BCS rankings breakdown, Week 10: Oregon overtakes Florida State, Fresno State sneaking in

Jonathan Ferrey

If Alabama and Oregon can remain perfect, they'll play for the national title in January. But that's a big if. Also, let's take a look at how the BCS would unfold right now and what the Playoff picture would look like.

The second BCS standings of the season were released on Sunday night, with some shakeup in the top-five. While Alabama held strong at the top, Oregon leapfrogged Florida State after a big win over UCLA. Ohio State remained No. 4, but Missouri dropped from fifth to ninth following their heartbreaking loss to South Carolina. Stanford is now No. 5 and quietly remains in the hunt for the national title game.

The two big stories at the moment are the Ducks and Noles battling for second, which will continue as long as both remain undefeated, and the push by Fresno State and Northern Illinois to rank either in the top 12 or in the top 16 and ahead of a BCS-conference champion. If either can do that, the BCS' final season will produce some bizarre bowl matchups. As you can see below, both are well within BCS-buster range already.

BCS Harris Poll USA Today Computer Rankings
RK TEAM AVG PVS RK PTS % RK PTS % AVG A&H RB CM KM JS PW %
1 Alabama .9937 1 1 2590 .9962 1 1542 .9948 1 1 1 2 1 2 1 .990
2 Oregon .9517 3 2 2492 .9585 2 1483 .9568 2 3 2 1 2 4 3 .940
3 Florida State .9211 2 3 2386 .9177 3 1419 .9155 3 2 5 4 3 1 2 .930
4 Ohio State .8840 4 4 2301 .8850 4 1375 .8871 4 4 3 3 8 5 4 .880
5 Stanford .7918 6 6 2035 .7827 7 1182 .7626 5 6 4 5 4 6 6 .830
6 Baylor .7645 8 5 2130 .8192 5 1293 .8342 10 10 11 7 12 9 10 .640
7 Miami (FL) .7560 7 7 1977 .7604 6 1190 .7677 6 5 15 6 7 8 9 .740
8 Clemson .6687 9 8 1767 .6796 8 1064 .6865 10 11 7 11 10 11 8 .640
9 Missouri .6096 5 9 1510 .5808 10 834 .5381 8 9 9 8 5 10 7 .710
10 Oklahoma .6064 15 10 1475 .5673 9 933 .6019 9 7 6 9 11 13 12 .650
11 Auburn .6025 11 11 1453 .5588 11 804 .5187 7 8 18 10 6 7 5 .730
12 Texas A&M .4812 16 13 1364 .5246 14 758 .4890 14 16 19 13 13 18 14 .430
13 LSU .4630 13 12 1408 .5415 13 802 .5174 16 20 10 23 15 20 16 .330
14 South Carolina .4486 21 17 1043 .4012 16 627 .4045 12 12 8 18 9 16 13 .540
15 Texas Tech .3749 10 14 1093 .4204 15 673 .4342 17 18 14 16 22 22 21 .270
16 Fresno State .3669 17 18 965 .3712 18 542 .3497 15 13 25 14 NR 14 11 .380
17 Northern Illinois .3335 18 20 650 .2500 20 373 .2406 13 17 12 12 14 3 15 .510
18 Oklahoma State .3113 19 15 1081 .4158 12 803 .5181 29 NR NR NR NR NR NR .000
19 Louisville .2599 20 16 1056 .4062 17 579 .3735 29 NR 17 NR NR NR NR .000
20 UCLA .2338 12 19 683 .2627 19 432 .2787 21 25 20 NR 19 23 20 .160
21 Michigan .1875 22 21 528 .2031 21 309 .1994 21 14 22 17 24 NR 25 .160
22 Michigan State .1811 NR 23 391 .1504 24 237 .1529 18 23 NR 15 18 17 22 .240
23 UCF .1789 23 22 502 .1931 22 300 .1935 23 NR 16 25 NR 21 17 .150
24 Wisconsin .0993 NR 24 350 .1346 23 253 .1632 29 NR NR NR NR NR NR .000
25 Notre Dame .0928 NR NR 91 .0350 25 83 .0535 19 21 13 21 20 25 23 .190

Reactions:

As the Crimson Tide remain the top team in the land, Roll Bama Roll finds your courage amusing.

The folks at Addicted To Quack point out the tougher road awaiting the Ducks, which is expected to work to Oregon's advantage. But they're not too worried about it.

Tomahawk Nation knows FSU is going to need help from someone if it is going to play for the national title this season.

The Buckeyes are keeping faith over at Land Grant Holy Land.

As for the little guys, MAC site Hustle Belt finds ESPN's coverage more palatable this time around.

Speaking of those mid-majors, Matt Hinton writes that it's not the humans who are falling in love with the underdogs:

One of the reasons the Bulldogs and Huskies are in such solid position, surprisingly, is their good standing in the computer polls, where both rank in the top 15 despite the computers' alleged emphasis on strength of schedule. (NIU's best win is over Iowa, by three points; the crown jewel in Fresno's resumé is either a one-point win over Rutgers, in overtime, or a one-point win over Boise State.) In fact, even the machines don't really know what to do with them. In Jeff Sagarin's rankings, for example, his "real" rankings - which include margin of victory - list both NIU and Fresno as mediocrities at No. 51 and No. 52, respectively, nowhere near the threshold for a BCS game; in the version Sagarin submits to the BCS, though, which excludes margin of victory, the same teams come in at No. 3 and No. 14. The absurd result for NIU was rejected from the final computer average as an outlier, but the Huskies still have more than enough support in the other polls to book a return date if/when Fresno finally runs out of gas. Either way, go ahead and brace yourself for a likely bloodbath when one or the other makes the cut.

Our Daily Bears both celebrates Baylor's highest-ever ranking and looks ahead to what might be the toughest remaining schedule of any contender.

Week 10 impact

No. 7 Miami at No. 3 Florida State: This is the toughest challenge remaining on FSU's schedule, and thus one of the Seminoles' few chances to whittle away Oregon's lead. Miami is coming off three sloppy performances, but enters the game with an unblemished 7-0 record. Despite both schools being highly ranked, early lines have the Seminoles favored by three touchdowns, so the Noles will need to go for total annihilation in order to impress the humans.

No. 18 Oklahoma State at No. 15 Texas Tech: The Red Raiders are coming off a tough road loss to Oklahoma, but they remain firmly in the hunt for the Big 12 title. The Cowboys haven't played well at times this season, though they're still 6-1 with just one conference loss. The winner of this game remains in the hunt for the automatic Fiesta Bowl bid and should creep up the BCS top 20.

No. 21 Michigan at No. 22 Michigan State: These two in-state rivals will square off in East Lansing for what should be a terrific Big Ten matchup. The Spartans are 4-0 in conference play and seem to be getting things figured out a bit offensively, while it's tough to ever really know which Michigan team will show up. The loser of this game is out of the BCS at-large mix for good.

Tennessee at No. 9 Missouri: Despite losing to South Carolina, Mizzou still controls its destiny in the SEC East. The Volunteers are coming off an ugly loss to Alabama, but they've shown all season long that they can hang with the big boys. If the Vols can knock off the Tigers, as tackle Antonio Richardson has promised, Missouri will slip behind South Carolina in the standings and kiss the Sugar Bowl goodbye.

No. 11 Auburn at Arkansas: It's been a rough go for the Razorbacks under first-year coach Bret Bielema, and they're still searching for their first conference win of the year. Pulling a major upset and ruining the Tigers' longshot national championship hopes would do the trick. Auburn comes in at 7-1 with an impressive 3-1 mark against SEC foes.

BCS gonna BCS

Jeff Sagarin is changing up his formula once again. Who's Jeff Sagarin? He's the man behind one of the six computer formulas used to form one third of the BCS standings. His is usually thought of as one of the more reputable ones, since he's at least publicly complained about margin of victory being excluded by BCS rule. He also publishes a relatively respected formula that does include margin of victory.

You can see why his formula needs a tweak, as last week it offered up FCS Bethune-Cookman as a top-10 team. But adjusting it midseason, without any oversight? The BCS is outdoing itself in its last season.

BCS bowl picture

If the season ended tomorrow, the BCS bowl game picture would look like this:

National Championship: Alabama vs. Oregon
Orange Bowl: Florida State vs. Oklahoma
Sugar Bowl: Missouri vs. UCF
Rose Bowl: Ohio State vs. Stanford
Fiesta Bowl: Baylor vs. Fresno State

But the season's not ending tomorrow. Check out our full bowl game projections here.

What about the College Football Playoff?

This time next year, we'll be preparing for the first-ever College Football Playoff. That being said, it's never too early to do a mock-up of what would happen in 2013 if the season ended right now. Here are Team Speed Kills' projections, as well as an explanation for their reasoning. (Note: This is the College Football Playoff bowl schedule for the 2015 season, not 2014, because why not?)

Orange Bowl semifinal: Alabama vs. Ohio State
Cotton Bowl semifinal: Oregon vs. Florida State
Rose Bowl: Stanford vs. Michigan
Sugar Bowl: Missouri vs. Baylor
Fiesta Bowl: Fresno State vs. Oklahoma
Chick-fil-A Bowl: Miami vs. Clemson

More from SB Nation college football:

Oregon jumps Florida State for No. 2 in new BCS standings

SEC thriller in World Series country: Steven Godfrey at South Carolina-Mizzou

New bowl projections: Alabama-Oregon, and A&M to BCS?

You have to see what Ohio State’s band did

Alabama, Oregon, FSU top new human polls

FSU, Georgia, Michigan State favored in Week 10’s big games

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