EUGENE OR - NOVEMBER 6: Quarterback Darron Thomas #1 of the Oregon Ducks runs toward the end zone and a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Washington Huskies at Autzen Stadium on November 6 2010 in Eugene Oregon. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

BCS Rankings: Will Close Calls For Oregon, Auburn, TCU Shake Up Standings?

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BCS Rankings: Will Close Calls For Oregon, Auburn, TCU Shake Up Standings?

A trio of undefeated teams on top of the BCS rankings looked poised to cruise through this weekend and maintain their places in the standings. But after a Saturday more about survival than style, will Oregon, Auburn, and TCU stay in that order in next week's BCS standings?

Oregon had the closest call of the three teams. Only a missed field goal saved the Ducks from an upset at Cal, and the 15-13 win that voters will see won't do Oregon any favors in the USA Today and AP polls tomorrow.

Auburn didn't have any problems scoring — despite a week of distractions related to Cam Newton's eligibility, the Tigers put up points aplenty in a 49-31 win over Georgia — but the Tigers' porous defense might be held against them. And if voters already had doubts about Newton's eligibility that might lead to docking them points, it's worth wondering whether the ugly end to the game, which featured multiple ejections of Auburn players for throwing punches, might get the Tigers dinged as well.

Of the top three teams, TCU looked the best, racing out to a 37-14 lead against San Diego State after falling behind 14-0. But the Horned Frogs also allowed the Aztecs to close to a final margin of 40-35, which is a terrible showing for the vaunted TCU defense and provides little evidence for TCU defenders who would keep them third in this week's polls.

The big winners from this Survival Saturday? The Boise State Broncos, who looked the best of the four remaining undefeated teams this week with a 52-14 battering of Idaho on Friday night.


BCS Rankings: Conference Races And Bowl Projections

It's late enough in the season to be talking about precisely what teams need to do to win their conferences and earn BCS bowl berths. And BCS Evolution has done a lot of that analysis.

There are a few conferences that seem pretty well sewn up (Oregon in the Pac-10, Auburn in the SEC, Nebraska or the Oklahoma-Oklahoma State winner in the Big 12), but the Big Ten and ACC are very much up for grabs. The ACC, in particular, is living up to its erstwhile All Chaos Conference moniker: Maryland and Clemson can get into the ACC Championship Game by winning out, Georgia Tech is still alive for a BCS bowl berth, and there is a chance that the winner of the Atlantic division will be divided by ... chance:

If Wake Forest beats Clemson, Clemson beats FSU, FSU beats Maryland and Maryland beats N.C. State, a three-way tie would occur that head-to-head could not settle.

This would fall to the highest ranked team in the BCS standings, which is kind of funny, because there might not be a team in the BCS standings in this case. The next tie breaker would be by drawing lots.

If you want a really frightening rundown of the ACC's potential for madness, check out D1scourse's compliation of all 128 scenarios the ACC might still see.

Elsewhere, the Big Ten will probably come down to a BCS rankings tiebreaker, and the Big East can still crown any of its eight teams champion, which is just great news for Cincinnati, 3-5 on the season and 1-2 in conference.

Assuming that standings will stay more or less the same, though, Team Speed Kills worked out some BCS bowl projections:

BCS National Championship Game: Auburn vs. Oregon
Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs. TCU
Sugar Bowl: Ohio State vs. LSU
Fiesta Bowl: Pittsburgh vs. Nebraska
Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs. Boise State

This is a promising projection for Boise State, which would get a rematch with the Hokies in Miami as a consolation prize for losing the auto-bid from a non-automatically qualifying conference to TCU, but it's tough luck for Stanford. Jim Harbaugh, Andrew Luck and the rest would be shut out of the BCS in this case, because their logical landing spots in the Rose and Fiesta would be taken by TCU and other automatically qualified teams.


BCS Standings Analysis: TCU Separates From Boise State

The college football rankings are in and the BCS rankings have been compiled. The order of the top four are unchanged, but the numbers show some strong movement. Also, an error in this morning's final BCS standings projections must be addressed.

Last week, the Oregon Ducks and Auburn Tigers were close, with a full two average spots in the rankings separating them from the TCU Horned Frogs and Boise State Broncos. This week, TCU pulled within one ranking spot of Oregon and Auburn, with Boise State left behind.

In fact, Boise State's in a bit of trouble in general. LSU has come within a few spots of the Broncos, enough to be a scare. If Auburn loses twice and LSU wins the SEC Championship Game, that could be enough to push a one-loss LSU outfit past Boise State. After that scenario, though, no one else is a serious threat to pass TCU and Boise State, the unbeaten non-automatic qualifying conference leaders.

Basically, what you see is what you get: Oregon, Auburn, TCU, and Boise State are your BCS National Championship Game contenders, in that order, and that quartet will be impossible for any other team to crack.

Also, this morning I inexplicably neglected Nebraska in the projected final BCS standings race. The Nebraska Cornhuskers should appear between LSU and Stanford.


BCS Rankings: Initial Analysis Of The Week 11 BCS Standings

A quick review of the results of the in Week 11 BCS rankings:

No movement in the top four is no shock, and it spells doom for TCU and Boise State's BCS National Championship Game hopes. TCU couldn't close the gap on Auburn despite an overwhelming win against Utah, the best team TCU will be able to play; Boise State fell even further back of the pack after a thrashing of Hawaii. Unless there's a loss by either Oregon or Auburn, the lead BCS buster — likely TCU — will have to settle for a mere Rose Bowl berth, and the second-best squad might not make a BCS bowl at all.

Hello, Stanford. The rise of the Cardinal makes plenty of sense, especially after a dominant victory over Arizona, and it will only bolster Oregon's chances, especially with the Ducks just .003 points ahead of the Tigers. But now, with Stanford up in the top six, it's unlikely that the Pac-10 won't place two teams in the BCS. That's a coup for a conference that has had just three teams consistently ranked all season.

Wisconsin's position at the head of the Big Ten logjam is telling, and likely tips a TCU-Wisconsin Rose Bowl. Though Ohio State is within shouting distance of being the Big Ten's highest-ranked squad, Wisconsin's lead shouldn't be threatened except by a loss.

The SEC's phenomenal depth is a little stunning. Just as in both the USA Today and AP polls, the conference has seven teams ranked in the top 25. For a conference that is essentially one six-team division beating up the other this year, that's an accomplishment that speaks to either a quality that computer rankings see that humans can't or esteem that human voters extend because of brand name rather than on-field results this season.


BCS Rankings: Oregon Maintains Hold On Top Spot In Week 11 BCS Standings

It's that time of week again: ESPN has dropped the fourth official BCS rankings of the 2010 season on BCS Countdown, and the Oregon Ducks are on top of the college football world.

The Ducks maintain a hold on the top spot for the second straight week after a win over Washington on Saturday, and rank first in all of the college football polls. For Oregon, the implications of this ranking are clear: win out, and the school will play for a national title in the BCS National Championship Game.

Oregon is followed in the top five by Auburn, TCU, Boise State, and Wisconsin. It appears unlikely that any of the one-loss teams could jump the foursome of unbeaten teams in any future BCS rankings, save perhaps LSU. But the Tigers, ranked th, will need help to get to an SEC Championship Game, and would likely need multiple losses by Auburn to get to a BCS National Championship Game.

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. LSU
  6. Stanford
  7. Wisconsin
  8. Nebraska
  9. Ohio State
  10. Oklahoma State
  11. Michigan State
  12. Alabama
  13. Iowa
  14. Utah
  15. Arkansas
  16. Oklahoma
  17. Missouri
  18. Arizona
  19. Mississippi State
  20. Virginia Tech
  21. Nevada
  22. Florida
  23. South Carolina
  24. Kansas State
  25. Texas A&M

BCS Rankings: Oregon Should Take Top Spot In Week 11 Standings

Yet again, Oregon should be atop the BCS rankings.

The Ducks held the top spot in the Week 10 standings, and hold a commanding lead in both of the major college football polls this week. They're 9-0 on the year, have already beaten the second-highest ranked Pac-10 team, and have a clear path to a BCS National Championship Game berth.

The Ducks should be followed by Auburn, which topped Chattanooga on Saturday, but TCU might make a run at the second spot. The Horned Frogs came away from a showdown against Utah with a convincing blowout win, and are ahead of Boise State in both the USA Today and AP polls. If the computers like their strength of schedule a lot better after a dispatching of a highly-ranked team, the Horned Frogs could vault past Auburn in enough computer models to move up to second in the BCS rankings.

Beyond those four teams, the rest of the college football pack needs a lot of help to make a run at a BCS title. But there are still a number of contentious races for conference titles and the BCS bowl berths that go with them.

Wisconsin will probably lead that race in the Big Ten, as the Badgers have a win over Ohio State that has buoyed them in the polls and will do the same in the BCS rankings. Virginia Tech leads the ACC's race, while Pittsburgh is in pole position in the Big East. Nebraska holds a small advantage over Oklahoma State in the Big 12. In the SEC and Pac-10, the championship frontrunners, Auburn and Oregon, are also BCS National Championship Game candidates; if they meet in that game, it's likely that LSU and Stanford will be the second teams selected from each conference.

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