Bracketology/Bowls Expert

Alabama-Oregon atop the BCS, Mizzou moving up

The BCS will finally debut next week, but in the last week of pre-BCS ratings, Alabama and Oregon are still on top, as they are in the polls.

Those polls now include the Harris poll, which made its debut this week (without one of its voters, who didn't submit a ballot for "personal reasons"). It looks a lot like the other two, showing that group think still exists, and that having a just one poll start in October doesn't really help avoid that. It will be interesting to see if that is also true with the selection committee "poll" is released mid-October next year.

For example, little was expected of Missouri this year, so the Tigers' 6-0 start has seen little reward, despite this week's win at Georgia. They did shoot up from the edge of the top 25 in the polls to 14th this week after the win, and from 20th to tenth in the overall BCS. The computers love them because (with one exception) with those, the Tigers aren't burdened by their past or preseason expectation.

As you would expect, this week's big losers plummeted. Stanford is down to 11th, while Georgia is 16th and out of the national championship picture despite still controlling its own destiny in the SEC.

Fresno State is 20th this week, which is the highest rated team among the non-majors. The Bulldogs need to finish in the top 12, or in the top 16 and ahead of one of the six AQ champs. The Big 12 may be poised to cannibalize itself and have a champion ranked low enough to accommodate them.

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