November 2, 2008

On the BCS: Alabama moves into top spot

MORE: Full BCS standings | BCS components: Where the numbers come from

No. 1 Texas' loss was Alabama's gain in the BCS. The Tide ascended to the top spot in the third set of weekly standings.

Alabama had been second, but moved up when Texas Tech narrowly beat Texas. The Red Raiders are the new No. 2, jumping up from seventh. Penn State stayed in third place.

Alabama's lead over Texas Tech is .0375. The Tide is No. 1 in both human polls and is tied with the Red Raiders for the No. 1 spot in the computer rankings.

THE BCS: A CLOSER LOOK
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 (Last week) HarrisCoachesComp.SOS
1. Alabama (2) 1st 1st T-1st 68th
2. Texas Tech (7) 3rd 3rd T-1st 33rd
3. Penn State (3) 2nd 2nd 4th T-69th
4. Texas (1) 6th 7th 3rd 1st
5. Florida (8) 4th 5th 5th 23rd
6. Oklahoma (4) 5th 4th 6th 16th
7. USC (5) 7th 6th 10th T-71st
8. Utah (10) 9th 9th 7th T-83rd
9. Okla. State (9) 8th 9th 11th T-63rd
10. Boise St. (11) 10th 10th 8th T-90th
11. Ohio St.(12) 11th 12th 12th 9th
12. TCU (13) 12th 11th 13th 74th
Tech's computer rankings give it the edge over Penn State. The Nittany Lions are No. 2 in both polls, but just fourth in the computers. The Red Raiders are third in both polls.

Texas is fourth this week, also thanks to the computers. The Longhorns' average computer ranking is third, which trumps their relatively low poll numbers sixth in the Harris Poll and seventh in the coaches' poll.

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. 7. Teams first and second in the final standings meet in the BCS National Championship Game on Jan. 8 in Miami.

Penn State was .024 points behind Alabama last week. This week, the Nittany Lions who were idle over the weekend are .0461 behind the Tide, who beat Arkansas State.

Last week, Florida was four spots behind Oklahoma in the BCS. This week, the Gators are fifth and the Sooners sixth. Florida's win over Georgia moved them up three spots in the standings. The Gators are ahead of the Sooners because their average computer ranking is fifth, one spot better than OU's.

Utah, at eighth, is the highest-ranked team from a non-"Big Six" league. The Utes moved up two spots, jumping ahead of Oklahoma State, which was ahead of Utah last week.

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. The highest-ranked ACC team is North Carolina, at 19th. The highest-ranked Big East team is West Virginia, at 25th.

Other non-"Big Sixers" in the BCS top 25 are No. 10 Boise State, No. 12 TCU, No. 15 BYU and No. 17 Ball State. Utah plays host to TCU on Thursday night.

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.

Some other items of interest:

Alabama is No. 1 in two computer rankings, Texas Tech is first in three and Texas remains No. 1 in the Colley Matrix. Alabama's lowest ranking is fourth, while Tech has one fourth and one fifth.

The top 14 teams from the second week remain the same, just in a different order.

Four Big 12 teams are in the top nine.

Ohio State is the highest two-loss team in the standings, at 11th. Two-loss Georgia is one spot behind and two-loss Missouri is two spots behind.

Maryland is 23rd in the standings despite not being ranked in the top 25 of any of the six BCS computers.

Of the teams in the top 10, USC has the most variation in the computer rankings. The Trojans are ranked fifth in one but 11th in another.

LSU is 16th in the standings. The two-loss Tigers are unranked by two computers but are 13th in another.

No. 20 Georgia Tech, No. 21 California, No. 23 Maryland, No. 24 Northwestern and No. 25 West Virginia moved in. No. 17 Minnesota, No. 18 Tulsa, No. 23 USF, No. 24 Oregon and No. 25 Connecticut fell out this week.

BCS Standings

MORE: BCS components: Where the numbers come from

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




 

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