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Boise still stuck in BCS mud until powers fall


There is a new No. 1 in the BCS, and it's still not Oregon.

Auburn takes over the top spot thanks to a move up in the polls after beating LSU 24-17 on Saturday. The Tigers are now a solid third in both polls, and closing fast on second-ranked Boise State. Auburn is also the new top-rated team in the computers.

Oregon remains at No. 2 after thrashing UCLA 60-13 on Thursday night, which helped the Ducks in the polls. They extended their lead over Boise State in both the Harris and coaches polls to about the equivalent of one-and-a-half spots in the rankings. Unfortunately, beating UCLA did not impress the computers at all. The Ducks are still eighth, even after two teams ahead of them lost.

Those two teams control their own destiny in the BCS. After that, it's win 'em all and hope for the best.

Boise State has far and away the easiest route to an undefeated season. The Broncos are still the second-rated team in the polls, although that lead is starting to slip. Part of that is due to Auburn's big win, but also to the fact that they didn't play this week. It's typical for teams to slide a bit in their bye weeks.

The good news for Boise is that it has pretty much bottomed out in the computers. The meat of its conference schedule (stop laughing SEC fans) is coming after Louisiana Tech on Tuesday. After that, three of their next four games are against Hawaii (6-2), Fresno State (5-2) and BCS No. 24 Nevada (6-1).

College Football
Dennis Dodd Dennis Dodd
Alabama, the reigning champions, haven't lost all hope of defending their crown in January. Read More >>
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As it is, the Broncos are tied with LSU for sixth in the computers and are third in the BCS, just a scant .0013 ahead of TCU.

The Horned Frogs grounded Air Force 38-7 Saturday night, and are still leaking poll position. Last week, they shared the 3-4 spot with Oklahoma, but when the Sooners lost, Auburn not only took their spot, but also passed them in the Harris poll. This is probably as close as TCU will get to Boise State unless the Frogs get closer in the polls.

And of course, TCU has to watch its back. Michigan State, which used another fake punt to spark a victory this week, is a distant fifth in the polls. However, that margin figures to shrink quickly if Sparty continues to win.

The big winner in the BCS this week is Missouri, which knocked off last week's No. 1 Oklahoma 36-27. The Tigers moved all the way up to sixth overall, but they are the second lowest rated undefeated team in the polls. Missouri and Utah are both behind Alabama in the polls, but Missouri probably won't be for long if the Tigers keep winning. Missouri has the computer strength to stay ahead of Alabama in the BCS, but Utah does not. The Utes are 10th in the computers, behind all the other undefeated teams, Oklahoma, LSU and Wisconsin.

The Badgers had a huge win over Iowa in Iowa City 31-30, also sparked by a fake punt -- a staple in Big Ten offenses now. That was enough for the Badgers to finally pass Ohio State, who they beat last week.

Oklahoma is still fifth in the computers and ninth overall, so it has to be considered a good candidate for a spot in the title game if there is room for a one-loss team. The Sooners wouldn't be as good as Alabama, but probably next in line after the Tide.

It's too early to talk about one-loss teams playing for the title though. We still have to weed out undefeated majors. And then the fun really begins.


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