, projected top five correctly, and No. 7 and 9. Stanford gets even more love than I had projected from the computers, and uses it to jump the Badgers.
    • Was one off on most of the rest of the field, interesting set of rankings if you ask me. Stay tuned.
  • The bunch of four Big Ten one-loss teams are very fluid, and it could come down to showmanship and performance when we have to decide a Big Ten winner at the end of this season.