ACC, Pac-10 and SEC Rundown Week Eight

Atlantic Coast Conference

Conference Leaders: Florida State (6-1, 4-0; Atlantic Division) and Virginia Tech (6-2, 3-0; Coastal Division)

Lurking: North Carolina State (5-2, 2-1; Atlantic Division) and Miami (FL) (5-2, 3-1; Coastal Division)

Game of Last Week: Maryland 24 vs. Boston College 21. Surprise ACC contender Maryland continued its good run on the road, holding off an injury-riddled Golden Eagle team.

Game of Next Week: North Carolina State vs. Florida State. This Thursday night matchup of the top two teams in the Atlantic Division could spell either an almost assured Seminole division win or a wide open race down the stretch.

Bowl Eligible Teams: Florida State Seminoles, Virginia Tech Hokies.

Pac-10

Conference Leader: Oregon (7-0, 4-0)

Lurking: Arizona (6-1, 3-1)

Game of Last Week: Oregon 60 vs. UCLA 13. A Thursday night proved to be the perfect showcase for the nation’s most explosive offense as the Ducks spent four quarters showing off their best against the Bruins.

Game of Next Week: Oregon vs. USC. The top team in all of the human polls takes to the Coliseum looking to avoid falling victim to the recent run of No. 1s being upset away from home.

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

SEC

Conference Leaders: South Carolina (5-2, 3-2; East Division) and Auburn (8-0, 5-0; West Division)

Lurking: Georgia (4-4, 4-3; East Division) and Alabama (7-1, 4-1; West Division)

Game of Last Week: Auburn 24 vs. LSU 17. A matchup of two top-ten teams turned into the Cam Newton show as the Auburn quarterback led his Tigers past LSU and to the top spot in the BCS standings.

Game of Next Week: Florida vs. Georgia. The “World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party” may have a little less shine this season as both teams have three SEC losses, however both are still alive in the SEC East race, and need wins to keep pace.

Bowl Eligible Teams: LSU Tigers, Auburn Tigers, Alabama Crimson Tide, Mississippi State Bulldogs.

BlogPoll Week Eight: Ballot Undergoes Minor Changes

Another No. 1 falls, although it wasn’t my number one. Oklahoma wasn’t even in the top four in my poll. However, Missouri was vastly underrated.

This weekend’s action had a measured effect on my rankings:


******

What I’m Thinking:

  • I’m thinking most of these moves make sense here, right?
  • Dropping West Virginia and Texas is pretty self-explanatory. Adding Syracuse (Syracuse???) and Baylor as their replacements didn’t take much pondering either. Both have shown skill.
  • Syracuse??? Really??? Is that all the Big East can muster?
  • Drops from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Iowa and LSU can be explained by losses to Missouri, Nebraska, Wisconsin and Auburn. Those teams rises are also a function of their ranked matchup victories.
  • USC Watch: Being realistic, if the Trojans can knock off the Ducks at the Coliseum next weekend, they’ll be entrenched in these rankings for a while. If they get blown out, it might spell the end of the Trojans’ season. A close loss would be encouraging, especially because the Trojans have nothing to play for on the surface. They get a couple rungs improvement for not playing this weekend and others falling around them.
  • Conference Breakdown: SEC (5), Big 12 (5), Big Ten (4), Pac-10 (4), MWC (2), WAC (2), ACC (2), Big East (1). [Unchanged]

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

Second BCS Rankings of 2010: Auburn Claims the Top Spot

The ride on the carousel of No. 1 teams doesn’t exactly seem like the most comfortable of attractions.

Get on one week, get kicked off the next. At least that’s how the last few weeks have gone.

This past weekend was no exception, as newly-crowned BCS No. 1 Oklahoma fell victim to Missouri on the road to give us the chance to crown a new BCS No. 1.

So who will have to prepare to take the challenge this coming weekend?

It’s the Auburn Tigers.

Yes, despite being ranked third in both human polls behind both Boise State and Oregon, the Auburn Tigers used an approach utilized by Oklahoma last weekend and jumped the two teams ranked ahead of them with help from the computers.

The Tigers .980 computer average was enough to offset the difference between themselves and the pollster’s top two teams to take the top spot in the second BCS standings of the 2010 season.

The difference between the Tigers and human element No. 1 Oregon is thin, but has more space than was originally guessed at.

Boise State remains at No. 3, seemingly stiffed by the BCS despite not even hitting the field this past weekend.

The Broncos are just barely ahead of their non-AQ counterpart in TCU, who has surprise No. 8 Utah on their schedule down the road.

Michigan State and Missouri come into as a pair at No. 5 and No. 6, miles away from the rest of the BCS rankings, which are led by one-loss Alabama.

The Crimson Tide come in as the highest ranked one-loss team in the nation and will play new No. 1 Auburn in the Iron Bowl in late November.

Oklahoma slides in at No. 9 — taking a eight-spot tumble after their surprising loss to Missouri.

The Sooners come in ahead of Wisconsin, which finally edges the Ohio State Buckeyes in the BCS standings. Last weekend, despite beating the Buckeyes, the Badgers came in behind Ohio State in the BCS standings

LSU, Stanford, Nebraska and Arizona round out the top fifteen.

In the coming weeks we’ll learn more about these teams and how good they really are. And don’t be surprised if next week’s BCS standings look nothing like this version.

So here’s this week’s set of BCS rankings:

BCS Standings Week Two – October 24th

Rank Team BCS Score
1 Auburn Tigers .9371
2 Oregon Ducks .9069
3 Boise State Broncos .8846
4 TCU Horned Frogs .8833
5 Michigan State Spartans .8387
6 Missouri Tigers .8006
7 Alabama Crimson Tide .7100
8 Utah Utes .7049
9 Oklahoma Sooners .6691
10 Wisconsin Badgers .6584
11 Ohio State Buckeyes .6356
12 LSU Tigers .6219
13 Stanford Cardinal .5185
14 Nebraska Cornhuskers .5073
15 Arizona Wildcats .4492
16 Florida State Seminoles .4395

Some thoughts:

  • BCS Know How’s Projected BCS vs. Actual BCS Rankings
    • Nailed the top four, however switched Missouri and Michigan State. Thought Missouri would have a stronger showing in both elements, they slip up a little.
    • The gap between Oregon and Auburn is certainly larger than I had expected, however this is a result of Auburn getting a bigger than expected boost from the computers and Oregon getting a relatively small bump from the computers.
    • Also short changed Wisconsin, thinking the BCS computers would continue to keep the Badgers behind the Buckeyes despite their head-to-head victory. The BCS gives us hope here.
  • Auburn looks this week exactly like Oklahoma did last weekend, high in the computers, lower on the human element, but good enough to get to No. 1.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll Week Eight: Auburn Lands In Third Spot

With Oklahoma’s loss sending the Coaches’ Poll into shuffle yet again, it was Auburn who picked up most of the pieces, jumping TCU to land at No. 3 in this week’s Coaches’ Poll.

Oregon and Boise State make slight upticks in their shares from last weekend, but Auburn charges and charges hard to a convincing No. 3 ranking.

Michigan State lands at No. 5 after escaping an upset bid from Northwestern over the weekend.

And look who’s right back in the middle of things — Alabama is already all the way back at No. 6 in this week’s poll, with that Iron Bowl at the end of November already looking like a showdown of epic proportions.

USA Today Coaches’ Poll – October 24th

Rank Team Votes Share of Vote
1 Oregon Ducks 1463 .992
2 Boise State Broncos 1383 .938
3 Auburn Tigers 1350 .915
4 TCU Horned Frogs 1308 .887
5 Michigan State Spartans 1175 .797
6 Alabama Crimson Tide 1152 .781
7 Utah Utes 1091 .740
8 Missouri Tigers 1060 .719
9 Wisconsin Badgers 973 .660
10 Ohio State Buckeyes 966 .655
11 Oklahoma Sooners 871 .591
12 Nebraska Cornhuskers 802 .54

Projected BCS Rankings: Auburn Rewarded Heartily in Second BCS Standings

Update: The season’s second BCS standings have been released. Take a look HERE. To see the most recent projections, head over HERE.

Three straight Saturdays, three straight chaotic days.

With a newly crowned BCS No. 1 Oklahoma taking on Missouri in primetime, the curse of No. 1 continued as Oklahoma followed Alabama and Ohio State on the path of the nation’s top teams being upset on a national stage.

Oklahoma had been rewarded for its tough early-season schedule with the BCS’s top spot when the first rankings were released last weekend, but seemingly as soon as the Sooners had been nominated for that top spot, they lost it again with the shocking loss to Missouri.

The prime time meeting in Columbia was the icing on the cake of a day that featured huge match ups from around the country that will have a big effect on tomorrow’s BCS standings.

Unbeaten Auburn, faced with a real test against equally blemish-free LSU, used a great performance from Cam Newton to become the SEC’s only undefeated squad and take control of the SEC title race.

Oregon — who was second in the first BCS rankings last weekend — looked like the No. 1 team the human polls believe them to be, and manhandled UCLA on Thursday night 60-13.

Other unbeatens — Michigan State, TCU and Utah — had conference tests to pass, and did so, with varying degrees of ease, but still kept their undefeated seasons intact.

So what does that mean for the BCS standings?

Well, when Oklahoma took the top spot in the inaugural BCS rankings last weekend, it surprised some, but was exactly what the six BCS computers ordered, as they gave tons of love to the Sooners as their favorite team.

Now that the Sooners have fallen, who will be there to eat up that computer love?

Boise State and Oregon already had the love they wanted from the human element, but saw their computer rankings sorely affect their BCS average when the rankings were released. Boise State (7th best computer average) and Oregon (8th) had poor computer showings, but should see those numbers improve.

LSU had the second best computer showing last week, but they lost as well.

The answer is Auburn. The Tigers came into the weekend with a .900 computer average, and will see the combination of Oklahoma’s loss and their victory over the No. 2 computer team, LSU make that computer ranking shine.

Oregon and Boise State will likely be more convincing No. 1 and No. 2 in the human elements, but yet again, their spots in the BCS will be put in jeopardy by the likely No. 3 team Auburn’s new-found computer love.

The question will be how much of LSU’s .980 computer average Auburn can make up. And if the Tigers do jump to No. 3 in the human polls, by what margin will they be behind Oregon and Boise State?

Boise State might hurt the most from their bye week. Oregon took UCLA to town. Auburn beat LSU, an undefeated SEC team. Which do you think the pollsters are going to reward most highly?

Boise State will likely not get that No. 1 spot. In fact, they’ll likely again see themselves at No. 3 come Sunday after their bye week. So between Oregon’s human poll love and Auburn’s computer love, which will persevere?

Oregon needs help. Tons of it. Collecting all of the first-place votes from the voters won’t be enough (they will not do that).

Their computer average was a measly .710 last week. Even at .800 that may not be enough to hold off the charge from Auburn (they could do that).

Here’s what it might come down to: Auburn’s two major victories, Arkansas and South Carolina, both also won on Saturday. Oregon’s two major victories came over Arizona State and Stanford. ASU lost to California. Stanford beat Washington State.

Which looks better? That’s right, Auburn.

Tomorrow’s No. 1 will likely be the Auburn Tigers. The margin will be paper-thin. .0100 may not even separate the two.

But Auburn is going to miraculously pull this off. Their computer average will be in the .960-.970 range. And with just .910 shares from both polls (third place), they’ll have enough to top the Ducks.

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 ET on ESPN:

Projected BCS Standings – BCS Week Two (October 24th)

Rank Team
1 Auburn Tigers
2 Oregon Ducks
3 Boise State Broncos
4 TCU Horned Frogs
5 Missouri Tigers
6 Michigan State Spartans
7 Alabama Crimson Tide
8 Oklahoma Sooners
9 Utah Utes
10 Ohio State Buckeyes
11 LSU Tigers
12 Wisconsin Badgers

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.

Road to Glendale 2011: Conference Favorites Look to Step Up in Week Eight

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As part of BCS Know How’s 2010 college football season preview, we will be breaking down each week’s most important games that could have BCS and postseason implications in the “Road to Glendale 2011”.

Let’s move on to week eight where the nation’s best can begin to truly separate themselves from the pack.

Oklahoma at Missouri: Saturday Oct. 23, TBA

A young, unproven Missouri team put in a surprisingly good 2009 season, leading many to believe the Tigers are a legitimate Big 12 North contender despite their continued relative youth.

It’s not a stretch to think of the Tigers as co-favorites in the North with Nebraska, especially with junior quarterback Blaine Gibbert leading the way. Full of potential and of the classic quarterback mold, only Colt McCoy was better than Gibbert in terms of Big 12 passing efficiency in ’09.

Equipped with a stable of talented receivers, Gibbert is poised to break out in 2010.

If Missouri can make its way to a Big 12 North title, this game could be a Big 12 Championship Game preview, as Oklahoma is favored to return to the top of the always-competitive Big 12 South.

Quarterback Landry Jones and running back DeMarco Murray will take to the task of replacing the lost talent from the 2009 Sooners, and could be on their way back to a BCS bowl.

It wont be easy, but both the Sooners and Tigers could be undefeated coming into this late-October matchup in Columbia, meaning this could end up being among the most important games of the Big 12 regular season.

Wisconsin at Iowa: Saturday Oct. 23, TBA

Ohio State may rule the roost when the conversation turns to Big Ten favorites in 2010, but these two squads might have something to say about it once the 2010 season actually gets started.

Beside being considered co-favorites along with the Buckeyes, the Badgers and Hawkeyes feature two skill players who are more than capable of taking over a game and making sure their team wins. And if either wants a real shot at the Big Ten conference championship, they’ll have to bring their best to this midseason clash at Iowa City.

Making things all the more interesting is the Badgers will be fresh off the marquee matchup of the Big Ten season against Ohio State just seven days earlier at Camp Randall. If the Badgers can pull the upset, this could turn into a must win for either team if they want the Big Ten championship to themselves.

The obvious key to the game will be offense, as Iowa quarterback Ricky Stanzi and Wisconsin running back John Clay are among the early favorites for the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year. However, defense will likely play a larger role in trying to shut down the game’s skill players, and there Wisconsin might have a slight advantage—especially in the back seven.

Houston at Southern Methodist: Saturday Oct. 23, 3:30 p.m. ET

The two names you might know in this matchup—Houston quarterback Case Keenum and SMU coach June Jones—will be vitally important to each team’s success in 2010. However, in this game, the unheralded players and coaches might play the key in a game that will likely decide the C-USA West Division champion.

Houston’s stable of wide receivers and running backs, anchored by senior wideout James Cleveland and junior running back Bryce Beall, will need to step up against an SMU defense that made huge strides in 2009 and is always ready to take on the pass-happy offenses of the C-USA.

Houston could easily make its way to this matchup undefeated, while SMU will have a more difficult road, but will also likely be undefeated in early C-USA play. Both likely will be favored in all of their remaining conference battles, so this matchup is vitally important to both teams’ hopes of a C-USA championship.

SMU went from 1-11 in 2008 to 8-5 in 2009 after just one year of tutelage from June Jones. Now among the C-USA favorites, can Jones continue the improvement and bring the Mustangs to where Hawaii was when Jones took them into the national spotlight?

This game will definitely be a window into how far the Mustangs have come and whether they have made enough strides to hang with the conference’s most nationally visible program in Houston.

Other Games of Note: LSU at Auburn, Wyoming at BYU,  Notre Dame at Navy, Alabama at Tennessee.