BCS Update...and poll ponderings.



Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes

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Checking this week's BCS numbers...

Of the 25 ranked teams, the breakdown is as follows (with variation in number of teams in the ranking from last week's standings):

SEC: 5 teams (-2)

ACC: 5 teams (+2)

Big 12: 4 teams (E)

Pac 10: 3 teams (-1)

Big East: 3 teams (E)

Big Ten: 3 teams (E)

WAC: 2 teams (+1)

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Non-BCS team Hawaii moves up 3 spots (from 17th to 14th), and non-BCS team Boise State appears in the BCS standings for the first time this season (at 22nd). While one can reasonably argue that those two teams' schedule strength is nothing to write home about, they have combined for just one loss--while every team in the MWC has 2 losses or more.

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Yes, it's easy to complain about the WAC supplanting the MWC in terms of national respectability, but teams like BYU had their shot to take a spot in the standings. Had the Cougars beaten either UCLA or Tulsa, a win over either would likely have been enough to get a sniff in the standings. Just win, baby.

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The WAC's BCS hopes are riding on either:

a) Hawaii finishing unbeaten, or

b) Boise State winning out, including a win over Hawaii (plus tons of help).

Should Hawaii finish unbeaten, including wins over ranked Boise State and Washington, it's conceivable the Warriors could finish ranked 12th or higher, since they are already 14th. "Top 12" appears to be the Warriors' best shot to qualify, since "Top 16 but ahead of a BCS champ" is unlikely.

Hampering Hawaii's hopes: zero computer points. At least the computers like Boise State, whose computer numbers are better than those of Hawaii, Texas, Wisconsin and USC.

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If Boise State were to run the table, the Broncos could find themselves in the top 16, but top 12 would require an improbable set of cirumstances. Again, "Top 16 but ahead of a BCS champ" wouldn't appear to be in the cards, barring massive upsets down the stretch or in confererence championship games. All 6 BCS conferences are repesented in the top 7 in the standings, proving how steep a hill it would be to climb past a BCS-league champion.

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Biggest BCS movers this week: UConn from 23rd to 13th, Georgia from 18th to 10th, Michigan from 20th to 12th (Michigan has gone from 25th to 12t in two weeks. Hey, didn't UM lose to...oh, never mind). Four teams went from unranked to ranked (Wisconsin, Boise State, Wake Forest, Clemson).

Biggest droppers: Florida from 11th to 20th, South Florida from 10th to 18th (USF has gone from 2nd to 18th in two weeks), Virginia from 15th to 23rd.

Overrated (high poll numbers/low computer numbers): Hawaii (14)--ranked 10th and 11th in the polls, unranked by the computers, Oklahoma (6)--ranked 4th and 5th in the polls, 9th by the computers, Missouri (9)--ranked 9th by the polls, 13th by the computers, and USC (19)--ranked 13th and 15th in the polls, 25th by the computers.

Underrated (low poll numbers/high computer numbers): UConn (13)--19th and 20th in the polls, 11th by the computers, Arizona State (4)--6th in the polls, 2nd by the computers, South Florida (18)--20th and 21st in the polls--12th by the computers, and Virginia (23)--27th and 26th in the polls, 18th by the computers.

Note: the polls mentioned are the USA Today Coaches' and Harris Interactive polls. There are 6 computer rankings--each team's high and low computer numbers are tossed out, leaving the four computer rankings to make up the team's computer score.

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BYU is receiving votes in the three major top 25 polls, and has won 15 of its last 17 games, but the fact is this: the most national attention BYU has gotten in the last year is for having its game at San Diego State postponed. Which is why, unless you are undefeated, it practically matters more the league you belong to and and the TV network that carries your games than it does what you do on the field.

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By the way, BYU is the only MWC team getting votes in all 3 national polls (Harris, Coaches' and AP). New Mexico gets a few AP votes (none in Coaches' or Harris polls), while Air Force (none in AP or Coaches') helps the Harris poll in its bid to cement its status as the most ridiculous poll to ever help determine a national champion. The Harris voters give a 3-loss Air Force team votes, while ignoring a 2-loss New Mexico team, that just beat Air Force.

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Then there's this: despite its bowl-eligible status and 5 consecutive victories (only 9 teams nationally have a longer win streak), and nice non-conference wins over UCLA and Louisville, Utah received nary a vote in any poll. So maybe a little known-rule exists: "No team that is shut out by UNLV may under any circumstances receive Top 25 consideration."

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