2013 BCS implications and strength of schedule worksheet for Week 10


As it has in every college football season under the reign of the BCS, a team’s computer ranking is its most confusing and debate-causing aspect of the entire Bowl Championship Series process.

Which team has accomplished the most when the numbers are all you can see? It’s hard for a sport that includes so much subjectivity to remove the fan/expectation/showmanship aspect from the game and look at only the data.

That’s why here at BCS Know How for the last three years we’ve put together the implication worksheet. Which teams have accomplished the most according to the computers? And what teams still have the opportunity to accomplish more?

So what can you find here? The top eight BCS teams (or smaller, if the “striking distance” shrinks), along with their record and strength of schedule, according to Sagarin.

The real important stats, however, come after that. Each team is listed with key games already played, and key games to come. Key games are any against the BCS top 25 or the Sagarin PURE_ELO top 60. If teams are unlisted in the BCS, they are listed with their Sagarin rank, and all SOS is Sagarin-based.

Games for the upcoming weekend are bolded.

Note: All teams are included in the Sagarin data, including bowl-ineligible and FCS teams. If they count there, they count here. The BCS throws out any FCS or ineligible team when calculating its final tally.

BCS No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) SOS: 41

Key games already played:

  • BCS No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies (6-2) SOS: 32 — Won 49-42
  • Sagarin No. 15 Virginia Tech Hokies (6-2) SOS: 37 — Won 35-10
  • Sagarin No. 19 Ole Miss Rebels (5-3) SOS: 2 — Won 25-0
  • Sagarin No. 57 Tennessee Volunteers (4-4) SOS: 5 — Won 45-10

Key games remaining:

  • BCS No. 11 Auburn Tigers (7-1) SOS: 51 — Nov. 30
  • BCS No. 13 LSU Tigers (7-2) SOS: 30 — Nov. 9
  • SEC Championship Game (Potential) — Dec. 7

BCS No. 2 Oregon Ducks (6-0) SOS: 16

Key games already played:

  • BCS No. 20 UCLA Bruins (5-2) SOS: 28 — Won 42-14
  • Sagarin No. 36 Washington Huskies (5-3) SOS: 16 — Won 45-24
  • Sagarin No. 47 Washington State Cougars (4-4) SOS: 15 — Won 62-38
  • Sagarin No. 57 Tennessee Volunteers (4-4) SOS: 5 — Won 59-14

Key games remaining:

  • BCS No. 5 Stanford Cardinal (7-1) SOS: 9 — Nov. 7
  • Sagarin No. 28 Oregon State Beavers (6-2) SOS: 60 — Nov. 29
  • Sagarin No. 34 Arizona Wildcats (5-2) SOS: 55 — Nov. 23
  • Pac-12 Championship Game (Potential) — Dec. 7

BCS No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (7-0) SOS: 68

Key games already played:

  • BCS No. 8 Clemson Tigers (7-1) SOS: 39 — Won 51-14
  • Sagarin No. 46 Pittsburgh Panthers (4-3) SOS: 42 — Won 41-13
  • Sagarin No. 56 FCS Bethune-Cookman (7-1) SOS: 190 — Won 54-6

Key games remaining:

  • BCS No. 7 Miami Hurricanes (7-0) SOS: 82 — Nov. 2
  • Sagarin No. 31 Florida Gators (4-3) SOS: 14 — Nov. 30
  • ACC Championship Game (Potential) — Dec. 7

BCS No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-0) SOS: 69

Key games already played:

  • BCS No. 24 Wisconsin Badgers (5-2) SOS: 90 — Won 31-24
  • Sagarin No. 39 Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3) SOS: 43 — Won 34-24
  • Sagarin No. 45 Buffalo Bulls (6-2) SOS: 138 — Won 40-20
  • Sagarin No. 53 Penn State Nittany Lions (4-3) SOS: 36 — Won 63-14

Key games remaining:

  • BCS No. 21 Michigan Wolverines — Nov. 30
  • Big Ten Championship Game (Potential) — Dec. 7

BCS No. 5 Stanford Cardinal (7-1) SOS: 9

Key games already played:

  • BCS No. 20 UCLA Bruins (5-2) SOS: 28 — Won 24-10
  • Sagarin No. 28 Oregon State Beavers (6-2) SOS: 60 — Won 20-12
  • Sagarin No. 30 Arizona State Sun Devils (5-2) SOS: 12 — Won 42-28
  • Sagarin No. 36 Washington Huskies (5-3) SOS: 16 — Won 31-28
  • Sagarin No. 47 Washington State Cougars (4-4) SOS: 15 — Won 55-17

Key games remaining:

  • BCS No. 2 Oregon Ducks (6-0) SOS: 16 — Nov. 7
  • Sagarin No. 25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-2) SOS: 27 — Nov. 30
  • Sagarin No. 49 USC Trojans (5-3) SOS: 23 — Nov. 16
  • Pac-12 Championship Game (Potential) — Dec. 7

BCS No. 6 Baylor Bears (7-0) SOS: 96

Key games already played:

  • None

Key games remaining:

  • BCS No. 10 Oklahoma Sooners (7-1) SOS: 44 — Nov. 7
  • BCS No. 15 Texas Tech Red Raiders (7-1) SOS: 79 — Nov. 16
  • BCS No. 18 Oklahoma State Cowboys (6-1) SOS: 52 — Nov. 23
  • Sagarin No. 27 Texas Longhorns (5-2) SOS: 13 — Dec. 7

BCS No. 7 Miami Hurricanes (6-1) SOS: 33

Key games already played:

  • Sagarin No. 31 Florida Gators (4-3) SOS: 14 — Won 21-16
  • Sagarin No. 38 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-3) SOS: 35 — Won 45-30

Key games remaining:

  • BCS No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (7-0) SOS: 68 — Nov. 2
  • Sagarin No. 15 Virginia Tech Hokies (6-2) SOS: 37 — Nov. 9
  • Sagarin No. 46 Pittsburgh Panthers (4-3) SOS: 42 — Nov. 29
  • Sagarin No. 54 Duke Blue Devils (6-2) SOS: 80 — Nov. 16
  • ACC Championship Game (Potential) — Dec. 7

BCS No. 8 Clemson Tigers (5-0) SOS: 9

Key games already played:

  • BCS No. 3 Florida State Seminoles (7-0) SOS: 68 — Lost 51-14
  • Sagarin No. 26 Georgia Bulldogs (4-3) SOS: 1 — Won 38-35

Key games remaining:

  • BCS No. 14 South Carolina Gamecocks (6-2) SOS: 11 — Nov. 30
  • Sagarin No. 38 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (5-3) SOS: 35 — Nov. 14
  • ACC Championship Game (Potential) — Dec. 7

Oklahoma and Connecticut Set to Entertain in the Fiesta Bowl

Connecticut Huskies (8-4)

How They Got Here: After finishing in a three-way tie for first place in the Big East conference, the Connecticut Huskies were the beneficiaries of the tiebreaker with both West Virginia and Pittsburgh after beating both teams during the regular season. As the winner of the tiebreaker the Huskies were awarded the Big East’s automatic BCS bowl bid.

Connecticut’s 2010 Season: Expectations were high for the Huskies entering the 2010 season, but after starting the season 1-2 against non-conference opposition, people began to rethink their opinion of Connecticut. Then when the Huskies dropped their first two Big East games, there were even doubts about UConn’s bowl eligibility hopes.

But after rolling off four straight victories against Big East conference opponents, the Huskies were in position to win the Big East conference’s BCS bowl bid by virtue of a tiebreaker.

Then on the final day of the 2010 regular season, the Huskies pulled out a last-second victory over South Florida on the strength of a Dave Teggart’s 52-yard field goal with 17 seconds to play — clinching the three-way tie atop the Big East at 5-2 and a BCS bowl bid.

Oklahoma Sooners (11-2)

How They Got Here: Champions of the Big 12 South division on the strength of their finish in the seventh BCS standings of the season, the Oklahoma Sooners clinched another BCS bowl bid with their 23-20 victory over Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship Game in the final week of the season.

Oklahoma’s 2010 Season: The Sooners were among a select group of teams that pundits believed had a chance at a national title in 2010, and the Sooners looked the part, climbing as high as No. 1 in the BCS early in the 2010 season.

However, losses to Missouri and Texas A&M dashed the Sooner’s hopes at another shot at a BCS national title, and instead the Sooners are headed to yet another BCS bowl as champions of the Big 12 in the conference’s final season as a 12-team league.

Matchup to Watch: The nation as a whole has been well-versed in Bob Stoops offense and defense as the Sooners are seemingly a yearly feature in the Big 12 and BCS races. The real question here is how UConn’s offense and truly the entire team will be able to respond to the spotlight of their first BCS bowl in school history.

UConn running back Johnathan Todman is among the best in the country, and at just 5-foot-9 will be a difficult task for the Oklahoma front seven to locate and tackle. Can Todman and quarterback Zach Fazer overcome the perceived mismatch and hand Oklahoma yet another loss in a BCS bowl?

BCS Know How Prediction: Yes, Oklahoma has made a habit of dropping the ball in the biggest situations — namely BCS bowls — but this matchup seems to be more in the Sooners’ favor than ever before. UConn is a better team than their record or rank show, but they’ll be hard pressed to hang with Oklahoma.

Oklahoma 42 vs. Connecticut 17

Big Ten and Mountain West Powers Clash as Wisconsin and TCU Square Off in the Rose Bowl

TCU Horned Frogs (12-0)

How They Got Here: As the highest ranking champion of a non-automatically qualifying conference — No. 3 in the final BCS standings and champions of the Mountain West Conference — the TCU Hored Frogs were awarded an automatic at-large bid to a BCS Bowl.

Because of a new clause in the selection process for the five BCS bowls, TCU was awarded a bid in the Rose Bowl after the “Granddaddy of them All” lost its traditional Pac-10 conference champion, Oregon, to the BCS National Championship Game.

TCU’s 2010 Season: The Horned Frogs started the 2010 season playing second fiddle to Boise State as the non-BCS conference darling of the year. But after starting the season with victories over Oregon State and Baylor, the Horned Frogs cruised through most of their 2010 schedule and after Boise State faltered late against Nevada, TCU was left atop the ranks of the non-BCS conference schools.

Led by quarterback Andy Dalton, the Frogs spent most of their 2010 season looking forward to a meeting with an undefeated Utah Utes squad in Salt Lake City, but that meeting turned into a blowout victory for the Frogs, all but assuring them of an MWC crown.

TCU’s truest test actually came the very next week, as the Frogs struggled to stay ahead of San Diego State, finally prevailing 40-35 before finishing the season against New Mexico with an easy 66-17 victory.

Wisconsin Badgers (11-1)

How They Got Here: Wisconsin finished in a three-way tie for the Big Ten conference title, and won the conference on the strength of their finish in the BCS standings. Wisconsin’s No. 5 finish in the BCS was higher than that of Ohio State’s (No. 6) and Michigan State’s (No. 9) and gave the Badgers the automatic bid to the Rose Bowl despite the fact that all three teams finished 11-1 and 7-1 in conference.

Wisconsin’s 2010 Season: After stating the season with victories against out-of-conference opponents from around the country, Wisconsin dropped its first Big Ten conference game against Michigan State in East Lansing.

But from that point on, the Badgers could be considered one of the nation’s hottest teams, running off seven straight victories including an upset victory over Ohio State when the Buckeyes were ranked No. 1 in the country.

The Badgers ended the season with huge offensive output against its final three opponents — scoring a total of 201 points in their final three games against Indiana, Michigan and Northwestern.

Matchup to Watch: Both teams have 520 points on the season, but TCU’s defense is among the most vaunted in the country.

How will Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien and his stable of running backs — James White (1,029 yards rushing), John Clay (938) and Montee Ball (864) respond to the threat of a strong TCU defense?

And will Dalton and a tremendous core of receivers be able to take control of the game against the Badger defense?

BCS Know How Prediction: Wisconsin’s 201 points in its last few games were an incredible feat, but also sent some negative media coverage the way of Madison. Will the nearly five-week break have a restorative effect on two rough and tough teams or will either be rusty?

TCU 31 vs. Wisconsin 20

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.

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.

Calm Before the BCS Storm During Week 12 Should Not Go Unnoticed

With the top ten in the unchanged in the most recent BCS standings, people looking at the week 12 slate of games might find little reason to think that BCS chaos is nearby — and it may or may not be — but that certainly doesn’t mean there aren’t important matchups on tap this coming weekend.

Yes, the top three teams in the BCS are not hitting the field this weekend, but the gaggle of teams chasing them are certainly hitting the field with even more to play for, and important points to prove (and score).

The team with the most to gain in the next few weeks might be Boise State, who will start the college football weekend off on Friday night against Fresno State, the first of three important WAC games that the Broncos have to close out their 2010 season.

If the Broncos want to take advantage of their somewhat back-loaded final three game schedule and TCU’s single remaining game, they’ll have to make sure they’re firing on all cylinders the rest of the way in order to keep ahead of TCU in the human polls.

The group of three teams at the head of the Big Ten table — Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin — are all in action this weekend as well, as all three try to do their best to climb the BCS standings as final BCS rank is the tiebreaker in case of a three-way tie in the conference.

Ohio State may have the best chance to do just that against Iowa, although the Hawkeyes recent loss to Northwestern certainly downplays the importance of the game for Ohio State’s computer rankings. Michigan State takes on Purdue while Wisconsin faces a test at the Big House against Michigan and Denard Robinson.

The current leaders at the one-loss BCS conference section of the BCS — a position that’s enviable this late in the season — LSU and Stanford will both have conference teams to deal with, but should be favored to continue their chase of an outside shot at a BCS title shot.

Positioning for BCS bowls is also of the utmost importance this time of year, and ACC matchups featuring Virginia Tech against Miami and Florida State and Maryland along with a Big 12 showdown between Nebraska and Texas A&M will have a lot to say about who gets the automatic BCS bids in those conferences come season’s end.

Its been three seasons since the No. 1 and No. 2 BCS teams after the fifth BCS standings have finished in those spots at the end of the year. Many things happened along the way to continue that streak for three years, including teams putting on surprising performances where they just weren’t expected.

There’s no reason to think it won’t happen again.

Conference Trap Games On Tap For the BCS Elite in Week 11

With less than a month left in the college football season, the field of BCS title contenders is whittling down to just a handful of teams.

Just four teams remain without a loss, and few teams with one loss still realistically have even an outside chance at the title game. However, if enough dominoes fall in a week 11 slate filled with conference matchups that some of the nation’s best teams could overlook, the BCS picture could expand once again and send us into a messy final few weeks.

None of the BCS top ten will be challenged with a ranked opponent this weekend after we’ve had a few consecutive weeks filled with just that.

But that certainly doesn’t mean that there isn’t the chance for upsets to rule the weekend once again.

BCS No. 1 Oregon takes the trip south to northern California to take on the up and down California Bears — whom the Ducks could easily overlook with Arizona and Oregon State slated in the weeks following.

The Ducks are in prime position to make a run to the BCS National Championship Game if they can run the table the rest of the way, but they will need to be wary of not only the marquee matchups coming up against the Wildcats and Beavers, but of this weekend’s test against the Bears.

The other team locked into a BCS title game bid if they win out are the Auburn Tigers. In the coming weeks they’ll see their rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl and a likely spot in the SEC Championship Game, however this weekend they’re faced with Georgia at home.

Of course, the Bulldogs have been underachievers to say the least this season, leading many to discount the possibility of an upset this weekend, but the Bulldogs have been playing better lately and with other distractions — like Cam Newton’s NCAA investigation — distracting the Tigers during the lead up to this game, this can not be a game the Tigers overlook.

BCS No. 3 TCU — the likely first replacement if either Auburn or Oregon take a tumble in the next few weeks — faces their final remaining test at home against 7-2 San Diego State, who could actually both knock the Horned Frogs out of the BCS chase but also the MWC drivers seat with an upset victory.

Boise State also hits the road for a conference battle — this time against Idaho — before they face the final quarter of their schedule, which includes tough games against the likes of Fresno State and Nevada.

The rest of the BCS top ten will be faced with similar tests, both on the road and at home — against conference foes that may not have the strongest of records, but still present tough challenges in a weekend that at first glance might seem to be lacking the usual oomph of a November weekend in college football.

You’ll just have to stay tuned.

Underestimated BCS Party Crashers Tussle in Week Ten’s Marquee Matchup

Dubbing years with catchy monikers seems to be a favorite pastime of the national media — for example, baseball just had its “Year of the Pitcher,” where it was pitching and not offense that dominated the headlines.

The year in college football thus far could easily be classified as a “Year of the BCS Buster,” as it has been the mid-major powers and not the traditional giants of the game which have taken over the headlines around the country.

And in this year of unexpected contenders, this weekend could hold a defining moment in the hopes of the non-AQ BCS contenders.

The marquee non-AQ matchup of the year, Utah-TCU has dominated the coverage of the coming weekend — and with good reason. The winner of this matchup of Mountain West powers could go a long way towards a BCS bowl bid, and if a few dominoes fall in the right way, even a national title game bid.

Both teams have rode undefeated streaks to the tenth week of the season, although Utah has had less fanfare along the way than TCU. And not entirely surprisingly, neither team’s hype has compared to that of the undefeated run that Boise State has put together.

But as the BCS rankings stand now, No. 3 TCU is in a stronger position than Boise is at its fourth spot — a surprise result considering the extraordinary hope non-AQ supporters had put behind the Broncos to start the season.

Now it seems likely that a victory in one of four or five marquee matchups of the season could bring either team to the forefront of the race for the top non-AQ spot and possibly the first substitute if either Oregon or Auburn should stumble down the road.

Of course, many other matchups will have something to say about the plausibility of any of the three top non-AQ teams getting to Glendale on January 10.

One such matchup will join the TCU-Utah tussle as the headlining game of the weekend as Alabama and LSU play an effective knockout game for the SEC West title and long shot chance at the title game.

Both teams still rest in the BCS top ten and a victory in Baton Rouge on Saturday could open the door for a surprise visit to the title game from either team, although Alabama’s positioning at No. 6 sets up as a better striking position than LSU’s tenth spot, although a Tiger victory would do a great deal towards improving that positioning.

Many other BCS hopefuls will be in action, including the duo atop the most recent BCS standings — Oregon and Auburn. Both return home after tough week nine tests and welcome visitors to their home grounds — Oregon taking on Pac-10 foe Washington while Auburn takes a visit from FCS Chattanooga.

Victories are of the utmost importance this late in the season, as there is precious little time to make up for stumbles in the final weeks of the season, so all of the BCS hopefuls will need to bring their best against upset-minded underdogs.

Boise State will face a tough test against improved and dangerous Hawaii at home, while BCS conference contenders Wisconsin, Oklahoma and Nebraska all take to the road against difficult conference opponents.

In this “Year of the BCS Buster” every week seems to give us a new storyline and opens up the possibility of the biggest BCS bust of all time, and winning is at a supreme premium with favorites seemingly falling every week.

Stay tuned.

Remaining Undefeateds Look to Avoid BCS Upset Bug in Week Nine

Can you believe that just two weeks ago, we were looking at 13 different undefeated teams?

Now after just two weeks of surprise and upset-filled college football, we’re down to just seven.

The road for the nation’s favorites and even for the No. 1’s haven’t been very comfortable. In fact, since Alabama put the smack down on Florida, we’ve had three different “No. 1” teams fall in three successive weeks.

The Crimson Tide, Ohio State and then Oklahoma all took the tumble, leaving the national title chase as open as ever.

Could this be yet another weekend of upsets, spills and thrills around the nation?

Six of the seven remaining unbeatens hit the road this weekend, all against tough conference opponents, with the real possibility of seeing more than one fall victim to the upset bug that seems to be going around.

Of course, most would likely wager that the team coming of the highest high, Missouri (7-0) — having just defeated BCS No. 1 Oklahoma — would be most ripe for the upset when traveling to Lincoln to take on Nebraska, but that’s not the only worry for the group of seven.

Oregon (7-0), your pollster and mostly consensus No. 1 despite their poor strength of schedule, will take their high-flying spread offense to Los Angeles to take on a USC team that has upset in mind.

Could the Ducks be the fourth straight No. 1 to fall?

Or could it be BCS No. 1 Auburn (8-0), who just a week after claiming the BCS’s top spot with a ton of help from the computers, will be tested against Jeremiah Masoli and Ole Miss in Oxford.

The fact that they’re not No. 1 does nothing to protect the rest of the undefeated group, including Michigan State (8-0), who will have its toughest remaining test of the season this weekend at Iowa.

Utah (7-0) will be sorely tested against Air Force while the team the Falcons just fell to, TCU (8-0) may have the easiest of weekend tests against UNLV.

Of course, if any of these seven undefeateds fall — all of whom are ranked in the BCS top-eight this week — that would only spell more BCS chaos after two consecutive weeks of just that.

And waiting and hoping for just that is Boise State, who took a nice Tuesday game slot this week to get their week nine over with early — topping Louisiana Tech 49-20 at home.

A loss by either Oregon or Auburn could mean that the Broncos could finally find themselves among the top two in Sunday’s BCS rankings, while losses from any of the teams below them just means fewer teams to compete for slots when the top of the BCS does come crumbling down.

TCU, Michigan State and Utah are all hoping for the same chaos above them, but must do all they can to avoid falling victim to a loss before the chaos occurs.

Who knows — maybe week nine will be a kind of respite for the BCS and pollsters who have had to endure crises of conscious these past few weeks trying to find ways to judge teams from different conferences against one another.

But more likely (if the season thus far has been any indication) we’ll have yet another upset on our hands by the time the Saturday games are over, and more BCS controversy on Sunday night when the third edition of the standings are released.

And then of course, if we are to listen to some pundits, more than one of the teams in the group could take a hit, and then who knows what we’d see in the coming weeks, but who knows?

Maybe the BCS does?

BCS and Conference Positioning At Stake in Jam Packed Week Eight Slate

With last weekend’s release of the season’s first BCS standings, the clock has official begun ticking on the national title hopes of the best teams in the nation.

Think you’ve got it all figured out? Well the last two weekends, the consensus No. 1 team in the nation has fallen. And fallen hard.

Now in week eight, with a bevy of games featured conference and national favorites on both sidelines, the stakes are as high as they’ve been in the 2010 season.

Way back in August, when BCS Know How looked at some of the more important games on the road to a national championship, week eight stood as one of the most important weekends on schedule. Now, two months later, this week’s slate of games might be even more important than first thought.

Oklahoma, newly crowned by the BCS as the No. 1 team in the nation takes on one of the surprises in the Big 12, Missouri, in Columbia. Could we have yet another upset in the making, and rankings chaos for a third straight week?

Oregon, who took the top spot in the polls that were released before the BCS appeared on Sunday night, will be tested in a Thursday night by UCLA, who did handily beat a Texas team that just beat Nebraska.

With Big 12 and Pac-10 teams atop the rankings and with Alabama towards the bottom of the top ten, the SEC might seem like its in an unusual position of having no title contenders.

That’s likely to change this weekend, as the two remaining undefeated SEC teams, LSU and Auburn will square off in that classic 3:30 ET SEC time slot. The winner in Auburn will likely make a nice leap up the rankings, especially when the BCS comes out on Sunday and place themselves squarely into the national title conversation.

Both teams will be tested again down the road by an always tough SEC schedule, but this top-six matchup will give us a clearer SEC picture moving forward and certainly will begin to put the SEC back into its familiar position as national title hopefuls.

The Big Ten picture is equally fuzzy after Ohio State’s fall in Madison last weekend, and a matchup between one-loss Iowa and Wisconsin will go a long way towards clearing up that picture, although surprise undefeated Michigan State is still in the drivers’ seat for the Big Ten title.

The Spartans will be severely tested by unranked Northwestern, who is the only one-loss teams from automatic qualifying conferences not to be ranked in the BCS top-25.

Non-AQ darlings TCU and Utah will look to continue their early season success against conference foes, and with victories along with idle Boise State could present us with a historical BCS standings come Sunday. With LSU and Auburn playing knockout on Saturday, we could have a top eight with three non-AQ teams.

But that’s well into the future, week eight has to come first, and as we’ve seen, almost anything can happen on any field at any time.

The entire nation should be on upset alert.