First BCS Standings Has OU On Top

The first BCS standings are out and Boise State is already

chasing a couple of teams from the power conferences.

Oklahoma was first and Oregon was second Sunday, with Boise

State in third place and in need of plenty of help to become the

first team from a conference without an automatic Bowl Championship

Series bid to play for the BCS title.

Jerry Palm, who analyzes the BCS standings at,

said despite a better early season showing in the polls than ever

before, Boise State is a long shot to play for the national


"They just need too much to happen to get excited about their

chances," Palm said.

With 10 undefeated teams in major college football, there's

serious potential for BCS controversy this season, even beyond

whether Boise State from the Western Athletic Conference or maybe a

Mountain West Conference team such as TCU or Utah gets a chance to

play in the biggest BCS game.

The Sooners from the Big 12 and Ducks from the Pac-10 begin this

race from the front row, but they can't quite say they're in

control of it. Only once in 12 seasons of the BCS have the teams

that were at the top of the first standings played in the

championship game. That was 2005 with Southern California and Texas

With the possibility of undefeated champions coming out of the

Southeastern Conference and Big Ten, just winning might not be

enough for Oklahoma and Oregon to hold on to their spots.

Auburn is fourth in the BCS standings, followed by TCU and LSU.

Michigan State from the Big Ten is seventh. None of those teams

have lost yet. Alabama is eighth and unbeaten Utah is ninth.

LSU and Auburn play Saturday.

"I would be shocked if the winner didn't jump Boise next week

in the polls," Palm said. And if the winner jumps the Broncos in

the polls, it's a lock to jump them in the BCS standings.

In fact, if one of the SEC's Tigers goes 13-0, it wouldn't be

the least bit surprising to see that team in the BCS title game no

matter what Oklahoma and Oregon do.

The Sooners took first place by grading out No. 1 in the

computer ratings. Oklahoma, coming off a 52-0 victory against Iowa

State, is No. 3 in the USA Today coaches' poll and No. 4 in the

Harris poll.

Oregon is No. 1 in all the polls, including the AP Top 25 which

is not used in the BCS calculations, but rated eighth in the

computer rankings.

Boise State is No. 2 in all the polls and seventh according to

the computers, but the math leaves the Broncos third in the BCS


"The computers do not like this team," Palm said.

The poll voters like Boise State better than they ever have, but

still not enough.

The problem, as always for Boise State, is the strength of

schedule. Early nonconference victories against Virginia Tech and

Oregon State help the Broncos. The WAC schedule mostly drags them


On Saturday, Boise State beat San Jose State 48-0 and Palm said

the victory actually pulled the Broncos' computer rating down.

Because Boise State will almost always rate behind the other

undefeated teams in the computers, the Broncos would need to be an

overwhelming No. 1 in both polls to have a shot at the national

title game when the final BCS standings come out Dec. 5, Palm said.

Even if Boise State finishes the season as the only undefeated

team, Palm is skeptical of its chances to reach the title game.

"I look at it as Boise has to be almost the only choice," Palm

said. "It would take a unique year for Boise to be a unanimous No

1 in the polls."

Oklahoma, which has quality victories against Florida State, Air

Force and Texas, has a chance to bolster its resume with a road

game Saturday against unbeaten Missouri, 11th in the standings.

Down the road the Sooners play at Oklahoma State, 14th in the


Oregon faces UCLA on Thursday night at home, then visits USC,

which is not included in the BCS standings because the Trojans are

on probation. The Ducks finish the season against Arizona (18th)

and Oregon State.

The toughest opponents left on Boise State's schedule are Nevada

and Hawaii.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)