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First BCS standings don't quite add up for Oregon

The Ducks are No. 2 in the polls, but only No. 3 in the initial BCS standings (behind Alabama and Florida) because of a relatively low computer ranking of No. 6. But there's plenty of time for Oregon to make a move.

October 15, 2012|Chris Dufresne
  • DeAnthony Thomas and the Oregon Ducks have a lot of time to make a move in the BCS standings.
DeAnthony Thomas and the Oregon Ducks have a lot of time to make a move in the… (Steve Dykes / Getty Images )

Oregon fans have been advised to stay away from sharp objects following their beloved Ducks' disturbing No. 3 debut in the first Bowl Championships Series standings.

Third in the BCS is like fourth in the Olympics, but the good news is that this is the second-to-last-ever first release of the BCS standings.

The system is being junked in 2014 for a four-team playoff that would currently put this year's Oregon squad in the national semifinals.

How does that help Oregon now?

It doesn't, but it's also early.

The whiz-kid pundits were wrong in predicting Alabama and Oregon would debut at No. 1 and No. 2 in the first standings.

Alabama is No. 1, of course, with its glossy .9761 average, followed by Florida. Oregon is third by an eyelash, trailing by the margin of .9092 to .8993.

The BCS is weighted two-thirds to the Harris Interactive and USA Today coaches' polls, where Oregon sits at No. 2 in both, but it is being pulled down by a No. 6 computer rating.

It's a flashback to 2001, when Oregon finished second in the coaches' and Associated Press polls but No. 4 in the BCS standings because of ... the computers!

It prompted then-coach Mike Bellotti to say the BCS was a cancer.

Florida passed Oregon on Sunday because it was No. 1 in the six computers that consistently mess up what common sense dictates.

Oregon can get to work on its computer numbers as early as Thursday when it travels to 5-1 Arizona State.

Don't sweat this, Ducks; it will all work out as long as you keep quacking out victories.

When has the BCS ever failed?

Now, on with the show: Kansas State is fourth, followed by Notre Dame, Louisiana State, South Carolina, Oregon State, Oklahoma and USC.

It was no surprise the SEC opened with four teams in the BCS top 10 (plus Georgia at No. 11). The SEC has won the last six BCS titles.

Oklahoma is also not news, as the Sooners are the all-time leaders with 20 weeks spent at No. 1.

Conspicuously missing from the conversation, however, is the Big Ten Conference and USC.

The Big Ten added Nebraska last year thinking it would be an improvement, but the conference of "Leaders and Legends" has no teams ranked in the BCS top 25.

USC, considerably off the pace at No. 10, was this year's preseason No. 1 in the Associated Press poll.

USC, take note: The record for BCS crawl-backs belongs to Louisiana State, which won the BCS title in 2003 from the No. 12 starting position.

The team it beat out that year for a spot in the title game was … USC.

"We need to keep winning," Trojans Coach Lane Kiffin astutely stated Sunday.

It is nice to see fresh faces in Notre Dame, Kansas State and Oregon State.

For all its history, Notre Dame has never been No. 1 in the BCS standings. The Fighting Irish reached No. 3 the first two weeks of 2002, the year they started 8-0.

Kansas State was a first-year BCS star until a loss to Texas A&M in the Big 12 title game knocked Bill Snyder's team of the first title game.

Kansas State dropped all the way to the Alamo Bowl.

The Wildcats have not been this BCS high since finishing No. 5 in 1999.

Oregon State had its only glory run in 2000, ending up No. 6 to earn the Fiesta Bowl bid in which it routed Notre Dame, 41-9.

This is a bad-timing year for the Big Ten. Ohio State is 7-0 but restricted from participation because of NCAA probation.

The Buckeyes have been the Big Ten's power lifters in the BCS, tied for second with USC for most weeks spent at No. 1 (15).

Ohio State also owns the BCS record with 12 straight weeks spent at the top spot.

The Big Ten's woes could end up benefiting a team from a "non-AQ" conference.

BCS rules stipulate the highest ranked "non-AQ" champion in the top 12 earns a major bowl bid — not likely this year with one-loss Boise State sitting at No. 22.

Boise would also get a bid, though, if it finished in the top 16 ahead of an AQ champion.

The Big Ten, without Ohio State, is going have a difficult time getting its champion inside the top 16.

Weekend wrap

--Sorry if you missed it. The game Saturday night in Shreveport, La., between Texas A&M and Louisiana Tech may go down as the game of the year. Louisiana Tech trailed, 27-0, in the first half and ended up losing, 59-57. The Bulldogs missed a chance to send the game to overtime when they could not complete the two-point conversion after scoring a late touchdown. Louisiana Tech scored 57 points in the last 35 minutes but probably botched its BCS hopes.

The schools combined for 64 first downs and 1,293 yards. Texas A&M would have had a lot of explaining to do had the first-year SEC member blown such a huge lead.

"We needed to get out of here and get back home," first-year Texas A&M Coach Kevin Sumlin said. "We were lucky to get out of here. It was a great game."

Louisiana Tech Coach Sonny Dykes was miffed afterward so many Bulldogs fans didn't stay to see a tremendous finish.

"It was embarrassing that late in the game Texas A&M had more fans than we did," Dykes said.

--What a lousy year USC and Oregon State picked to miss each other on the schedule.

--BCS trivia. UCLA was the first No. 1 team in BCS history. The Bruins opened in the top spot for the week of Oct. 6, 1998. UCLA has never been No. 1 since. LSU last year finished with the only perfect score in BCS history at 1.000 and still didn't win the national title.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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