The BCS ratings will be released for the first time this season Sunday, and if they had come out last week, Boise State would have been No. 1. Associated Press poll No. 1 Ohio State would have been fifth, and the highest-rated SEC team would have been LSU at No. 6.
If Boise State is at the top again this week, and it could be, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, especially in SEC country, where fans think their league has at least 13 teams better than Boise State.
|Wins over teams like Oregon State have Boise State flying high, but the Broncos' schedule goes south fast. (Getty Images)|
First, one of the BCS computers, Peter Wolfe's, hasn't released any data yet, so we don't know how his rankings will impact the teams at the top until they come out.
Also, in San Jose State this week, the Broncos are against the worst team they have played. (Well, New Mexico State may be worse, but that's splitting hairs.) The Spartans are sure to do some damage to Boise's strong computer ranking. The Broncos are tied for No. 2 in the computers with Oklahoma.
Ohio State is so strong in the polls that if they just had a computer average ranking of around seven, the Buckeyes would be No. 1 in the BCS. They have a chance to help that number considerably when they travel to Wisconsin this week.
There are still 13 undefeated teams, and since there are no games between unbeatens, we could still have 13 on Sunday. That is a lot for this time of year. As a result, the computers are all over the place. Teams like Boise State and TCU have already played most of the good teams on their schedule, while most of the major conference teams have not, and the computers reflect that. As the season goes on and the majors start to hit the meat of their conference schedules, the computers will start to bump them up.
And as always for Boise State and TCU, both have to watch their backs in the polls. Nebraska is already gaining fast. The Cornhuskers jumped TCU in the coaches poll last week, and debuted only 46 points behind the Frogs in the Harris poll. A big win over Texas this weekend in Lincoln could continue to push them higher.
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I also believe Auburn can make a big jump this week if the Tigers are able to take down Arkansas at home. There isn't much chance that voters are going to hold down an undefeated SEC team for long. Despite my sarcasm above, most people, including myself, consider it to be the best league, and it won't take much for voters to get on board with Auburn soon.
If Auburn and Nebraska eat into Boise's poll position, it will be very difficult for the Broncos to hold on to No. 1 in the BCS. And as long as those two keep winning, that move is coming -- it's just a matter of time.
If Boise does fall back some, Oregon, which would be No. 2 this week, could move up without playing. TCU is No. 3 this week but isn't likely to get the kind of help you would usually expect from a win over BYU. BCS No. 4 Oklahoma plays Iowa State this week -- again, not much help. The teams with the best chance of catching Boise State this week are Oregon and Ohio State -- the top two teams in the polls.