The seventh week of the BCS Standings for 2010 (Week 14 overall) saw the Auburn Tigers switch places with the Oregon Ducks, taking the #1 position they held for a week (the second list) back on Oct. 24. They didn’t re-ascend into the top spot because Oregon lost or won a close game but simply due to who they beat and how they managed it. And the difference between the #1 and #2 positions may be the closest ever in the history of the BCS Standings.
Auburn holds the current #1 ranking by a grand total of .0002 percentage points. Although they hold the #2 position in both the human polls that make up the average, they were the #1 team according to all six computer polls. It was enough to elevate their overall BCS average just enough to give them the first-place berth and drop Oregon back to #2.
They did it by defeating the defending national champions, the #11 Alabama Crimson Tide. And they did it with flair, coming back from a 24-point halftime deficit to win the game 28-27 over their arch-rivals in the annual grudge match, the Iron Bowl.
Oregon won handily against a #21 Arizona Wildcats football squad to remain undefeated. The TCU Horned Frogs kept an unblemished record as well, crushing New Mexico by 49 points 66-17. They remained stationary in the rankings at #3.
But it was the previously undefeated and fourth-ranked Boise State Broncos that probably suffered the most disappointing loss of weekend. They let a tough and resilient #19 Nevada come back and beat them in overtime, acquiring their first loss of the season and ending their hopes of possibly playing in the BCS National Championship Game. The loss saw the Broncos tumble all the way out of the Top 10 to #11.
The #4 position in the new rankings was filled by Stanford, which moved up two spots.
But Boise State had company falling. The #5 LSU Tigers dropped their second game of the season, falling to the #12 Arkansas Razorbacks. Arkansas jumped into the Top 10 and landed at #7. LSU didn’t fall as hard as the Broncos, however, ending up ranked one above them at #10.
The #5 position in the BCS Standings was filled by the 2010 Big Ten champions, the Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin crushed Northwestern 70-23.
Close on their heels was fellow Big Ten Conference powerhouse Ohio State. The Buckeyes embarrassed arch-rivals Michigan to take the #6 position.
Michigan State moved up from the #10 position to #8 with a victory over Penn State.
The Sooners of Oklahoma took the #9 spot from their intra-state and intra-Big 12 Conference rival Oklahoma State by beating them in a score-fest 47-41.
Alabama’s loss to Auburn dropped them all the way to #16, but Boise State’s loss gave them the worst vertical drop of the week (seven places). The best vertical leap in the standings was achieved by Arkansas with their victory over LSU.
Two teams dropped out of the rankings in Week 14: Iowa and North Carolina State. West Virginia took Iowa’s place at #24 after knocking off arch-rival Pitt in their annual grudge game, the Backyard Brawl. Northern Illinois entered the BCS Standings for the first time in 2010 at #25. The Huskies have had a tremendous year, posting a 10-2 record.
Will Auburn be able to maintain their extremely narrow lead when the final regular season rankings list is revealed next week? Possibly. But they had a tough time against SEC rival South Carolina earlier this season, and they are matched up against them for the SEC Championship Game. The Gamecocks will no doubt be looking to spoil Auburn’s chances of playing in the BCS National Championship Game.
Oregon will be facing the same kind of problem next week in the Civil War, the annual intra-state grudge game they play against Oregon State.
But if Auburn and Oregon remain undefeated, look for the standings to have them ranked at #1 and #2 — where they have both been for six weeks now. If so, they will play for the national championship.
Undefeated TCU will be hoping one of those teams loses, so they can get into the BCS National Championship Game.
Stanford will be hoping that they both lose, because the next BCS rankings list after such losses might put them in the national championship game.
BCS Standings — November 28, 2010
6. Ohio State
8. Michigan State
11. Boise State
14. Oklahoma State
15. Virginia Tech
18. Texas A&M
19. South Carolina
21. Florida State
22. Mississippi State
24. West Virginia
25. Northern Illinois
Compare to BCS Standings from Nov. 21.
“BCS Standings — November 28, 2010,” ESPN.go.com