October 18, 2009

Huguenin: Florida atop first BCS standings

MORE: Full BCS standings

The top three teams in the first BCS standings of the season are the same top three as in both media polls.

But after that, the BCS standings veer off from the USA Today coaches' poll and the Harris Interactive poll.

Florida, Alabama and Texas are the top three teams in the first standings of the season, which were released Sunday afternoon. Florida was No. 1 in both polls and in four of the six computer polls. Alabama was No. 1 in the Billingsley computer and Iowa - which is sixth in the BCS - was No. 1 in the Colley Matrix.

Here is the BCS top 12, with the school, its spot in the coaches' poll, its spot in the Harris poll and its BCS computer average. A bonus: We've included NCAA strength of schedule (SOS), which is not part of the BCS formula..
Team HarrisCoachesComp.SOS
1. Florida 1st 1st 1st 8th
2. Alabama 2nd 2nd 2nd 43rd
3. Texas 3rd 3rd 6th T-33rd
4. Boise State 5th 5th 5th T-59th
5. Cincinnati 6th 6th 4th T-67th
6. Iowa 7th 8th 3rd 9th
7. USC 4th 4th 11th T-67th
8. TCU 8th 7th 8th 39th
9. LSU 9th 10th 7th 38th
10. Miami 10th 9th 13th T-22nd
11. Oregon 12th 14th 9th T-18th
12. Ga. Tech 13th 13th 10th T-29th
Boise State, which is fifth in both media polls and in the computer rankings, is fourth in the BCS standings, followed by Cincinnati and Iowa. Each of the first six teams is unbeaten.

USC, which is fourth in both media polls, is seventh in the BCS standings and is the top-ranked one-loss team.

TCU, which is the only other unbeaten team, is eighth in the first BCS standings.

In five of the past six seasons, the team ranked first in the initial BCS standings of the season finished first in the final standings. The only time it didn't happen in that span was last season, when Texas was first in the initial standings.

Since the BCS began in 1998, the worst initial ranking for a title-game participant was LSU in 2003; the Tigers were 12th in the first BCS standings that season. The 12th-ranked team in the first standings this season is Georgia Tech.

Florida State (1999), Oklahoma (2003), USC (2004) and Ohio State (2006) are the four teams that went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the BCS standings.

Boise State is the highest-ranked team from a non-Big Six league. A non-Big Six team is guaranteed a BCS spot in two ways. One is if it finishes in the top 12; the other is if it is ranked in the top 16 and its ranking is higher than that of a conference champion that has an automatic berth. This week, the Broncos are higher than any team from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten and Pac-10.

Other non-Big Six teams in the BCS top 25 are TCU, No. 16 BYU, No. 17 Houston and No. 18 Utah. BYU plays host to TCU this Saturday.

Under BCS rules, only one non-Big Six team is guaranteed a spot if it meets the criteria. Any others would be at-large candidates.

The three components of the BCS standings are the coaches' poll; the Harris poll, voted on by media members and by former players, coaches and administrators; and six computers. Each of the components counts one-third. The best and worst computer rankings are thrown out, and the sum total of the remaining four is divided by 100 (the maximum possible points) to come up with the BCS' computer rankings percentage.

While strength of schedule isn't a BCS component, all six computers have a strength-of-schedule factor in their rankings.

The final BCS standings will be released Dec. 6. Teams first and second in the final standings meet in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 7 in Pasadena, Calif.

Some other items of interest from the first set of standings:

Texas is the only Big 12 team in the top 14. The Longhorns also have the widest computer variance of any team in the BCS top 10. The Longhorns are third in Billingsley but 15th in the Sagarin ratings. The next-highest variance is seven, for TCU; the Horned Frogs are sixth in the Wolfe rankings but 13th in Sagarin.

The only teams in the top five in all six computers were Alabama, Florida and Iowa. The Gators and Crimson Tide were in the top three in all six.

Miami is the highest-ranked ACC team, at No. 10.

Seven teams in BCS top 25 are unranked in the Sagarin computer poll top 25; that's the most of any of the computers used in the formula. Just two in the BCS 25 are unranked in the Colley Matrix and Anderson & Hester computer rankings.

No. 19 Ohio State has the second-lowest average computer ranking of any team in the top 25, at 32nd. No. 25 Kansas' average computer ranking is 33rd.

The highest-ranked ACC team by the computers is No. 12 Georgia Tech, whose average ranking is 10th. Miami, which beat the Yellow Jackets, has an average ranking of 13th.

The Big Ten and SEC each have four teams in the top 25, followed by the ACC, Big East, Big 12, Mountain West and Pac-10 with three each and Conference USA and the WAC with one each.

BCS Standings

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for Rivals.com. He can be reached at mhuguenin@rivals.com.

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