Sunday, October 14, 2007

Ohio State is #1 in BCS

For the second straight season, but in far different fashion, Ohio State debuted at No.1 in the first Bowl Championship Series standings.

Last year, Ohio State was the preseason No. 1 in the polls and stayed there until losing the BCS national title game to Florida.

This year, Ohio State took advantage of several upset losses in the last three weeks to gain the top BCS spot. Ohio State earned a BCS average of .9416, followed by South Florida at .9200, Boston College at .8906. Louisiana State is fourth and Oklahoma is fifth.

Ohio State began the season ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press, but rose to the top of the BCS this weekend after No. 1 Louisiana State and No. 2 California suffered defeats.

South Florida is No. 3 behind Boston College in both human polls but earned the No. 2 spot by finishing No. 1 in the BCS computer component.

The top Pacific 10 Conference has four teams ranked in the top 14, with Arizona State surprisingly leading the way at No. 8, followed by Oregon at No. 10.

California, which figured to be No. 1 in the polls until it lost at home to Oregon State, is No. 12 in the BCS while USC is No. 14.

The Trojans have a dismal BCS computer ranking of No. 23, the worst in the BCS top 14, but the Trojans have yet to play three schools ranked in the BCS top 12: Arizona State, Oregon and Cal.

The BCS standings are a rankings calculation comprised of the USA Today Coaches' and Harris polls and the average of six computer indexes.

The top two schools in the final BCS standings on Dec. 2 will play for the BCS national title on Jan. 7 in the Louisiana Superdome.

The Associated Press poll, which started in 1936, can crown an independent champion. The AP, citing ethical concerns, pulled out of the BCS formula following the 2005 season and was replaced by the Harris poll.

This is the 10th season of the controversial BCS system. It was created in 1998 as a rankings mechanism to pair No. 1 against No. 2 in a sport that has resisted a playoff format.Before 1998, the champions of the Pacific 10 and Big Ten conferences were contracted to play in the Rose Bowl. The formation of the BCS allowed those champions to be released to the title game if either was ranked No. 1 or No. 2.

The BCS standings are also used to create major bowl access to schools from outside the six major conferences.

In 2004, Utah of the Mountain West Conference earned a BCS bid by finishing No. 6 in the final standings and went on to complete an undefeated season by beating Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl.

Last year, Boise State of the Western Athletic Conference earned a bid to the Fiesta Bowl by finishing No. 8 in the BCS.

This year, Hawaii is trying to become the latest "non-BCS" school to earn a berth. Hawaii will earn an automatic bid if it finishes No. 12 or higher or No. 16 or better if the champion of any of the six BCS conferences finishes lower.

Hawaii debuted at No. 18 in the BCS, leaving the Warriors six spots below the coveted No. 12 position.

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