Week 2 of the BCS standings saw a monumental shift, as Oklahoma’s loss–which really confirmed what the poll voters long believed–made the glimmer of hope for non-BCS schools a little stronger, although they still have to hope for some help.
Auburn slides comfortably into the top spot, aided by a #1 ranking in three of the six computers. Despite being ranked third in both polls, the Tigers strength of schedule puts them ahead of Oregon and Boise State, both of whom are getting killed in the computer rankings. However, history has taught us that, by the end of the year, the polls are what matter, so Auburn will need to rise in the polls–and should have every chance to do so.
Of course, it’s the second spot in the standings that really matters, and Oregon continues to hold off those plucky Broncos. Amazingly, Boise’s computer ranking is still higher than Oregon’s, but the Ducks have the edge in the polls. For all those complaining about Boise’s schedule, Oregon’s not exactly beating ranked teams weekly. At best, they’ll face three teams who will be ranked by the BCS at the end of the season: Stanford, Arizona and USC (Yes, I know they can’t be officially ranked). Boise will likely have a ranked Virginia Tech team on the docket, and possibly Nevada as well. This isn’t exactly the SEC vs. the Big East here, folks. But will the voters give the Broncos enough love? They’ll need to be a pretty consensus #2 in the polls to get in.
True fact. The Big East, which has an automatic BCS bid, has no teams in the Top 25. The WAC and Mountain West, which do not have auto bids, have two each; the Mountain West teams are both in the Top 10. Aren’t double standards fun?
At #4, TCU is just behind Boise, and a win over #8 Utah may get them into the discussion if Oregon or Auburn lose. However, the voters probably remember their loss to Boise last season, so good luck passing the Broncos. Michigan State rounds out the Top 5, but is too far out to warrant serious discussion until other teams lose–and they beat Iowa next week.
The Tigers and Ducks are in the drivers seat for the BCS, but as the Buckeyes, Crimson Tide and Sooners can tell you, that may not be the place to be.