Sooners, Ducks top first BCS rankings

Updated: October 18, 2010, 1:13 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

The first BCS standings are out and Boise State isn't No. 1.

In fact, the Broncos aren't among the top two teams who would qualify for the Tostitos BCS National Championship game.

Oklahoma was first and Oregon was second in the standings released Sunday, with Boise State in third place and in need of plenty of help to become the first team from a conference without an automatic Bowl Championship Series bid to play for the BCS title.

Auburn is fourth, followed by TCU and LSU.

Boise State's No. 3 spot is the highest ever for team from a non-automatic qualifying conference.

How important is being in the top five of the standings? If history is a guide, 20 of the 24 teams to play in the title game were in the top five in the initial standings. No team has reached the title game from lower than 12th in the initial release.

On the flip side, the Sooners and Ducks begin this race from the front row, but they can't quite say they're in control of it. Only once in 12 seasons of the BCS have the teams that were at the top of the first standings played in the championship game. That was 2005 with Southern California and Texas.

"We're going up to play a 6-0 team at Missouri, and they're not handing anything out right now," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "It means absolutely nothing."

There are currently 10 undefeated teams in major college football, including the top seven teams in the rankings (Michigan State is seventh). Once beaten Alabama is eighth, unbeaten Utah is ninth and once-beaten Ohio State is 10th.

LSU and Auburn play Saturday. If one of the SEC's Tigers goes 13-0, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising to see that team in the BCS title game no matter what Oklahoma and Oregon do.

The Sooners took first place by grading out No. 1 in the computer ratings. Oklahoma, coming off a 52-0 victory against Iowa State, is No. 3 in the USA Today coaches' poll and No. 4 in the Harris poll.

"I understand that the announcement of the poll makes for good conversation among media and fans, but two games into our conference season, it's too early for us to give it any attention," Stoops said. "At this point, it just speaks to the quality of the schedule we've played, and while I appreciate the caliber of those teams, our focus has to be on the games we have remaining. We're not talking or thinking about anything but playing Missouri."

Despite being No. 1 in all the polls, including the AP Top 25, which is not used in the BCS calculations, Oregon is rated eighth in the computer rankings.

Boise State is No. 2 in all the polls and seventh according to the computers, but the math leaves the Broncos third in the BCS standings.

The problem, as always for Boise State, is the strength of schedule. Early nonconference victories against Virginia Tech and Oregon State help the Broncos. The WAC schedule mostly drags them down.

On Saturday, Boise State beat San Jose State 48-0 but actually fell in the rankings

Oklahoma, which has quality victories against Florida State, Air Force and Texas, has a chance to bolster its resume with a road game Saturday against unbeaten Missouri, 11th in the standings. Down the road the Sooners play at Oklahoma State, also unbeaten and 14th in the standings.

Oregon faces UCLA on Thursday night at home, then visits USC, which is not included in the BCS standings because the Trojans are on probation. The Ducks finish the season against Arizona (18th) and Oregon State.

The toughest opponents left on Boise State's schedule are Nevada and Hawaii.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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