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Initial BCS standings released: Tide back on top; FSU No. 2

By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer

As expected, consensus No. 1 in the polls Alabama debuted at No. 1 -- again -- in the BCS standings, .049 points above second-place Florida State. Oregon, Ohio State and Missouri rounded out the top 5.

The full standings:

THE TOP 16

1. Alabama (.984): Since allowing 42 points in their win over Texas A&M, the Tide defense has allowed a total of 16 in their past five games.

2. Florida State (.935): While the win over Clemson helped vault Florida State to No. 2, their margin over Oregon is incredibly slim. So strange as it may feel, Seminoles must root for Florida to recover and give their team another shot at a high-profile late-season win.

3. Oregon (.932): While they're No.2 in both major polls, the Ducks find themselves third in the rankings that truly matter. After disposing of Washington State the Ducks don't have a gimme on the rest of their slate, which reads vs. UCLA, at Stanford, vs. Utah, at Arizona, vs. Oregon State. Combined record: 25-8, with five of those losses coming to another team in that group.

4. Ohio State (.855): Buckeyes in real danger of starting the season at No. 2 in the polls, going undefeated, and somehow still being left out of the national title picture.

5. Missouri (.822): The Tigers' rankings the last four weeks in the AP poll: unranked, No. 25, No. 14, No. 5. The BCS's computers (which rank them second on average) say it's about time you puny hu-mans caught on.

6. Stanford (.741): With pretty poll position and a marquee game against Oregon on the docket, the Cardinal are easily the current one-loss team best-prepared to make a charge at the BCS title game should the 'Noles and Buckeyes falter.

7. Miami (.720): 'Canes happy the top-10 carnage let them waltz up the polls even after the narrowest of escapes at North Carolina.

8. Baylor (.712): With the Bears fourth in Jeff Sagarin's margin-based "predictor" ratings and 18th in his margin-free formula for the BCS, no one is angrier that the BCS's computers aren't allowed to consider margin-of-victory.

9. Clemson (.625): To make the ACC Championship Game (and have any real shot at getting back in the national title race), Tigers need FSU to lose two of their last four ACC games, which include Miami ... and 0-3 ACC N.C. State, 2-2 Wake Forest, and 1-2 Syracuse.

10. Texas Tech (.622): How much faith does Vegas have in the undefeated Red Raiders? They've opened as eight-point underdogs at struggling Oklahoma.

11. Auburn (.506): The Tigers have gone from 118th in total offense in 2012 to 19th in 2013. Gus Malzahn may know what he's doing.

12. UCLA (.481): The Pac-12 sending the Bruins to play at Stanford and at Oregon in back-to-back weeks seems entirely fair. (Or not.)

13. LSU (.455): Les Miles wasn't going to be thrilled with two losses at the end of this season regardless. Safe to say that two losses by Week 8 to teams with a combined six losses of their own was really, really not what he had in mind.

14. Virginia Tech (.441): How do you have the FBS's 112th-ranked offense and still start 6-1 with your only loss to Alabama? By having the FBS's 2nd-ranked defense.

15. Oklahoma (.420): In his last three outings, Blake Bell has averaged 4.9, 5.1, and 5.2 yards per-attempt, and the last of those came against Kansas.

16. Texas A&M (.367): Aggies' losses are close shaves to an undefeated and one-loss team, but wins are only over Rice, Sam Houston St., SMU, Arkansas and Ole Miss, leaving them a solid No. 20 in the computers.

"Non-AQ" teams must reach the BCS top 16 and outrank one "AQ" champion to be eligible for an automatic BCS berth.

THE WAITING LIST

17. Fresno State

18. Northern Illinois

19. Oklahoma State

20. Louisville

21. South Carolina

22. Michigan

23. UCF

24. Nebraska

25. Oregon State

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