Another Sunday brings the newest set of the BCS standings. Both LSU and Alabama were inactive this week, so there was no change in the all-important top two spots, but losses by previously undefeated Clemson and Kansas State have shaken up the top ten, as well as the national title hunt. The upcoming LSU-Alabama game will be the fifth regular season game between the teams ranked first and second in the BCS. Just so you know, #2 is 3-1 in those games.
In terms of the Big Ten, the teams are ranked as follows: Nebraska (10), Michigan (15), Penn State (16), Michigan State (17), and Wisconsin (20).
A couple observations:
- Once again, you could take the teams ranked 9-25, arrange them in random order, and make a fairly reasonable defense of your selection.
- The SEC has six teams in the top 25, followed by five from the Big Ten, four from the Big 12, three from the Pac-12 and ACC, two from Conference USA, and one from the Big East and Mountain West.
- I think the Big Ten teams are probably ranked in the proper order, based on their results. Nebraska may not be that much better than the rest of the conference, but that gap should close in the next month. The point gap between Michigan and Penn State is a little bigger than I was expecting, but Penn State is much farther ahead of Michigan State than I was expecting.
- Why Oklahoma is ranked above Oregon is a mystery to me. The Ducks lost to #1 LSU on a neutral site, while the Sooners lost at home to a team that isn't ranked. OU has yet to play Oklahoma State, and I'm not convinced the Big 12 is that much better than the Pac-12.
- I'm surprised South Carolina jumped as much as they did for a rather pedestrian win over a toothless Tennessee team. I know we shouldn't preemptively punish a team for losing important personnel, but without Marcus Lattimore, the Gamecocks are not anywhere close to the 9th best team in the country. Again, that should work itself out down the stretch.
- Teams the computers favor more than the human pollsters: Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas, Auburn, Southern Miss.
- Teams the human pollsters favor more than the computers: Oregon, Michigan State, Wisconsin.
- Would the loser of the LSU-Alabama game jump over Boise State in the BCS standings? Maybe, but I'll start worrying about that if/when Oklahoma State and Stanford lose. Until every other team from a BCS conference has a loss, the implications are minimal.