This weekend the opening of controversy season got under way for college football, with the initial Bowl Championship Series polls were displayed to the public. While these are always open for debate, along with various interpretations of the BCS abbreviation (in many cases I ignore the “C” and switch words on the B and S, but I digress).
While the formula for this poll is up for debate between purists and statisticians, it is indisputable that it gives teams something to play towards. It also gives me something to answer on opinion on my texts, Twitter and even dinner with family time. To bring all of that to the middle, I sat down with the two main pure polls (AP and USA Today), along with the BCS poll, each teams schedules and the most reliable of all these methods, my opinion. Here is my interpretation of how it should look now and what’s going to weigh into where it ends up.
1. Oregon Ducks (6-0, #2 BCS, #1 USA Today, #1 AP)
Profile: Pac 10; 54.3 PPG, 16 PAG
Key wins: @ Tennessee (48-13), Stanford (57-31)
Lowdown: They are blowing teams out right now and are in a conference where they only have to play one more ranked team in Arizona, and that’s at home. They are a track meet of a running team, and have yet to be able to be held under 40 points yet.
2. Oklahoma Sooners (6-0, #1 BCS, #3 USA Today, #3 AP)
Profile: Big 12; 36 PPG, 19 PAG
Key wins: Florida State (47-17), Texas (28-20)
Lowdown: Oklahoma is moving ahead by staying undefeated in a power conference, despite having many close calls. They destroyed Florida State early and survived a down year Texas team in the River River Shootout. Somehow these slight wins were enough to boost them to #1 in BCS minds, despite being the consensus #3 otherwise. They feature an immediate test to this throne, going into Columbia, Missouri against a tough Mizzou defense.
3. Boise State (6-0, #3 BCS, #2 USA Today, #2 AP)
Profile: WAC; 47.5 PPG, 12.3 PAG
Key Wins: Virginia Tech (33-30), Oregon State (37-24)
Lowdown: They beat a top 15 team in Virginia Tech to open the season to prove they can play under the bright lights. Many critics say they don’t play on an even level with other Top 10 teams. I say don’t put them automatically in the Top 2, which could walk them into the BCS Championship and let them continue to play, and if they win out, be the first team to move into the Top 2 if one of the team loses. They deserve a shot.
4. Auburn Tigers (7-0, #4 BCS, #5 USA Today, #5 AP)
Profile: SEC; 40 PPG, 24.4 PAG
Key Wins: South Carolina (35-27), Arkansas (65-43)
Lowdown: Auburn has steadily rose up the standings all year and have beaten several quality teams convincingly, including three currently ranked foes. However, they’re fate is destined with Alabama, who they face in the season closing rivalry game. However, both of their signature wins have come against teams that have pushed Alabama, including the Gamecocks, who knocked them from number one.
5. LSU (7-0, #6 BCS, #6 USA Today, #6 AP)
Profile: SEC; 26.7 PPG, 14.4 PAG
Key Wins: North Carolina (30-24), West Virginia (20-14), @ Florida (33-29)
Lowdown: LSU has had a bit of a rabbit’s foot and have had a lot of things work out perfectly so far, as they have won several very close games to maintain their undefeated record. With back-to-back match ups with Auburn and Alabama, it will be shown very soon if they are legit or not.
6. Michigan State (7-0, #7 BCS, #8 USA Today, #8 AP)
Profile: Big 10; 34 PPG, 16 PAG
Key Wins: Wisconsin (34-24), @ Michigan (34-17)
Lowdown: They have played several close games and have simply out-toughed all of their opponents and beating Wisconsin and Michigan consecutively have proven them as the class of the Big 10 early on.
7. Alabama (6-1, #8 BCS, #7 USA Today, #7 AP)
Profile: SEC; 33 PPG, 12.9 PAG
Key Wins: Penn State (24-3), @ Arkansas (24-20)
Key Loss: South Carolina (35-31)
Lowdown: Everybody’s #1 coming into the season has hit some tough speed bumps, with Arkansas and South Carolina pushing them as far as they can go, with South Carolina finally knocking them off. Even with the L, they still are the best of any one loss team and if they keep winning deserve to move up first, even before other undefeated clubs, because they still are plain better.
8. TCU (7-0, #5 BCS, #4 USA Today, #4 AP)
Profile: Mountain West; 40 PPG, 9.3 PAG
Key Win: Oregon State (30-21)
Lowdown: This is the team that has just moved along all season and are over ranked for what they have done. They did beat a quality Oregon State team, but otherwise there is nothing here that says they deserve to be high ranked than a BCS conference undefeated or even some one lose clubs. While they are top 5 in all major polls, I can’t give them that credit unless they beat Utah in two weeks.
9. Ohio State (6-1, #10 BCS, #10 USA Today, #11 AP)
Profile: Big 10; 39.6 PPG, 13 PAG
Key Wins: Miami (36-24)
Key Loss: Wisconsin (31-28)
Lowdown: The Buckeyes easily moved along beating every team convincingly in route to ascending to #1 for a week, just to never take the fight to Wisconsin in their first tough road game of the season. They are still a quality team, and can easily move back up towards the top 5 with a strong finish.
10. Utah Utes (6-0, #9 BCS, #9 USA Today, #9 AP)
Profile: Mountain West; 45.8 PPG, 14 PAG
Key Win: Pittsburgh (27-24)
Lowdown: Similar to conference mate TCU, they’re road to the a high BCS vote has been dictated against impressive wins versus underwhelming opponents. They’re match up for the MWC crown versus TCU is what they’re entire season is built around. For now, this is about where they should be placed.
11. Stanford Cardinal (5-1, #12 BCS, #14 USA Today, #12 AP)
Profile: Pac 10; 43 PPG, 23 PAG
Key Wins: @ Notre Dame (37-14), USC (37-35)
Key Loss: @ Oregon (52-31)
Lowdown: Stanford has played an impressive early schedule and has been solid every week, but a blowout versus Oregon pushes them down the poll. They have played well every week otherwise and could have a seat in the Rose Bowl if Oregon shoots above it in to the BCS Championship game.
12. Wisconsin Badgers (6-1, #13 BCS, #11 USA Today, #10 AP)
Profile: Big 10; 36 PPG, 18 PAG
Key Wins: Ohio State (31-28)
Key Loss: @ Michigan State (34-24)
Lowdown: Wisconsin is one of the teams that can play the biggest part in the Big 10, and by default BCS, picture. They fell to Michigan State, yet came back and knocked Ohio State from the top spot. They have been competitive all year, and because of this, they will be able to move up freely if they beat Iowa and win out.
13. Missouri Tigers (6-0; #11 BCS, #16 USA Today, #18 AP)
Profile: Big 12, 34.5 PPG, 10.8 PAG
Key Wins: Illinois (23-13), Texas A&M (30-9)
Lowdown: The Tigers take this position as the top representative of the Big 12 North, but they have yet to face a big name opponent on the season for a truly signature win. They have only traveled once outside Missouri, yet won convincingly. They have ascended to this spot by doing what they are supposed to do, but the show-and-prove part of their season is coming up and most of it is on the road. Mizzou will either shoot up the standings or settle out rather quickly.
13. Iowa Hawkeyes (5-1; #15 BCS, #12 USA Today, #13 AP)
Profile: Big 10; 34 PPG, 13.2 PAG
Key Wins: Penn State (24-3), @ Michigan (38-28)
Key Loss: @ Arizona (34-27)
Lowdown: They have played tough matchups all season, and save for a bad second half versus Arizona, they would be undefeated to this point. A gritty win in Ann Arbor versus Michigan and a convincing defeat of Penn State cement them as a solid contender for the Big 10 title. With back-to-back matchups with Michigan State and Wisconsin it remains to be seen how big of a player Iowa is in the season’s events.
15. Nebraska Cornhuskers (5-1 #16 BCS, #13 USA Today, #14 AP)
Profile: Big 12; 36 PPG, 14 PAG
Key Wins: @ Kansas State (48-13), @ Washington (56-21)
Key Loss: Texas (20-13)
Lowdown: The Huskers were one of the most dynamic teams in the season, reaching half way up the Top 10 until falling to Texas last weekend. For them to fall out of the Top 15 BCS teams is odd to me, because while Texas has been inconsistent they are a solid team that was the #6 team in the nation at a point, so they shouldn’t be severely punished for falling to them. The bottom line is that they have looked better winning five games than they were in losing one by seven points, and they have plenty of chances of to climb again.
With the first week of revealed BCS standings about to start up, it remains to be seen how long these stand revelevant. However, it is clear there are some teams being slighted, while others are being given a bit too much credit. But as always, all they can do is take it to the field and let the B(C)S take care of the rest, for better or worse.