BCS Post-Week 10 Analysis: Oregon makes move

Chip Kelly's Ducks move up to No. 3 in BCS rankings

The four undefeated teams on top of the BCS standings remained so after Week 10, despite scares for each .

In the world of the BCS standings, however, the rankings don’t always stay congruent with the results on the field. No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Kansas State remained the championship scenario if the season ended today, but the title game and BCS game scenarios remain in flux beyond the top two.

Oregon and Notre Dame switched spots in the BCS standings, and Alabama strengthened its hold on the No. 1 spot with a 21-17 win over LSU on the road.

Here are a few more observations from the latest release of the BCS standings:


BCS Standings
Nov. 4

Coaches' Poll Harris Poll Comp. Avg. Last Wk.
1. Alabama 1 1 1 1
2. Kansas St. 3 3 3 2
3. Oregon 2 2 5 4
4. Notre Dame 4 4 2 3
5. Georgia 5 5 6 6
6. Florida 7 7 4 7
7. LSU 9 8 7 5
8. S. Carolina 11 11 8 8
9. Louisville 10 10 13 10
10. Florida St. 6 6 19 9
11. Oregon St. 12 12 8 11
12. Oklahoma 13 13 10 12
13. Clemson 8 9 16 13
14. Stanford 15 14 12 14
15. Texas A&M 14 15 15 16
16. Nebraska 16 16 14 20

No. 3 Oregon. The long-awaited move up the BCS rankings from Oregon finally took place this week as Oregon leapfrogged Notre Dame to the No. 3 spot in the standings after a 62-51 win at USC. Oregon remained a strong No. 2 in the coaches’ and Harris polls and No. 5 in the average computer rankings. The only change in the three components of the BCS was Alabama taking the No. 1 spot in the computer rankings. Notre Dame and Kansas State were tied for the top spot in the computer rankings a week ago, but they dropped to Nos. 2 and 3, respectively.

No. 4 Notre Dame. A 29-26 scare in triple overtime against Pittsburgh did not help Notre Dame’s case to move up in the coaches’ or Harris polls. The Irish remained ranked fourth in the human polls, but moved out of a tie for first in the average computer rankings to second behind Alabama. A season-finale game against USC will be a make-or-break contest for Notre Dame, provided the Irish aren’t upset by Boston College or Wake Forest.

No. 15 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama. Alabama has a commanding leading in the BCS. The Tide is a unanimous No. 1 in the coaches’ poll, has 108 of 115 No. 1 votes in the Harris poll and overtook Kansas State and Notre Dame for the No. 1 ranking in the computers. The rankings, though, don’t always reflect the developments on the field. After an emotional 21-17 win at LSU, Alabama will face the SEC’s top offense in Texas A&M this week.

No. 2 Kansas State at TCU. Heisman frontrunner Collin Klein left this week’s game with an injury, putting his status in question against TCU. Despite a depleted roster, the Horned Frogs have been a tough out in the Big 12 this season. Nothing is guaranteed for the title-contending Wildcats.

No. 11 Oregon State at No. 14 Stanford. Both are still in the race for the Pac-12 North, but a consolation prize would be the Rose Bowl. Should Oregon reach the BCS title game (presumably by defeating Oregon State and Stanford in the process), the Rose Bowl would have the Pac-12’s automatic bid to fill. The winner of this game wouldn’t be guaranteed a slot in that scenario, but the loser would be all but eliminated.

Who in the SEC East the leader of an at-large spot? An interesting scenario is shaping up among SEC East teams and a BCS bid. Only Georgia controls its own destiny, needing a win over Auburn to clinch the East and a win in the SEC title game to clinch the Sugar Bowl or better. However, Florida, South Carolina and LSU remain in play for a BCS game. Florida and South Carolina’s games against ACC rivals Florida State and Clemson could be critical matchups for BCS bids for both leagues.

Florida State slips. The most intriguing tug of war in the BCS standings is between the human polls and the computers with Florida State. The Seminoles didn’t play this week, but they dropped from No. 9 to No. 10, in part because NC State -- the only team to defeat FSU this season -- lost 33-6 to Virginia. The Seminoles are ranked sixth in the coaches’ and Harris polls and 19th by the computers.

Louisville on the outside looking in. Undefeated Ohio State is ineligible for the BCS title game, but one other unbeaten is on the outside looking in. Louisville remains outside of the title game power structure at No. 9. The polls both have the Cardinals ranked 10th and none of the six computers has Louisville ranked higher than eighth.

Louisiana Tech has a slim shot in the BCS. Boise State’s loss to San Diego State seemed to close the door for a non-Big Six team to reach the BCS. Perhaps that was premature. Louisiana Tech is ranked 20th in the BCS. For an automatic bid to a BCS bowl, the Bulldogs still need to get into the top 16 and be ranked ahead of a champion of an automatic qualifying-conference. No. 16 Nebraska is the lowest-ranked team of an AQ conference, and No. 24 Northwestern is the only other ranked Big Ten team in the BCS.

Notes on BCS selection:
Automatic BCS bids go to the top two for the title game, the champions of the ACC (Orange Bowl), Big 12 (Fiesta), Big Ten (Rose), Pac-12 (Rose) and SEC (Sugar). The Big East’s automatic bid is not tied to a particular bowl.

Notre Dame receives an automatic bid if it finishes in the top eight.

A champion from a non-automatic qualifying league (Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt, WAC and non-Notre Dame independents) receive an automatic bid if it finishes in the top 12 of the standings or if it finishes in the top 16 and ahead of a champion from a non-AQ conference.

To be eligible for an at-large BCS bid, a team must have nine or more wins and finish in the top 14 of the BCS standings.

Once automatic tie-ins are placed, the selection order for BCS bids goes as follows: 1. The bowl losing the BCS No. 1 team to the championship game, 2. The bowl losing the BCS No. 2 team, 3. The Fiesta Bowl, 4. The Sugar, 5. The Orange.

By David Fox

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