clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Weekly BCS Briefing: Week Five

New, 10 comments
DALLAS - OCTOBER 02:  Head coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns yells on the sidelines during play against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl on October 2 2010 in Dallas Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
DALLAS - OCTOBER 02: Head coach Mack Brown of the Texas Longhorns yells on the sidelines during play against the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl on October 2 2010 in Dallas Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Getty Images

The Texas Longhorns were the biggest losers in the latest simulated BCS Rankings.

There were some major fluctuations this week in the simulated BCS rankings, due mainly to performance on the field rather than unruly computers. 10 teams moved 5 or more spots this week, and Oklahoma also got a pretty surprising bump from their win over Texas, and more minor bumps from wins from all of their non-conference opponents (except Cincy, who was idle).

UPDATE: 1101PM CDT, Included the latest Anderson and Hester Computer Rankings as they were released since I put this together. We now have 5/6 computer rankings. Next Sunday, the Sunday before the first BCS rankings are released, we will have 5/6 computers available, and both human polls as the Harris Poll will debut. There were some minor changes in the rankings, but nothing major.

The rankings are available, after the jump...

Top 25 By Conference

SEC (6), Big 12 (5), Big 10 (5), Pac 10 (3), WAC (2), ACC (2), MWC (2)

None ranked: Big East, Sun Belt, MAC, Independents, Conference USA

Instant Reactions

  • I'm blown away by the fact that OU's average computer ranking is #2. Clearly the computers like the fact that they are undefeated, and they have beaten some solid teams (Florida State ranked again in human polls, Air Force receiving votes, Texas receiving votes). I know it may not seem that way, but they have.
  • The Colley Matrix and Massey Ratings show a lot of love to the undefeated Big 12 teams that aren't ranked highly (aka. not OU or Nebraska).
  • The voters appear to be unconvinced by LSU's fashion of winning games, but the computers all have the Tigers in the top 5. This keeps LSU higher than they would otherwise be.
  • Even though Iowa State's BCS average is technically 0, they are included in this spreadsheet because they received a ranking in one of the computer polls. Welcome to the sheet Iowa State! Same story with Colorado who is 3-1, and has just one loss (granted, a bad one, a blowout to Cal).
  • Air Force and Florida State keep winning despite their losses versus OU, and both are near the cutoff for the top 25 in a lot of the polls. Playing these teams should help OU down the stretch. 
  • Huge gains made by Michigan State (+12), Virginia Tech (+6), Michigan (+5), and Iowa (+5).
  • Huge losses by Texas (-13), Wisconsin (-11), Penn State (-11), Florida (-8), NC State (-8), and Stanford (-7).

The Elite

Teams in this category are either ranked #1 or #2 or they are within a cluster of teams that does not trail 2nd place by more than 0.05 points.

Well Within Striking Distance

Florida drops out of this grouping with a loss against Alabama. However, the rest of the group remains unchanged, although there was some shuffling in the ordering. Boise State remained #2, and their lead on the #3 spot actually grew by virtue of Florida's loss (+0.0291). Oklahoma jumped up into the #3 spot, and is closely followed by Oregon and Ohio State. The computer rankings appear to like OU a bit more than Ohio State and Oregon, and could help OU make up the gap between these teams if the vote differential in the human polls remains small enough. TCU needs a bit more help, but they are still in this second cluster and can improve their ranking with quality wins and/or losses by the teams ahead of them. The problem for TCU (and especially Boise State) is that they don't have a whole lot of quality opponents remaining as compared to Ohio State, Oklahoma, or Oregon.

Let's make an assumption and say that Alabama goes undefeated. At that point, I'd say it's a 4-horse race to determine their competitor in the national title game, at this point, between Boise State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Oregon. I think Boise State will see their BCS average get eroded week by week as they play WAC opponents.

Need Some Help

These teams have remained pretty consistent for a couple of weeks now. All four are undefeated, but because of a combination of factors like preseason rankings, quality of opponents thus far, or style of victory, they haven't been able to jump up into the national title race just yet. There are a couple of avenues for these teams to get into the hunt:

  • Beating teams valued by the computers, or ranked in the polls. Doing this will allow teams to chip away at the lead of other undefeated teams ahead of them.
  • Cannot lose (obviously), as their margin for error is very small.
  • Teams ahead of them lose. This, in combination by wins from these teams, will allow them to get a greater share of higher votes, and their BCS average will climb. When the BCS average climbs closer to the top dogs, then it is easier for a big win to put them over the top.
Auburn plays two ranked opponents in October, LSU also plays two, Nebraska plays two, and Arizona plays none. Therefore, it looks like all Arizona can do for the next month is tread water and hope teams ahead of them crumble. It should be noted that LSU will play Auburn in October, so that will act as a de facto elimination game.


With that, I'm going to bow out, and let you all dissect the rest, if you so choose. The important thing to take away this week, I think, is that OU is essentially in control of their own destiny in terms of the BCS rankings. If they keep winning, the computers will continue to value them as a top 3 team (it would be nice if former opponents kept winning too).

Conversation Topic

Is it possible we'll have a ton of undefeated teams at the end of the season? Alabama is looking very dominant. Boise State and TCU both stand great chances of running the table. Oklahoma and Nebraska will probably be favored in the remainder of their games in the regular season. Oregon looks very impressive and only has to play one more ranked team (Arizona, at home). Of the remaining conferences with an undefeated team, the Big 10 seems to be the least probable conference to wind up with an unbeaten. Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Northwestern are all still undefeated, and Iowa and Wisconsin are both tough teams with one loss. Indiana could surprise someone. Penn State has two losses, but is still a decent team.

Even if you scratch out the Big 10, that's potentially five undefeated teams. Wouldn't THAT be a BCS buster?