November 30, 2008

Oklahoma jumps over Texas in BCS standings

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

Oklahoma jumped to No. 2 in the BCS standings this week, and as such, the Sooners will represent the Big 12 South in the league's championship game Saturday.

Alabama remained No. 1 in the standings and will play No. 4 Florida in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta. But that matchup has been known for a few weeks. The Big 12 matchup wasn't determined until Sunday afternoon almost 24 hours after Oklahoma finished off its victory at Oklahoma State.

Here is the BCS top 12, with the school, its spot last week (LW), 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. Alabama (1) 1st 1st 3rd 88th
2. Oklahoma (3) 4th 2nd 1st 1st
3. Texas (2) 3rd 3rd 2nd 5th
4. Florida (4) 2nd 4th 6th 13th
5. USC (5) 5th 5th 8th T-56th
6. Utah (6) 7th 7th 5th 60th
7. Texas Tech (7) 8th 8th 4th 17th
8. Penn St. (8) 6th 6th 9th T-64th
9. Boise St. (9) 9th 9th 7th 66th
10. Ohio St. (11) 10th 10th 11th 10th
11. TCU (14) 12th 11th 10th T-45th
12. Ball St. (15) 11th 13th 12th 115th
OU, Texas and Texas Tech finished tied atop the Big 12 South with one league loss apiece. Texas beat OU, which beat Texas Tech, which beat Texas. The league's fifth tiebreaker in case of a three-way tie is the highest-ranked team in the BCS, and that was the Sooners who are .0128 points ahead of Texas.

That means Oklahoma plays Big 12 North champ Missouri in the league championship game Saturday in Kansas City, Mo., with OU almost certainly moving on to the national title game with a victory. The opponent almost certainly will be the SEC champ.

Last week, Texas was No. 2 in the BCS standings and OU No. 3 because the Longhorns' average computer ranking was better than Oklahoma's. This week, though, OU is No. 1 in the computers, with Texas No. 2 and Alabama No. 3. The Tide had been No. 1 in the computers last week.

Oklahoma is ahead of Texas in four of the six computers.

Voters in the two human polls used by the BCS did a lot of vote-changing this week. Last week, Texas was fourth in both polls. This week, the Longhorns are third in both polls. In the Harris Poll, Texas is one spot ahead of OU after being one spot behind the Sooners last week.

Alabama is No. 1 in both human polls. Florida remained second in the Harris poll but dropped a spot, to fourth, in the coaches' poll. Oklahoma is second in the coaches' poll.

Texas beat Texas A&M 49-9 at home in its last regular-season game; the Aggies came in 4-7. Florida won 45-15 at Florida State in its final regular-season game; the Seminoles came in 8-3 and ranked 20th in the BCS. Still, the coaches dropped the Gators a spot and moved up Texas.

Oklahoma may be fortunate to reside in the Big 12. It is one of five leagues that is broken up into divisions and it's the only league whose tiebreaker system would've ended up with the Sooners as the division champs. Here's a look:
ACC: Texas (fifth tiebreaker)
Once a three-team tie has been reduced to two, a two-team tiebreaker is used.
Combined head-to-head (all are 1-1)
Records vs. division (all are 4-1)
Head-to-head competition vs. team within the division with best overall (divisional or conference) proceeding through division (all beat Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas A&M)
Overall record for non-division teams (Texas wins; Longhorns opponents are 21-15, OU's and Tech's are 20-16)
Big 12: Oklahoma (fifth tiebreaker)
The records of three teams will be compared against each other (all are 1-1)
The records of three teams will be compared within their division (all are 4-1)
The records of three teams will be compared to next highest placed teams in their division (all beat Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas A&M)
The records of three teams against common opponents (all beat Kansas, only common North opponent)
Team with top BCS ranking (No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Texas, No. 7 Texas Tech)
Conference USA: Texas (sixth tiebreaker)
Highest regular-season win percentage based on conference play (all tied at .875)
Head to head between tied teams (all are 1-1)
Highest win percentage in division (all .800)
Records against divisional opponents in descending order of finish (all beat Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas A&M)
Records against common cross-division opponents (all beat Kansas)
Records against cross-division opponents in descending order of finish (Texas wins; Longhorns defeated North champ Missouri)
Mid-American: Texas (fourth tiebreaker)
Head to head
Record vs. division
Win percentage of cross-over opponents (all 4-0 vs. common opponents, North opponents were a combined 11-13 for all teams)
Cross-division opponents in rank order (Texas wins; beat North champ Missouri)
SEC: Texas (sixth tiebreaker)
Head to head
Record vs. division
Head to head vs. team within division with best overall record and proceeding through division (all beat Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas A&M)
Record vs. non-division teams (all 3-0)
Record vs. common non-divisional teams with best conference record (all beat Kansas)
Team with highest BCS, unless second tied team is ranked within five or fewer places of highest ranked team. In this case, head to head of winner of top two is the representative. (Oklahoma is No. 2, Texas is No. 3, Texas Tech is No. 7; Texas beat Oklahoma)
Oklahoma's computer rankings range from first to fourth; Texas' also range from first to fourth. But three computers have OU first, while just one has Texas at the top. Alabama's rankings range from first to fifth, with two having the Tide No. 1.

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 Jan. 8 championship game at Dolphin Stadium in Miami.

Utah remained No. 6 in this week's standings. The Utes are the highest-ranked non-"Big Six" team in the standings. 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 Big East team is Cincinnati, at 13th. The highest-ranked ACC team is Georgia Tech, at 15th.

Other non-"Big Sixers" in the BCS top 25 are No. 9 Boise State, No. 11 TCU, No. 12 Ball State and No. 18 BYU. 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 from the sixth set of standings:

Alabama is fifth in the Massey computer rankings, following Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas and Utah.

Alabama and Utah are first and second, respectively, in the Anderson & Hester computer ranking.

Texas Tech is seventh in the standings. Tech's average computer ranking again is fourth and the Red Raiders' computer rankings range from second to sixth. But the Red Raiders are eighth in both human polls.

For the fourth week in a row, USC's average computer ranking is eighth. That's one spot behind Boise State, two behind Florida and three behind Utah.

Unbeaten Boise State's computer rankings range from sixth to eighth. Unbeaten Ball State's range from 11th to 17th.

Ohio State is the highest two-loss team in the standings, at 10th, one spot ahead of TCU.

As it stands today, it seems likely that eight of the top 10 teams in the BCS will be in BCS bowls all but Texas Tech and Boise State. Cincinnati is guaranteed a BCS bid, and No. 17 Boston College meets No. 25 Virginia Tech for the ACC title and that league's automatic BCS bid.

Virginia Tech moved in the standings and No. 17 Oregon State fell out.

BCS Standings

MORE: BCS components: Where the numbers come from

Mike Huguenin is the college sports editor for He can be reached at

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