The fourth official BCS standings for the 2011 season were released on Sunday evening, and Oklahoma State assumed the No. 2 spot after Alabama fell at home to top-ranked LSU.
The most interesting aspect of this week's rankings is the fact that the one-loss Crimson Tide remain ahead of undefeated Stanford because of 'Bama's strong computer ranking. Of course, the Cardinal host Oregon next week and would likely jump ahead of Nick Saban's squad with a win. Boise State, meanwhile, rounds out the top five.
Here is the BCS formula — how these rankings came about: Harris Interactive Poll (1/3) + USA Today Coaches’ Poll (1/3) + Computer rankings (1/3). The BCS national championship game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans on Jan. 9 will pit the top two teams in the final BCS standings, which will be released on Dec. 4
The BCS standings — Top 10
1. LSU: .993
2. Oklahoma State: .945
3. Alabama: .884
4. Stanford: .875
5. Boise State: .847
6. Oklahoma: .798
7. Oregon: .771
8. Arkansas: .745
9. Clemson: .644
10.Virginia Tech: .591
A few thoughts:
• We won't know how much Alabama being ahead of Stanford means right now until after next week, when the Cardinal hosts Oregon. If David Shaw's squad claims a win on The Farm, we'll see how close we are to a potential LSU-Alabama rematch. At the end of the day I don't see the voters in the final polls helping to set up a rematch, but as of now Alabama has a comfortable lead over Boise State and other one-loss teams in the Coaches' and Harris polls -- two components of the BCS.
• The Oregon-Stanford game will mark the third straight week that we get a BCS top 10 matchup. It will be the first time since 2008 we will get three straight weeks with at least one game between top 10 teams.
• It's not great news for Boise State that a one-loss Alabama team is two spots ahead of it in the standings, but the resurgence of Georgia and TCU will help Boise's schedule strength. The Bulldogs are primed to win the SEC East, though they also have a game left against Georgia Tech and a potential SEC championship game.
• Does Oklahoma need Alabama to lose again? It will be interesting to see if the Sooners could jump the Tide by running the table, which would include a win over No. 2 Oklahoma State in the Bedlam game. The computers do like the Big 12, but it's certainly something to keep an eye on if you're a Sooners fan. Of course, OU would need Stanford to lose to Oregon as well. But then how far would the Ducks vault in that scenario?
• Let's not even begin to discuss the "What if Arkansas beats LSU" scenario...
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