Monday, September 24, 2007

Harris Poll Out; LSU Back on Top

The Harris Interactive Poll made its season debut today and LSU regained the top spot over USC in the Week 4 unofficial BCS standings. It marked the third straight week that those two teams have swapped the top two positions. The Trojans have a significant lead on No. 3 Florida, with Oklahoma and Ohio State rounding out the Top 5.

West Virginia, Texas, California, Wisconsin and Boston College fill out the rest of the Top 10.

Despite receiving 91 first-place votes in the Harris poll, out of 114 voters, far ahead of LSU's 19, USC dropped to No. 2 because of the Bayou Tigers' superior computer rankings. Having played a tougher schedule than the Trojans thus far, LSU is No. 1 on three computer ratings and No. 2 on another. USC is ranked first, third, fourth and sixth on the four computers that have published their ratings.

The standings this week have taken on much greater authenticity. Because of the release of the Harris poll, and also the Colley Matrix computer ratings, more than 85 percent of the components that form the actual BCS standings are available. Previously, the AP poll was used in place of the Harris poll and only three computer ratings were available prior to this weekend.

Also starting this week, the Guru has incorporated a new feature in the standings: Now every team that received any votes or earned any computer points will be included in the standings. This information is important since several conferences use the BCS standings as a tiebreaker for bowl berths.

And finally, the Guru's loyal readers might want to take advantage of the RSS feed now available through this site. Anyone interested in signing up for a reader service or receiving e-mail notification of new postings can do so by clicking on the RSS button on the right-hand bar, or here. By signing up, you'll be the first to find out about the new BCS standings, official or unofficial, from the Guru.

Later this week, the Guru will begin dissecting various aspects of this year's conference races as we head toward the unveiling of the first official BCS standings, due out on Oct. 14.

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