Road To The BCS Is A Bumpy One

Wild first half leads to three-way battle...for now

Oct. 7, 2007

College Football Recap: Week 6

> Full Scoreboard  |  GameTracker Final Stats  |  Images of Saturday
> The Red Zone  |  Tape It Up  |  Strike The Pose  |  Breaking The Code
> Run & Shoot: Spurrier Keeps Frustrating Kentucky  |  Illini Snap Wisconsin's Win Streak
Sooners Take Another Classic  |  Tennessee Wins Big  |  Ohio State's D Hits Purdue
Bearcats Too Much For Rutgers  |  Stanford Stuns USC  |  LSU Partying In Baton Rouge
> Trev: USC Loss Sends Shockwaves  |  Cardinal Takes The Trojans Down     

By Jerry Palm

Special to



Jerry runs the web sites and and a analyst. E-mail here!

Going into the season, everything was so clear with the BCS. USC and LSU were on a collision course for the national championship game and nothing could stop them, but in case something did, West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Texas and Florida were waiting in the wings.


But as someone famous once said, "Ain't nothin' easy."




Michigan lost to Appalachian State to start the season and that was our first warning that this might be an unusual year.


Last week, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and West Virginia were all upset victims.


This week, mighty USC, with the toughest road schedule any team has faced in recent years, lost at home to league doormat Stanford, while Wisconsin lost to surging Illinois.


Now, we are looking at a top ten with teams like Boston College, USF, South Carolina and Oregon, none of which were expected to be there a month ago.


So it is with no small amount of trepidation that we look ahead to the first official release of the BCS standings next Sunday.


Things are shaping up to be a three-way battle at the top.  If LSU wins at Kentucky next week, the Tigers should be an overwhelming No. 1. The voters already have LSU a near-unanimous No. 1 and the computers love them as well. The Tigers are the only team that controls their own destiny in the BCS.


The battle for No. 2 between Ohio State and Cal - two more preseason afterthoughts - should be interesting. Ohio State, which faces Kent State next week, has two first-place votes in the coaches' poll, but the Buckeyes trail the Bears by 17 points overall. That number is down from 50 a week ago. In the Harris poll, the Cal lead was trimmed from 86 to 11.


The Bears will probably continue to trail Ohio State in the computers, but playing Oregon State at home will help that a little bit.  However, what would help more would be teams like USF, Missouri and Boston College losing. The Tigers visit Oklahoma next week, so they figure to be underdogs.


Whether or not Ohio State or Cal is second in the initial BCS next week is not meaningful in terms of how they might rate in December. The more important numbers are the margins in the Harris and coaches' polls.  Mid-October computer data is usually not reliable enough to say that the order of the teams in the first release is the way they'll stay as long as all the teams keep winning.  That's more likely to be true in the polls, which are two thirds of the formula, but the computer numbers will change significantly over the final half of the season.


So nobody needs to panic when the first release comes out. Even Kansas and Connecticut, which are still undefeated and unloved, have a chance to play for the title, no matter where they rank in the BCS next week.