BCS standings

The seventh official BCS standings for the 2011 season were released on Sunday evening, and as we all expected LSU and Alabama sat atop the rankings.

LSU remained at No. 1 after its victory over Arkansas on Friday, while Alabama remained at No. 2 following its win over Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

Oklahoma State moved up one spot to No. 3 following the Arkansas loss, while Stanford jumped two spots to No. 4 following its victory over Notre Dame. Virginia Tech, meanwhile, remained at No. 5.

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 20

1. LSU 1.000
2. Alabama .955
3. Oklahoma State .871
4. Stanford .856
5. Virginia Tech .781
6. Houston .740
7. Boise State .703
8. Arkansas .700
9. Oregon .686
10. Oklahoma .671
11. Kansas State .570
12. South Carolina .568
13. Michigan State .537
14. Georgia .535
15. Wisconsin .458
16. Michigan .431
17. Baylor .391
18. TCU .331
19. Nebraska .258
20. Clemson .198

A few thoughts:

• If LSU beats Georgia, the Tigers are playing for the BCS national championship. Even if they lose to the Bulldogs, it’s difficult to imagine them dropping past No. 2 in the rankings. And with Alabama’s regular season done, it’s likely we would see an LSU-Alabama rematch for the crystal football. But could Oklahoma State reach No. 2 with a win over Oklahoma in the Bedlam game? The Cowboys trail the Crimson Tide by .084 points, but they made up more ground in the Harris Poll and USA Today coaches’ poll. Meanwhile, Alabama is No. 2 in four of the six computer ratings while Oklahoma State is No. 2 in the other two. It essentially still comes down to whether the voters decide that they want to see an SEC West rematch in the BCS championship game or if they rank the Cowboys higher than ‘Bama in their final ballot. I still see the Tide finishing No. 2 no matter what the Pokes do on Saturday.

• Michigan shockingly fell from No. 15 to No. 16 in the latest BCS standings, with Wisconsin jumping Brady Hoke’s squad following its win over Penn State. But Michigan still has a chance to earn a BCS at-large berth. How? Under BCS rules, a team has to finish in the top 14 of the final standings to be considered for an at-large berth — unless there’s only one team from its conference in the top 14. It’s likely that the winner of the Wisconsin-Michigan State game on Saturday will be the lone Big Ten team to finish in the top 14 of the final BCS standings, so Michigan could still receive an at-large bid if it finishes in the top 18.

• Stanford’s win over Notre Dame vaulted the Cardinal past Virginia Tech for the No. 4 spot in the BCS standings, and David Shaw’s team will receive an automatic at-large berth if it finishes in the top four in the final standings.

• West Virginia checked in at No. 23 this week, finally giving the Big East a BCS-worthy team. This is important because if West Virginia, Cincinnati and Louisville finish in a three-way tie for first in the Big East after next week, the tiebreaker would be decided by highest BCS ranking.

Email dave.miller@nationalfootballpost.com or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave

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