BCS standings: Auburn moves up to No. 1

Cardinal, Badgers virtual locks for BCS bowl berths

November 29, 2010|By Chris Dufresne, Tribune newspapers

There's a new No.1 in this week's Bowl Championship Series standings, but that means far less than Nos. 3, 4, 5 and 9.

Auburn slipped past Oregon in Sunday's next-to-last standings release, a meaningless flip-flop involving two teams destined to meet in the Jan. 10 BCS title game if they win out.

Auburn is first in the standings this week with a BCS average of .9779, followed by Oregon at .9777.

Translation: Big deal.

With one week left, the order of 1-2 doesn't matter as the top two teams in next week's final standings will move on to the championship. Oregon concludes its season Saturday at Oregon State in the annual Civil War game, while Auburn plays South Carolina for the Southeastern Conference title in Atlanta.

The real BCS races are down below.

Texas Christian, which has already completed an undefeated regular season, stayed at No. 3. That keeps the Horned Frogs in position to play in the Rose Bowl if Oregon and Auburn advance to the title game. If either Oregon or Auburn loses, TCU could vault into the championship game.

The threat of Boise State jumping TCU this week was averted when the Broncos suffered an overtime loss Friday at Nevada.

Stanford moved up two spots to No. 4, followed by Wisconsin, Ohio State, Arkansas, Michigan State, Oklahoma and Louisiana State. Boise State dropped seven spots, to No. 11.

Moving to fourth was important for Stanford, which will earn an automatic BCS bid if it holds that ranking through next week's standings. That would guarantee the Pac-10 a second BCS team for only the third time since the BCS was formed in 1998.

Wisconsin at No. 5 is critical in the race for the Big Ten's automatic berth since the Badgers tied for the conference title with Ohio State and Michigan State. The highest team in the final BCS standings will earn the bid.

Wisconsin, which defeated Ohio State but lost to Michigan State, has the advantage with a .0553 lead over the Buckeyes.

Oklahoma also earned a spot in next week's Big 12 title game by rising three spots to No. 9. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M all tied for first in the South Division, requiring the BCS standings to break the logjam.

The battle, though, wasn't even close. Oklahoma State, which lost at home to the Sooners on Saturday, dropped five spots to No. 14 while Texas A&M is No. 18.

cdufresne@tribune.com

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