For now, Utes outside looking in on BCS games

Updated: November 8, 2004, 1:24 PM ET
Associated Press

Utah slipped one spot to seventh in the Bowl Championship Series Standings on Monday, a drop that could cost the unbeaten Utes a berth in one of the four big-money bowl games.

The top five in the BCS stayed the same, with Southern California, Oklahoma and Auburn leading the way, followed by California and Wisconsin.

The first- and second-place teams in the final BCS Standings brought to you by Allstate will play in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4 for the BCS national title.

Utah is trying to become the first team from a non-BCS conference (Mountain West) to play in a BCS game. The Utes can guarantee a spot in what probably would be the Fiesta Bowl -- which delivers a payout of about $14 million -- by finishing in the top six. A top-12 finish makes the Utes eligible for consideration, but guarantees nothing.

Texas jumped over Utah this week to take sixth place.

The Longhorns' 56-35 comeback victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday -- Texas rallied from a 35-7 deficit -- boosted its BCS grade to .7904. Utah's grade (.7511) went up slightly after another lopsided victory -- 63-31 over Colorado State. Utah maintained its positions in both The Associated Press Top 25 (seventh) and ESPN/USA Today coaches' poll (eighth) this week, but the Utes dropped in the computer rankings from sixth to eighth, while the Longhorns moved up to No. 5 in that category.

The AP media poll and coaches' poll each account for one-third of a team's BCS grade. A compilation of six computer rankings make up the other third of a team's grade.

Utah is one of six unbeaten teams in Division I-A, along with USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Wisconsin and Boise State.

The Sooners increased their lead on the idle Tigers, by moving into the No. 1 spot in the computer rankings.

USC, No. 1 in both polls and second in the computer rankings, has a grade of .9847. Oklahoma's grade is .9664, and Auburn's is .9097. The Tigers are third in each poll and according to the computers.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

ALSO SEE