The first bowl championship series rankings were released Monday night and, surprise, there were no real surprises.
The top four schools in the ratings are Florida State, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Tennessee, the exact order in which the schools appear in this week's writers' and coaches' polls.
Florida State ranks first in the BCS with a total of 3.55 points, followed by Penn State at 5.75, Virginia Tech at 6.25, Tennessee at 9.73, Kansas State at 10.86 and Florida at 13.21.
This is the second year of the BCS rankings, a four-part formula designed to determine only which two schools will meet for the BCS "national title," to be played in the Jan. 4 Sugar Bowl. The Associated Press will crown its own champion independent of the Sugar Bowl winner.
The four BCS components are poll average, computer ranking, strength of schedule and losses, each defeat counting as one computer point against a school.
The first BCS rankings should be of concern to bubble-school Virginia Tech.
While the Hokies rank first in the computer component with a 1.57 average, they could be odd-team out should they finish undefeated along with Florida State and Penn State.
Schedule strength. With a ranking of 1.68 in this component, Virginia Tech is a distant fourth among the top four schools, lagging behind Tennessee (0.16), Penn State (0.32), and Florida State (0.84).
In the BCS computer, Virginia Tech's schedule strength ranks as only the 42nd toughest.
Of the top seven schools, only Kansas State, at 43, has a worse ranking.
Virginia Tech's schedule strength only figures to weaken with remaining games against Pittsburgh, West Virginia, Miami, Temple and Boston College.
To get to the Sugar Bowl, the Hokies likely will need to finish the season 11-0 and hope for a Florida State or Penn State loss.
The Hokies could also pick up the half point by which they trail the Nittany Lions in the BCS computer by flopping spots in the writers' and/or coaches' poll. This could happen, say, if pollsters docked Penn State for a sloppy win against a weak opponent, not likely to happen with Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan and Michigan State left on the Nittany Lion schedule.
The first BCS standings also revealed current undefeated schools Mississippi State and Marshall to be extreme national title longshots. Mississippi State ranks 11th, Marshall 14th.