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Auburn vaults Oregon to take over No. 1 spot in BCS standings

Boise State and Texas Christian move into the third and fourth spots, ahead of Michigan State at No. 5.

October 24, 2010|By Chris Dufresne

It was a new week but the same story for the Bowl Championships Series, with a team the poll voters have not endorsed jumping to No. 1 in the standings.

Last week, Oklahoma leapfrogged Oregon and Boise State to claim the top spot in the initial BCS standings before losing Saturday at Missouri.

This week's No. 1 is Auburn, which used a 24-17 win over No. 6 Louisiana State to assume this very precarious position.

In the last three weeks, three No. 1 schools have fallen. Alabama and Ohio State were No. 1 in the polls when they lost and Oklahoma was No. 1 in the BCS. Auburn, as Oklahoma did the week before, used the top ranking in the BCS computer component to override a lower position in the polls.

"I can only control how we proceed in this building," Auburn Coach Gene Chizik said today before the standings were released. "We just had a team meeting and we talked about being very grounded and understanding that every week is another new week and another opportunity."

Auburn leads the standings with a BCS average of .9371, followed by Oregon at .9069 and Boise State at .8846. Texas Christian is fourth at .8833, with Michigan State moving up two spots to the fifth spot with an average of .8387.

It is Auburn's first No. 1 ranking in the BCS since the standings formula was introduced in 1998.

Rounding out the top 10 is Missouri at No. 6, followed by Alabama, Utah, Oklahoma and Wisconsin.

Oregon, a 60-13 winner over UCLA last Thursday, remained No. 1 in the two polls used in the BCS formula -- USA Today coaches and Harris Interactive. The Ducks are also No. 1 in the Associated Press poll, which is no longer a part of the BCS but has been crowning champions since 1936.

The Ducks are still in position to win out and retain a spot in the BCS championship game on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.

"It doesn't matter about No. 1, we don't care what the outside world thinks of us being No. 1 or No. 2," Ducks running back LaMichael James. "We just have to win."

Boise State remained at No.2 in all three major polls, but suffered a bit for having taken the weekend off. The Broncos host Louisiana Tech on Tuesday.

Oregon is lagging behind in the computer component, with a No. 8 average ranking, while Boise State is sixth in the BCS computers.

Missouri used its first win over Oklahoma since 1998 and the No.2 computer ranking average to jump from No. 11 to sixth.

The top two teams in the final BCS standings on Dec. 5 will advance to the BCS title game on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz.

The standings are likely to get shuffled again in the coming weeks, with key games involving the top teams.

Oregon plays this week at USC (5-2), which is not eligible for the BCS title because of NCAA sanctions but reemerged at No. 24 in Sunday's latest AP poll. The Trojans' two defeats this year, to Washington and Stanford, came on last-second field goals.

Missouri doesn't have much time to celebrate either, as the Tigers put their undefeated season on the line next weekend at BCS No.14 Nebraska, which ended Oklahoma State's unbeaten season last Saturday in Stillwater.

Michigan State, off to its best start since 1966, plays at BCS No. 18 Iowa on Saturday.

No. 7 Alabama visits No. 12 LSU in two weeks (Nov. 6), while Utah and TCU are meeting the same day in a huge Mountain West Conference showdown in Salt Lake City.

Auburn plays Mississippi next weekend in Oxford and has dangerous closing games against resurgent Georgia and Alabama, the defending national champions.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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