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.