LOS ANGELES CA - OCTOBER 30: LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks celebrates his touchdown with Darrion Weems #74 on way to a 53-32 victory over the USC Trojans during the fourth quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 30 2010 in Los Angeles California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

BCS Rankings: Oregon Tops BCS Standings For First Time In School History In Week 10

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BCS Rankings: What Happens If TCU Or Boise State Makes The BCS National Championship Game?

Sure, at this point it seems unlikely that either TCU or Boise State will get a chance to play in the BCS National Championship Game this year. Neither team has the strength of schedule to get it just by going undefeated, and both are likely to be less appealing than a one-loss SEC champion, be it Auburn or Alabama.

But what if Oregon loses, or both Auburn and Alabama fall out of the race? That's what BCS Evolution is wondering, too, and our BCS expert comes up with two possible narratives.

If TCU or Boise State go to the BCS championship game, the big conferences will want a playoff to weed them out in the early rounds.

The idea of this argument is that the major conferences support the current system to exclude potential outsiders from championship consideration. Based on this premise, if TCU or Boise State make the championship game the BCS will have failed this, and these conferences will have no reason to fight a playoff.

If TCU or Boise State go to the BCS championship game it will prove the system works, removing the need for a playoff.

This is certainly the angle (BCS executive director) Bill Hancock would take. This would put a serious dent in arguments that it is impossible for teams from outside the automatic qualifying conferences to earn their way to the championship game. This could be further argued by pointing out that the MWC is on pace to be considered for an automatic qualification for 2012 and 2013.

I would tend to agree with the former verdict — sure, the BCS tossing a bone to the scrappy mid-majors once in a while would quiet the playoff clamor, but the big conferences want the prestige and the cash that comes with national championships as often as possible.

You can vote on which verdict is right at BCS Evolution.

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BCS Rankings: Analysis On The Notable Teams

As predicted, the Oregon Ducks passed the Auburn Tigers in the official BCS standings. The TCU Horned Frogs also passed the Boise St. Broncos, but both remain close. More surprisingly, the Utah Utes pass the Alabama Crimson Tide. Either Utah or TCU will lose next week and Alabama has a chance to make a move with LSU on the docket.

What is truly surprising, though, is how much the gap between sixth and seventh has evaporated. There was some shuffling among the next group of teams, but with a measurement error of roughly 0.0200 the BCS average indicates they are practically tied, so ordinal differences do not mean very much.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers, Oklahoma Sooners, Wisconsin Badgers, LSU Tigers, Ohio State Buckeyes, Missouri Tigers and Michigan State Spartans remain on the extreme fringe of the championship race. They are all likely to pass Utah if they win out. None of this alters the projected national championship race as presented this morning, but the much larger impact of next week's games might.

Another line worth watching the rest of the season is which teams are in the race for a BCS at-large berth. The Iowa Hawkeyes, Oklahoma State Cowboys, Arkansas Razorbacks, South Carolina Gamecocks and Mississippi State Bulldogs have climbed into this picture, while the Florida State Seminoles fell out with a loss to North Carolina State.

The Wolfpack are the only team appearing this week that was not ranked last week, replacing the Miami Hurricanes, after their loss to Virginia.

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BCS Rankings: Initial Analysis Of The Week 10 BCS Standings

A quick review of the results of the in Week 10 BCS rankings:

Oregon wresting the top spot from Auburn isn't surprising, and doesn't matter. Both teams will be in the BCS Championship Game if they win out, and it doesn't much matter which one would head into that game ranked first. This is a laurel for Oregon's papers to talk about this week, and little more.

The gap between those two teams and TCU and Boise State, though, is telling. Almost six-tenths of a point separates second-ranked Auburn and third-ranked TCU, and while that gap will narrow after TCU plays Utah this week — provided the Horned Frogs win — Auburn would just widen it again with games against Alabama and the SEC East champion. For TCU or Boise State to play for a national championship this year, more than one of Oregon, Auburn, and Alabama must lose.

It's nice to see three teams from non-BCS automatic qualifier conferences in the top five, but because of the way the BCS rules work, that will probably only reward one of those three teams. The eventual reward for the highest-ranked of those three teams, should Oregon meet the SEC champion in the BCS Championship Game, is a Rose Bowl berth, which isn't shabby. But it's not the same as a shot at a title.

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BCS Rankings: Oregon Takes Top Spot In Week 10 BCS Standings

ESPN has released the third official BCS rankings of the 2010 season on its BCS Countdown show. And the Oregon Ducks are smiling wide.

The Ducks take the top spot for the first time in school history after a big win over USC this weekend. Auburn drops to second, and should not worry: winning out will keep the Tigers ahead of TCU, Boise State, and Utah, the three teams from non-BCS automatic qualifier conferences that fill out the top five.

It's the first time in the history of the BCS that three teams from non-BCS automatic qualifier conferences are in the top five.

(As a reminder, the network has taken the American Idol route and is stretching out the selections, announcing the bottom 15 teams in the top 25 first and giving analysts like Craig James and Jesse Palmer to give their own versions of the college football polls. Basically, ESPN forces interested college football observers to listen to Craig James to get the BCS rankings as they're released. That's just mean.)

One lower-ranked team to watch out for is Arizona. The Wildcats still have Oregon and Stanford on the schedule, and could soar with a takedowns of those highly-rated schools.

We'll have more analysis as the night wears on.

Full standings are as follows:

  1. Oregon
  2. Auburn
  3. TCU
  4. Boise State
  5. Utah
  6. Alabama
  7. Nebraska
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Wisconsin
  10. LSU
  11. Ohio State
  12. Missouri
  13. Stanford
  14. Michigan State
  15. Arizona
  16. Iowa
  17. Oklahoma State
  18. Arkansas
  19. South Carolina
  20. Mississippi State
  21. Baylor
  22. Virginia Tech
  23. Nevada
  24. Florida State
  25. North Carolina State
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BCS Rankings: Oregon And Auburn Will Reign Atop Week 10 Standings

For one week, it looks like the BCS rankings won't be in flux.

Auburn and Oregon took care of business with 20-point wins on Saturday, and should be safe at the top. There may be a switch in positions for the two teams — Oregon will get a boost in strength of schedule from vanquished USC — but it appears set in stone that they will be first and second in some order.

Further down, Boise State and TCU will benefit from losses by previously undefeated Michigan State and Missouri. The Broncos and Horned Frogs may inch closer to the upper echelon of both the human polls and the BCS standings thanks to the losses by the Spartans and Tigers. And TCU will get an extra boost as Utah rises: the Horned Frogs must travel to Salt Lake City, where College GameDay will broadcast from next week, for a showdown with their fellow Mountain West Conference unbeaten.

As always, the official BCS rankings will be revealed on ESPN's BCS Countdown show on Sunday night. We'll have the full rankings and some analysis as soon as possible after they are released.

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