Alabama Continues Atop BCS Rankings

Nick Saban

The thing about football polls is that they are not going to change very much unless there are surprising results on the football field. If a team is ranked first and wins all its games after that ranking, it isn't likely to drop down. Same for second and so on.



The Bowl Championship Series begins its polling a bit after mid-season and in its first poll of the year it had Alabama number one. That is in great part because it uses two human polls – the Coaches Poll conducted by USA Today, which begins pre-season, and the Harris Poll of a variety of college football enthusiasts which begins simultaneously with the BCS poll. Both of those human polls have had Bama number one throughout the season.

Those two human polls account for two-thirds of the data that determine the BCS standings. One-third is from controversial computer rankings.

The BCS is in its final year, but it continues to have the important task of identifying the two best college football teams to play for the national championship. This is of no little interest to the Crimson Tide, which has played in – and won – three of the past four.

Coach Nick Saban's Bama team has won the last two BCS titles and will go for a third in a row if the Tide can continue to win. So far, so good. Alabama is 10-0.

Florida State, also 10-0, is ranked second in both human polls and in the overall BCS poll.

The six mysterious computers have Bama and FSU tied for first – each getting three first and three seconds. (The top computer ranking and the bottom computer ranking are thrown out for each team in an effort to prevent too much damage from the computers.)

While the most important function of the BCS is to determine the national championship game participants, it also determines teams that will play in the Rose, Sugar, Orange, and Fiesta bowl games.

The Rose will have the highest ranked Big Ten team against the highest ranked Pac 12 team not participating in the BCS National Championship Game. The Sugar Bowl will have the top Southeastern Conference team (again, not playing for the BCS crown) against an at-large BCS team. And so it goes with the Big XII going to the Fiesta and the ACC going to the Orange and BCS at-large teams filling in the slots.

Following Alabama and Florida State in the BCS standings are two undefeated teams, Ohio State (10-0) and Baylor (9-0). Oregon (9-1 is fifth). The computers helped Auburn. Although the Tigers (10-1) were seventh in both human polls, the computer ranking had Auburn third, which put it in sixth in the BCS standings. Clemson (9-1) was sixth in both human polls, but only seventh according to the computers and ranked seventh overall.

Rounding out the top ten are Missouri (9-1), Stanford (9-2), and Oklahoma State (9-1).

Other SEC teams in the BCS rankings are 11. South Carolina, 12. Texas A&M, 22. LSU, and 24. Ole Miss.

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