Commentary

Auburn is the right one

Originally Published: October 24, 2010
By Mark Schlabach | ESPN.com

I think the BCS got it right this time.

After ranking Oklahoma No. 1 in the initial BCS standings a week ago, the BCS formula spit out Auburn as the No. 1 team on Sunday, after the Sooners lost at Missouri 36-27 on Saturday night.

I know Oregon's high-scoring offense and fast athletes leave you shaking your head with amazement each and every week, but Auburn has accomplished more than any other team heading into the final month of the college football season.

The Tigers are 8-0 after Saturday's 24-17 victory over LSU, and they've already beaten four teams ranked in the top 25 of the BCS standings: No. 12 LSU, No. 19 Arkansas, No. 20 South Carolina and No. 21 Mississippi State. That résumé is why the Tigers have the best computer average of any team in the country.

With games left against Ole Miss, FCS foe Chattanooga, Georgia and No. 7 Alabama and possibly the SEC championship game in the Georgia Dome, it's hard to imagine the Tigers being left out of the Jan. 10 BCS National Championship Game if they finish 13-0.

[+] EnlargeGene Chizik
AP Photo/Dave MartinGene Chizik finds his team at 8-0 and No. 1 in the country.

The No. 2 Ducks are undoubtedly one of the most entertaining teams to watch, with their point-a-minute offense and frenetic pace. But Oregon has defeated only one team ranked in the top 25 of the BCS standings (No. 13 Stanford). The Ducks are still getting hammered in the computer rankings for their soft schedule with an average computer rating of eighth.

With games left against Southern California and No. 15 Arizona, the Ducks will have a couple of opportunities to impress voters and computers.

A couple of other thoughts on the BCS standings:

• Fans of defending BCS national champion Alabama better start rooting for No. 5 Michigan State and No. 6 Missouri to lose. The Crimson Tide are No. 7 in the BCS standings -- they're the highest-rated team with one loss -- but it's hard to imagine Alabama finishing ahead of the Spartans or Tigers, if either one of those teams finishes the regular season with an unblemished record.

• Not sure what kind of virus Richard Billingsley's computer has, but he might want to disinfect it. Billingsley's top five goes like this: TCU, Auburn, Alabama, Boise State and LSU. He has Florida at No. 21 and Texas at No. 22.

• Auburn is No. 1 in three of the computer rankings (Anderson & Hester, Colley Matrix and Wolfe), TCU is No. 1 in one (Billingsley) and Missouri is No. 1 in two (Massey and Sagarin).

Mark Schlabach covers college sports for ESPN.com. He co-authored Bobby Bowden's memoir, "Called To Coach," which was published by Simon & Schuster. The book is available in stores and can be ordered here. You can contact him at schlabachma@yahoo.com.

Mark Schlabach | email

College Football and Basketball

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