Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Less Things Change ...

There will be some shakeup this week in the BCS standings! Nebraska lost and dropped out of the top 10!

Other than that, the real changes will be subtle, not headline grabbing. After all, what did you expect when the top three teams were off and No. 4 played Friday night?

Speaking of No. 4, Boise State will make a move on TCU this week, but most likely not enough to overtake the Horned Frogs for No. 3. The Broncos had an impressive showing, a 51-0 whitewash of a respectable Fresno State team, and at least some voters will be inclined to swing their votes. The actual swing of those votes will have an impact on the see-saw battle between those two teams for the all-important No. 3 spot, which guarantees a BCS bowl berth, and also this year serves as the on-deck circle for the BCS title game should either Oregon or Auburn falter.

Boise State will have a better chance passing TCU next week as the Broncos play at Nevada, which routed New Mexico State to improve to 10-1. A victory in Reno will help Boise both in the polls and in the computers, and that, coupled with TCU's game against putrid New Mexico, should be enough to get the Broncos back over the Horned Frogs.

The next significant development in the BCS standings relates to the Big Ten race. It is highly likely now that the standings will be used to determine the conference's Rose Bowl representative as Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State are all one victory away from tying for the Big Ten crown.

Should all three teams win next week - Wisconsin vs. Northwestern, Ohio State vs. Michigan, Michigan State at Penn State - most likely Wisconsin will remain the highest ranked team. But here's a catch: Whatever happens in the final week of the season, even though all three teams will be idle, might still influence the standings. Also, if LSU loses to Arkansas next week, that might push the Buckeyes closer to the Badgers. Michigan State will need a Michigan upset of Ohio State to make that trip to Pasadena.

Another race that can potentially come down to the BCS standings is the Big 12 South (Remember 2008, anyone?). If Oklahoma wins at Oklahoma State and Texas A&M wins at Texas next week, then the division title will go to the highest ranked team in the BCS standings. In that scenario, OU should be best positioned to claim the berth in the Big 12 title game because of the weakness of Texas' computer rankings (a loss will render the would-be 5-7 Longhorns ineligible for bowls).

This week's projected BCS standings: 1. Oregon, 2. Auburn, 3. TCU, 4. Boise State, 5. LSU, 6. Stanford, 7. Wisconsin, 8. Ohio State, 9. Oklahoma State, 10. Michigan State, 11. Alabama, 12. Arkansas, 13. Oklahoma, 14. Nebraska, 15. Missouri.


Anonymous said...

Does a close Boise win at Nevada hurt them? Or will it be "gritty and gutsy", like Oregon beating Cal, LSU beating Sisters of the Blind/ole miss, etc.

MilwaukeeBrian said...

Yes, I love how exact same situations can be looked at totally different depending on the team. When Oregon or Auburn run up a 60-70 point victory, it's a dominating win. When Wisconsin does the same thing using their 4th and 5th stringers, it's a "classless running up the score."

Terrible double standard in a league that has to nominate their national champion on a computer.

Anonymous said...

doesn't the bcs count wins? so as boise st. catches up in games played, hat should help?

also, LSU is an interesting scenario where they don't get to, or have to (whichever way you want to look at it) play in the sec championship game as long as Auburn wins.

this is one of the challenges in my mind with the conference championship games.