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Ohio State, USC Earn Top Spots in First BCS Standings

October 16, 2006|Chris Dufresne | From Times Staff and Wire Reports

USC is No. 1, but don't get too agitated or excited -- it's only in the computers.

Making official what most already knew, Ohio State opened at No. 1 in the first Bowl Championship Series standings, released Sunday by a team of Fox Network experts that included Terry Bradshaw, Barry Alvarez, Jimmy Johnson and Howie Long.

Ohio State was first with a BCS average of .9731, followed by USC at .9559, Michigan at .9341, with a big drop-off to No. 4 with Auburn at .7478 and then West Virginia at .7446.

Rounding out the first BCS top 10 were Florida, Louisville, Notre Dame, Texas and California.

The big winner, for now, appears to be Michigan, which parlayed a road win against Penn State and Florida's loss to Auburn into prime national championship position.

The BCS standings have been used since 1998 to establish the participants in college football's national championship game. The top two teams at season's end will play Jan. 8 for the BCS national title in Glendale, Ariz.

The rankings are a points calculation consisting of three elements -- two human polls, Harris Interactive and the USA Today coaches' poll, and the average of six computer indexes.

Ohio State offset its No. 3 computer ranking by forging an overwhelming lead in the two human polls. The Buckeyes are the first Big Ten team to debut at No. 1 in the BCS.

Despite three consecutive wins by seven points or fewer, USC earned the second spot by having the top computer ranking. The Trojans were No. 1 in five of the BCS computers and second in the sixth. Close victories do not hurt the Trojans because a margin-of-victory category is not allowed to be factored by BCS operators.

USC is feeding off its strength of schedule and the overall strength of the Pacific 10 Conference. The Trojans have been ranked either No. 1 or No. 2 in the BCS for 25 consecutive weeks.

Michigan is a solid third, jumping over USC to the No. 2 spot in the Harris poll while maintaining a No. 2 computer ranking.

USC remained No. 2 in the coaches' poll.

Michigan also jumped USC into second place behind Ohio State in the Associated Press poll, but that index is no longer used in the BCS formula.

-- Chris Dufresne


Ian Johnson scored four first-half touchdowns and ran for 192 yards, and No. 18 Boise State toasted its debut in the BCS standings with a 40-28 win over New Mexico State in Las Cruces, N.M.

The Broncos, 7-0 overall and 3-0 in the Western Athletic Conference, earlier in the day landed at No. 15 in the first BCS standings. They were solid on offense but shaky on defense against the Aggies (2-4, 0-2), who have lost 17 straight games against Division I-A opponents.

Johnson scored on touchdown runs of seven, one, three and 17 yards, and the Broncos finally put away the pesky, pass-happy Aggies with a pair of touchdown passes from Jared Zabransky in the second half.


Austin Sykes scored his first career touchdown on a one-yard run in the second quarter and later rushed for a game-tying five-yard touchdown as Miami of Ohio rallied to beat Buffalo, 38-31, at Amherst, N.Y, in a game postponed from Saturday because of a snowstorm.

The RedHawks (1-6, 1-3 Mid-American Conference) intercepted passes by Buffalo (1-5, 0-4) four times in the second half and blocked a punt.


Linebacker Rufus Alexander, Oklahoma's leading tackler, was arrested early Sunday on two misdemeanor charges, police in Norman said.

A police dispatcher confirmed that Alexander was arrested about 2 a.m. on charges of disturbing the peace and interference with official process. Alexander posted bond, according to a police dispatcher.

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