Feeling good in fourth

Boise State still in position to overtake TCU

November 22, 2010|By Chris Dufresne, Tribune Newspapers

Oregon and Auburn are four wins and two weekends away from securing berths in the Bowl Championship Series title game in January — but it could be a long two weeks.

The Ducks and Tigers remained 1-2 in Sunday's latest release of the BCS standings, leaving no doubt they're the schools to beat in the title-game chase.

Oregon remained on top with a BCS average of .9764, followed by Auburn at .9682.

Boise State, however, appears poised to take advantage if the Broncos win out and either of the top teams falters.

For the second straight week, Boise State took a big bite out of Texas Christian's points lead in the all-important fight for third position.

TCU remains No. 3 with an average of .8995, with Boise State close behind at .8860.

Boise State was the only undefeated team to play this weekend, scoring an impressive 51-0 win over Fresno State on Friday night. The Broncos made up ground on TCU in all three BCS components.

Boise State, which jumped TCU in the polls last week, increased its advantage in the USA Today coaches' poll from 11 to 41 points and from eight to 62 in Harris Interactive.

The Broncos also moved up one spot, to No. 5, in the BCS computer average, while TCU held at No. 3.

It appears inevitable that Boise State, if it wins its last two games, will finish ahead of TCU because the Broncos have an impact game this week at BCS No. 19 Nevada (10-1). Boise State closes the season Dec. 4 at home against Utah State.

TCU has only one game left, against New Mexico, which is 1-10 after its loss to BYU on Saturday.

Finishing No. 3 in the BCS standings is important for two reasons: If Oregon and Auburn win out and play for the national title on Jan. 10 in Glendale, Ariz., the highest-rated team from a non-automatic qualifier conference will replace Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

If either Oregon or Auburn loses a game, the No. 3 team has a chance to earn a spot in the BCS title game.

The order for the top seven BCS teams did not change: Oregon, Auburn, TCU, Boise State, Louisiana State, Stanford and Wisconsin.

Nebraska dropped to No. 15 after a 9-6 road loss to Texas A&M.

Ohio State moved up to No. 8, Oklahoma State to No. 9 and Michigan State to No. 10.

If there is a three-way tie in the Big Ten among Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan State, the highest team in the final BCS standings will determine the Rose Bowl bid.

cdufresne@tribune.com

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