The week 9 BCS standings have a new No. 1 team, as the Auburn Tigers have taken the top spot from the Oklahoma Sooners. Auburn now appears to be in the driver’s seat when it comes to advancing to the BCS National Championship Game now, but they might not even be the biggest story lurking in the midst of the standings.
The Alabama Crimson Tide beat the Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday (41-10), and with that win improved to 7-1 (4-1 in the SEC). The win moved Alabama up to No. 6 in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll as well as the Harris Poll, above two undefeated schools that have to be scratching their heads. Being ahead of both Utah and Missouri raises quite a few questions about the whole BCS process, and it’s going to get even more chaotic as the season progresses.
According to the week 9 BCS standings, Alabama takes a hit from a number of computers, exactly as a one-loss team should. Still, though, the human element overcomes the No. 12 ranking by the computers, and pushes them up to No. 7 overall in the updated standings. Alabama has the potential to receive a huge boost to their strength of schedule in 2010, though, meaning that the computer rankings could turn into a blessing if they can fly under the radar a couple more weeks.
The opponents left on the regular season schedule for Alabama (LSU, Mississippi State, Georgia State, and Auburn) have a combined record of 26-6, including the No. 1 ranked BCS team in the Auburn Tigers. Playing three ranked teams is really going to help the strength of schedule for Alabama, and then they get a free game in the 2010 SEC Championship Game to potentially add even more to their resume. At this point, they would be rooting for South Carolina to make that game, as it is the only team Alabama has lost to this year.
There is still a lot of college football left to play in the 2010 season, and several teams have a tough route in order to stay undefeated. No. 4 TCU plays No. 8 Utah, No. 2 Oregon plays No. 15 Arizona and rival Oregon State, and No. 3 Boise State still has a tough No. 24 Nevada team to deal with. Alabama also has to hope that Michigan State and Missouri stumble, and everyone is aware that Missouri has to make it through the Big 12 Championship alive.
Alabama may have one loss already in 2010, but their season is far from over. This is a team that still has an outside chance at the BCS National Championship Game, and a really good shot at stealing an at-large invite from a school like Utah, Boise State, or TCU.