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CHRIS DUFRESNE / ON COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Oregon keeps winning, and falling in BCS standings

The Oregon Ducks (7-0) had another impressive victory last week in routing Arizona State but fell from No. 3 to No. 4 in the BCS standings, behind Alabama, Florida and Kansas State. Oregon is being hurt by its No. 6 computer ranking.

October 21, 2012|Chris Dufresne
  • Quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Ducks left the Sun Devils in their wake on Thursday night to no avail in the BCS standings, in which they slipped a spot to No. 4.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota and the Ducks left the Sun Devils in their wake… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)

Oregon can't afford to keep winning like this. A few more lopsided victories and the Ducks could finish last in the BCS and end up playing in the Toilet Bowl.

On Thursday, Oregon sprinted to a 43-7, second-quarter lead on Arizona State and might have scored a hundred points had Coach Chip Kelly not backed off in the second half.

For its brilliant performance, Oregon was dumped one more spot Sunday in the BCS standings, to No. 4.

That would be a fine spot in two years when the sport moves beyond BCS madness to a four-team playoff.

No. 4 this year, though, is not good.

It wasn't a huge concern last week when the first BCS standings had Alabama, Florida and Oregon in the top three spots.

Alabama and Florida, playing in opposite divisions in the Southeastern Conference, would eventually have to play each other.

This week's standings, though, raise more complicated questions.

Alabama and Florida are first and second again but followed this week by Kansas State.

Oregon is still No. 2 in the Harris Interactive and USA Today coaches' polls but remained harnessed with its No. 6 computer ranking.

Kansas State remained at No. 4 in both polls but used a convincing win at West Virginia to vault from No. 4 to No. 2 in the BCS computers.

And that was enough to jump over Oregon for the time being or, maybe, for good.

The interesting part of these computer machinations is that Kansas State canceled out of its scheduled game against Oregon this season. That forced Oregon to scramble and replace Kansas State with Tennessee Tech, a Football Championship Subdivision team.

That swap certainly didn't help Oregon's computer credibility.

Look folks, it's still early, but it's starting to get interesting.

Take a look at this week's BCS top five: Alabama, Florida, Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame. (USC is No. 9, Trojans fans, moving up one spot this week).

Let's assume Alabama and Florida get to the SEC title game and the loser is eliminated.

What happens if Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame all end up undefeated?

Oregon would have 13 wins because the Pac-12 has a championship game. The Big 12 no longer does and Notre Dame, as an independent, plays 12.

Oregon has a backloaded schedule, with BCS No. 7 Oregon State, No. 9 USC and No. 17 Stanford still left to play.

Notre Dame, however, plays No. 8 Oklahoma this week and closes the regular season against USC.

Kansas State has remaining games against No. 14 Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Texas Christian, Baylor and No. 23 Texas.

Which undefeated school emerges from all these matchups?

Chances are the system will wean out the weakest, although it doesn't help that Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame don't have any head-to-head matchups.

Weekend wrap

--They should get T-shirts made: The 22 points Towson scored at Baton Rouge on Sept. 29 remain the most points Louisiana State has given up in any game this season. The closest to Towson's 22 was 21 scored by South Carolina on Oct. 13. Towson is an FCS school from the Colonial Athletic Assn. LSU defeated Towson, 38-22. Towson's record dropped to 3-4 Saturday after losing to Old Dominion.

--Oregon State is 6-0 for the first time since '07 …1907. The Beavers played only a six-game schedule that season and defeated Astoria, Whitman, Pacific, Oregon, Willamette and St. Vincent College. Oregon State outscored the opposition, 138-0, which included a 4-0 defeat over the rival Ducks from Eugene.

The Beavers earned their sixth win this year with a 21-7 win over Utah in Corvallis.

Oregon State, which finished 3-9 last year, is already bowl-eligible for 2012. "It's just a start and we will see how good of a bowl game we can go to as the season goes on," Coach Mike Riley said.

--Notre Dame has won four of its seven games by a total of 20 points. "The mentality now is we are going to do whatever it takes to win," linebacker Manti Te'o said after a three-point win Saturday over Brigham Young. "It's no longer just crossing our fingers and going 'please, please, please,' waiting for the other shoe to drop."

--West Virginia has given up 212 points in its first four games as a member of the Big 12. Remarkably, the Mountaineers (5-2 overall) are 2-2 in conference play despite consecutive losses in which they were outscored 104-28.

"We didn't forget how to coach and this program didn't forget how to win just because we lost two games," West Virginia Coach Dana Holgorsen said.

--Texas "bounced back" from a 63-21 loss to Oklahoma last week with a 56-50 win over Baylor. In victory, the Longhorns slipped to No. 107 nationally in total defense.

"Coach [Darrell] Royal told me a long time ago the only games that are important at Texas are the games you lose," Texas Coach Mack Brown said after the Baylor win. The Longhorns improved to 5-2 and travel to hapless Kansas this week.

--Louisiana Tech (6-1) rebounded from a 59-57 loss to Texas A&M with a 70-28 victory against Idaho. The Bulldogs, who lead the nation in scoring at 56 points per game, have scored at least 56 points in five of their seven games.

--Hey, look, the Big Ten does exist. Left without a top 25 team in the first BCS standings, the Big Ten has two teams this week -- No. 22 Michigan and No. 25 Wisconsin.

chris.dufresne@latimes.com

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