Brett McMurphy has been all over the West Virginia to the Big 12 story, which became official today. In his story, Brett said, "With the Big 12 only taking West Virginia, the Big East’s chances of retaining its BCS automatic qualifying status in 2014 is greatly improved."
I'm sure he means as opposed to taking both West Virginia and Louisville, which would have been worse because that would have meant the Big East having to find two more teams instead of just one. However, it would have been much better for the Big 12 to have caved to some senatorial pressure and took just Louisville. The Mountaineers have been the most consistely good program in the Big East, so while the league only needs to find one more replacement, it will be hard pressed to find one that is anywhere near the quality of West Virginia. Note I am excluing the six programs already being pursued by the league, Boise State, Air Force, Navy, Houston, SMU and UCF.
Note that Brett mentioned the AQ status for 2014 and beyond. That is because the Big East is contracturally locked in as an AQ league through the 2013 season. There is no formal process for revoking that status beyond then, but that is an issue the BCS commissioners will deal with in the next eight to ten months, according to BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock.
Ah, the vagaries of the BCS computer rankings. If you look at Ken Massey's BCS rankings and go far enough down the list, you'll see that the 88th ranked team is that noted football power Arizona Western JC. Yes, a junior college. If you look at his regular rankings, which the BCS does not use because they include margin of victory, AWJC is 30th.
This has caused a little bit of outrage because it's so comically wrong, and while I understand that, I'm not as bothered by it as most people are. A team like AWJC is so far removed from the oppponent, opponents, opponents, etc chain of any I-A school that it could probably be removed from the database entirely without affecting the I-A rankings.
That is also the reason a team like AWJC can be so high in the rankings. It is so far removed from the I-A schools that its rating isn't impacted by them.
Programmers who want to rank just I-A schools need to find some way to deal with opponents outside of that class. Some, like me, deal with it by treating all such opponents as genericly bad I-A teams. Some rank a larger set of schools to be more specific. Some ignore those games entirely (like the RPI). Different strokes for different folks. I don't get too worked up about it. It's a reliativley minor problem for the BCS compared to the fact that they have no idea how these ratings work or if they are being calculated correctly. Also, teams don't know how they are being judged. That's because, except for Colley, the formulas are secret.
LSU, Alabama and Boise State are off this week, but there are still several games of interest.
Clemson is at Georgia Tech, which looked like a lot bigger game a couple weeks ago when the Yellow Jackets were still undefeated. Georgia Tech is still dangerous, and difficult to prepare for, so Clemson better be ready.
Baylor at Oklahoma State -- Brandon Weedon vs Robert Griffin III. Alert the engineers! The scoreboard is going to get a workout.
Oklahoma at Kansas State -- One of these teams is still undefeated. I think the Wildcats picked a bad week to schedule Oklahoma.
Michigan State at Nebraska -- The Spartans just finished handing Michigan and Wisconsin their first losses in back-to-back weekends, and their reward is a trip to Lincoln. Thanks, schedule makers!
Wisconsin at Ohio State -- The Badgers try to bounce back from the loss to Michigan State last week and stay in the hunt in the Legendary Leaders division, or something like that.
Stanford at USC -- The Trojans just extinguished Notre Dame's BCS hopes last week, and now it hopes to kill off the Cardinal's national title aspirations.
Georgia vs Florida -- The World's Largest Cocktail Party usually leaves Georgia with a hangover. Mark Richt was on one of the hottest seats to start the season, but now an East division title is a possiblity. USC-East controls its own destiny there, but with Marcus Lattimore done for the season, the door could open for the Bulldogs.