November 8, 2009

Horned Frogs leap into top four of BCS

MORE: Full BCS standings

For the second week in a row, Alabama and Texas switched places in the BCS standings, with the Tide this week moving up to second and the Longhorns falling to third.

Florida remains No. 1, and the Gators and Crimson Tide will meet Dec. 5 in the SEC championship game. Texas is in the driver's seat for the Big 12 South title, and the top three teams are far ahead of the rest of the BCS field.

THE BCS: A CLOSER LOOK
Here is the BCS top 12, with the school, its ranking last week, 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 (LW) HarrisCoachesComp.SOS
1. Florida (1) 1st 1st 1st T-18th
2. Alabama (3) 3rd 3rd 2nd 24th
3. Texas (2) 2nd 2nd 5th T-39th
4. TCU (6) 4th 4th 4th T-45th
5. Cincinnati (5) 5th 5th 3rd 73rd
6. Boise St. (7) 6th 6th 6th 100th
7. Ga. Tech (10) 7th 7th 7th 56th
8. LSU (9) 11th 11th 8th T-28th
9. USC (12) 10th 10th 11th 44th
10. Iowa (4) 12th 13th 9th T-28th
11. Ohio St. (16) 8th 8th T-13th 33rd
11. Pitt (13) 9th 9th T-13th 12th
Iowa's loss to Northwestern dropped the Hawkeyes from fourth to 10th in the BCS standings, and TCU was the beneficiary. The Horned Frogs climbed from sixth to fourth, with Cincinnati remaining in fifth.

Boise State is the lowest of the six unbeatens, at sixth in the BCS standings.

TCU remains 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 with an automatic berth. This week, the Horned Frogs are higher than any team from the ACC, Big East, Big Ten and Pac-10.

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. At-large candidates are teams with at least nine victories and in the top 14 in the final BCS standings.

TCU has a chance to strengthen its standing next week. The Horned Frogs play host to one-loss Utah, which is 16th in the BCS this week, on Saturday. Cincinnati could get a bump as well, as the Bearcats play host to No. 25 West Virginia on Friday night. TCU is .0040 points ahead of Cincinnati, with Boise State another .0454 behind Cincy.

Florida is No. 1 in both polls used by the BCS and also is No. 1 in the computers. Texas remained No. 2 in both polls but fell from a tie for third to fifth in the computers after playing UCF. Alabama remained third in both polls, but the Tide received a computer bump with their victory over LSU -- moving from a tie for third to second.

TCU is fourth across the board, while Cincinnati is fifth in the polls but third in the computers. Boise State is sixth across the board.

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:

Florida's lead over Alabama is .0326; the Gators' lead over Texas was .0691 last week. This week, the Longhorns are .0282 behind Alabama but .0614 ahead of TCU.

Texas is the only Big 12 team in the top 18. All the other "Big Six" leagues plus the Mountain West have at least two teams in the top 16.

The only teams in the top five in all six computers were Alabama, Florida and TCU.

Iowa is 12th and 13th in the media polls but ninth in the computers, which is keeping them in the top 10. Iowa is the highest-ranked Big Ten team in the BCS. Ohio State is 11th in the BCS, thanks to its No. 8 ranking in both polls; the two-loss Buckeyes are 13th in the computers.

Houston is 15th in the BCS. The Cougars are 12th and 13th in the polls and 16th in the computers. One computer -- that of Peter Wolfe -- has the Cougars 13th in the nation; another, the one of Kenneth Massey, doesn't have them in the top 25. No. 17 Arizona and No. 18 Penn State also are out of the top 25 in one computer each.

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

No. 22 BYU, No. 23 Oregon State and No. 25 West Virginia moved into the top 25. California (which had been 20th), Notre Dame (22nd) and Oklahoma (24th) dropped out after losses.

BCS Standings

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



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