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Final BCS Rankings: Analysis Of The Last Standings Of 2010

The nice thing about Auburn and Oregon having a massive lead on TCU in the final BCS rankings is that it leaves no one wondering what might have been. Both the Ducks and Tigers played difficult schedules and vanquished every foe; they did at least as much as TCU did by any standard, and definitely did more by the BCS' standards. And so we get a BCS National Championship Game between two well-matched undefeated teams — which makes the BCS seem to "work" — even though it only really does in years with two undefeated teams and a host of one-loss teams.

Oklahoma and Arkansas jumping Michigan State should tell us something about how highly the BCS computers thought of the Big 12 and SEC. Those two conferences dominated both the human polls and the computer rankings all year, and place 10 teams in the top 21 of the final BCS rankings. And although the relative positioning of Oklahoma and Arkansas doesn't matter much here, it's fairly clear that strength of schedule helped both teams, with multiple losses, jump the barely tested Spartans.

Finally, Connecticut being unranked means that the BCS rankings just don't like teams that lose to Temple. It also means Connecticut will be the first team to play in a BCS bowl game without being ranked in the final BCS rankings. The previous lowest-ranked teams to play in a BCS bowl game were Pac-10 champion Stanford in the 2000 Rose Bowl and ACC champion Florida State in the 2006 Orange Bowl: both were ranked 22nd in the final BCS standings.