Oklahoma, Miami top initial 2003 BCS poll

Updated: October 20, 2003, 6:41 PM ET

MORRISTOWN, New Jersey - Five unbeaten teams remain in college football, but the first installment of the Bowl Championship Series standings showed that only three have any realistic chance of playing in the national title game.

The BCS, set up in 1998 by college football's biggest conferences in an effort to determine a national champion, released its initial standings for the 2003 season on Monday.

As expected, Oklahoma (7-0) and Miami (7-0), the top teams in both major polls, are 1-2 in the BCS standings. Sitting in third is Virginia Tech (6-0), which will have the opportunity to advance when it hosts Miami on November 1.

The top two teams in the final BCS poll, to be released on December 7, will meet for at least a share of the national championship in the Sugar Bowl on January 4.

Far off the pace is Northern Illinois (7-0), which is 10th in the BCS poll, and Texas Christian (7-0), which is 14th.

BCS rankings are derived from a formula that factors in rankings in both major polls and several computer rankings, strength of schedule, number of losses and quality wins.

The formula makes it next to impossible for Northern Illinois, a member of the Mid-American Conference, and TCU, a member of Conference USA, to move its way up to first or second, even if they go undefeated.

The odds of landing a berth in any BCS game, which pay out about $13 million per team, also are long. Right now, a team must be in the top six to guarantee a bid and in the top 12 merely to be eligible.

Oklahoma has 2.77 points in the standings where the lowest score is considered best. Miami is second with 4.10 and Virginia Tech is third with 10.23.

Georgia (12.99) is fourth in the BCS, followed by Florida State (13.14), Ohio State (13.14), Southern California (13.83) and Purdue (21.50).

Southern California is just seventh in the BCS even though it is fourth in the coaches poll and fifth in the media poll.

Seven computer rankings are used this season: Anderson & Hester, Jeff Sagarin, Richard Billingsley, Colley Matrix, Kenneth Massey, Peter Wolfe and the New York Times.

Its members include the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and Southeastern Conferences as well as Notre Dame. The format calls for the championship game to be rotated among the Orange, Rose, Sugar and Fiesta Bowls.

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index