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Thanks to computers, Oklahoma holds on to BCS' No. 2 spot

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  • Thanks to computers, Oklahoma holds on to BCS' No. 2 spot

    Nov. 15, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    Oklahoma's hold on second place in the Bowl Championship Series standings is getting more precarious by the week.

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    Auburn more than halved its deficit to the Sooners for the all-important second spot in the latest BCS rankings released Monday.

    Southern California (10-0), which is ranked first in both human polls, once again maintained the top spot with an average of .9808 -- slightly down from last week's .9847.

    Oklahoma (10-0), which beat Nebraska 30-3 Saturday had an average of .9664 last week but slipped to .9621 despite maintaining the top computer average.

    Auburn (10-0), ranked third in the computer rankings, improved from .9097 to .9350 after cruising past then-No. 5 Georgia, 24-6. The Tigers tied the Sooners for second in the media poll and narrowly were third in the coaches poll, which helped reduce its deficit from .567 to .271 to the Sooners in the BCS standings.


    How long can Jason White and Oklahoma hold on to the No. 2 ranking?(AP)
    California (8-1) held on to fourth at .8522, while Texas (9-1) and Utah (10-0) jumped up one spot each to fifth and sixth at .8140 and .8062, respectively, after Wisconsin fell from fifth to 13th with a 49-14 loss at Michigan State.

    If Utah remains in the top six when the final BCS poll is released Dec. 5, it will become the first team from outside the six conferences to earn a berth in one of the four lucrative BCS bowl games.

    Michigan (.7494), which can secure the Big Ten Conference title with a victory at archrival Ohio State this week, moved up two spots to seventh. Florida State (.5876), Boise State (.5843) and Louisville (.5602) complete the top 10.

    At the end of last season, USC was ranked first in both the media and coaches polls, but sat third in the BCS standings behind Louisiana State and Oklahoma, which went on the play in the Sugar Bowl.

    LSU beat the Sooners, while USC beat Michigan in the Rose Bowl, leading to a split national championship and an overhaul of the BCS formula.

    This year, the formula consists of three evenly weighed elements: a team's percentage of points in both the media poll and coaches polls and an average of four computer ratings. The formula no longer has a strength-of-schedule component -- though the computers do account for it -- nor are teams penalized a point for each loss or rewarded for a quality victory.

    The teams' poll percentages consist of their number of voting points divided by the maximum amount available in each poll, 1,625 in the media poll and 1,525 in the coaches' poll. These numbers better reflect how writers and coaches view relative differences between the teams than a straight average of the two polls.

    Six computer rankings are used this season: Anderson & Hester, Jeff Sagarin, Richard Billingsley, Colley Matrix, Kenneth Massey and Peter Wolfe. The best and worst rating for each team is ignored, with the remaining four totals added together and divided by 100 to produce a ratings percentage.

    BCS members include the Atlantic Coast, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and Southeastern Conferences as well as Notre Dame.

    The format calls for the championship game to be rotated among the Orange, Rose, Sugar and Fiesta Bowls.

    Copyright 2004 SportsTicker Enterprises, L.P.

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  • DJRamFan
    Miami and Florida State tumble in Top 25
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 31, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    Miami and Florida State tumbled in the Associated Press poll on Sunday, falling out of the top 10 after being upset on the road.

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    The Hurricanes' first loss of the season, a 31-28 defeat at North Carolina, dropped them seven spots to No. 11 in the media poll. They were one of five ranked teams to lose on the road to unranked opponents Saturday.

    The Seminoles lost 20-17 at Maryland to snap a six-game winning streak. They fell eight spots to No. 13.

    Southern California is No. 1 and Oklahoma is No. 2 for the 10th consecutive poll. Texas-El Paso is No. 25 as coach Mike Price has the Miners in the rankings for the first time in their history.

    USC received 56 first-place votes and 1,616 points after a 42-12 victory at Washington State. The Sooners had eight first-place votes, five less than last week, and 1,556 points after squeaking by Oklahoma State 38-35 on Saturday.

    The Sooners are back on the road next week at Texas A&M. "It is another big game and an important game in the Big 12," Sooners coach Bob Stoops said.


    Connor Barth's field goal for UNC ended Miami's threat of going undefeated and dropped the 'Canes to 11th in the AP poll. (AP)
    Texas A&M was upset 35-34 in overtime to Baylor and fell six spots to No. 22.

    No. 3 Auburn (8-0) received a first-place vote. California moved up three spots to No. 4, its highest ranking since 1952, and Wisconsin (8-0) is No. 5.

    Rounding out the first 10 are Texas, Utah, Georgia, Tennessee and Michigan. The top five teams in the coaches poll are Southern California, Oklahoma, Auburn, Wisconsin and Georgia.

    The Bowl Championship Series releases its standings Monday, with USC and Oklahoma expected to remain first and second, respectively.

    In the AP poll, No. 12 Virginia is right behind Miami and in front of Florida State.

    No. 14 is Louisville, followed by West Virginia, unbeaten Boise State, LSU, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma State and Iowa.

    Joining Texas A&M and UTEP in the final five are No. 21 Southern Mississippi, No. 23 Arizona State and No. 24 Boston College, which is making its season debut in the rankings.

    Price's Miners (6-2) are in the midst of one of the best turnarounds of the season. They clinched just their second winning season in the last 16 years with a 38-20 win over San Jose State and matched their victory total for the three previous seasons combined.

    Falling out of the rankings was Purdue, which lost its third in a row, 13-10 at Northwestern. The Boilermakers were No. 5 just three weeks ago. Minnesota also dropped out after losing 30-21 at Indiana.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    ...
    -11-01-2004, 09:39 AM
  • DJRamFan
    No. 2 Oklahoma gains on No. 1 USC
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 10, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    The gap between No. 1 USC and No. 2 Oklahoma is smaller than it's been all season.

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    The Sooners' 12-0 shutout of Texas and Southern California's close call against California persuaded some voters in the Associated Press Top 25 released Sunday to change their first-place vote.

    USC received 41 first-place votes, a season low, and 1,601 points in the media voting. Oklahoma got a season-high 23 first-place votes and 1,582 points, leaving the Sooners 19 points behind the Trojans with the Bowl Championship Series standings just a week away from making their 2004 debut.

    The BCS will release its newly formulated standings on Oct. 18. The AP poll will count for one-third of a team's BCS points this year. Thecoaches poll will also count for a third and a compilation of computer rankings will make up the remaining one-third.

    In the latest coaches poll, USC is No. 1, followed by Oklahoma, Miami, Auburn and Purdue.

    The polls and rankings released on Oct. 17 and 18 will determine the first BCS standings. The top two teams in the BCS standings at the end of the regular season will play in the Orange Bowl for the national title.


    Oklahoma and RB Adrian Peterson ran past Texas Saturday to close in on No. 1 USC in the polls. (AP)
    USC and Oklahoma have been 1-2 in the AP and coaches polls since the preseason, but before the Trojans' 23-17 victory over Cal on Saturday the points differential between the teams was more than double what it is now.

    Voters may have been impressed by the performance of Sooners freshman running back Adrian Peterson, who proved himself a more-than-capable complement to Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Jason White by rushing for 225 yards against the Longhorns.

    "We expected to be able to run the football, and it wasn't just Adrian," Stoops said. "I think our offensive line and the way they played are all part of running the ball. We're improving with it."

    Georgia had been No. 3, but a 19-14 loss at home to Tennessee on Saturday dropped the Bulldogs to No. 12.

    Idle Miami moved up one spot to No. 3. No. 4 Auburn received the remaining first-place vote and Purdue moved up four spots to No. 5.

    Auburn's ranking is the Tigers best since Nov. 6, 1994. Purdue hasn't been ranked this high in 25 years. On Sept. 10, 1979, the Boilermakers were ranked fifth in the country.

    Unbeaten Virginia is No. 6 and No. 7 is Florida State. The Cavaliers and Seminoles will play in Tallahassee on Saturday.

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    Cal slipped one spot to No. 8; Texas dropped four spots to No. 9; and undefeated Wisconsin is 10th.

    The second 10 starts with No. 11 Utah, followed...
    -10-11-2004, 01:38 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Auburn takes over third behind steady Trojans, Sooners in BCS
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 1, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    Auburn moved into third place in the Bowl Championship Series on Monday, while Southern California and Oklahoma held firmly to the top two spots.

    Auburn takes over third in latest BCS

    BCS Standings
    Team Rating
    1. Southern California .9895
    2. Oklahoma .9648
    3. Auburn .9238
    4. California .8050
    5. Wisconsin .7579
    6. Utah .7429
    7. Texas .7370
    8. Tennessee .7124
    9. Georgia .7019
    10. Miami .6530
    The Tigers had been in fourth place in the first two BCS standings, but they took advantage of Miami's upset loss Saturday to creep closer to the front-runners.

    California moved up four spots to fourth and is followed by Wisconsin and Utah.

    Miami and Florida State, which was also upset on the road Saturday, fell out of the BCS top five for the first time this season.

    The top two teams in the BCS standings after the regular season will meet in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 4.

    USC, which has been in first place since the initial BCS standings three weeks ago, has a grade of .9895. The Trojans are No. 1 in The Associated Press Top 25 and the coaches poll. They are also tied with Oklahoma for the best computer ranking this week.

    The Sooners, No. 2 in both polls all season, have a grade of .9648. Auburn's grade is .9238, placing third in each poll and the computer rankings.

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    The AP media poll and coaches poll each count for one-third of a team's BCS grade. Total points received in the polls are taken into account. A compilation of six computer rankings make up the other third of a grade, with the highest and lowest computer rankings for each team thrown out.

    There are six unbeaten teams in Division I-A -- USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Wisconsin, Utah and Boise State.

    Auburn's BCS ranking is the highest in school history, but the Tigers may not have their national title hopes in their own hands. Even if they finish the season unbeaten with a victory in the Southeastern Conference championship game, the Tigers might need a loss by either USC or Oklahoma to reach the Orange Bowl.

    A difficult remaining schedule could work in Auburn's favor, if the Tigers can survive it. They're off this week before playing Georgia (ninth in the BCS) at home on Nov. 13; at Alabama on the No. 20; and the SEC title game against either Georgia or Tennessee (eighth in the BCS) on Dec. 4.

    A separate strength of schedule component was removed from the BCS standings this season, but the computer rankings still take schedule strength into account, as do most poll voters.

    Utah, from the Mountain West Conference, could become the first team from a mid-major league to earn a bid...
    -11-01-2004, 09:37 AM
  • DJRamFan
    Oklahoma pulls back ahead of Auburn for No. 2 in AP poll
    by DJRamFan
    Nov. 21, 2004
    SportsLine.com wire reports

    Oklahoma is the only No. 2.

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    After a week of sharing the No. 2 ranking with Auburn, Oklahoma edged ahead of the Tigers in the Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday.

    No. 1 Southern California lost some support during a bye week, dropping three first-place votes to 48. Still, the Trojans have a comfortable lead in the rankings with 1,603 points.

    Oklahoma has nine first-place votes, one more than last week, and 1,541 points. No. 3 Auburn got two more first-place votes than last week, increasing its total to eight, and 1,536 points.

    The Sooners defeated Baylor 35-0 on Saturday, and Auburn rallied in the second half to beat Alabama 21-13.


    After blanking Baylor, Jason White and Oklahoma are all alone at No. 2. (Getty Images)
    Oklahoma decided to rest its starters once it got a big lead against the Bears, instead of piling it on to impress voters. Last week, Sooners coach Bob Stoops did the opposite against Nebraska.

    "I'm comfortable in the fact that we chose to run the clock out," Stoops said. "Anyone that doesn't see the dilemma we're in is not being totally fair. We're in a bad, bad position right now."

    In the coaches poll, USC is still No. 1 and No. 2 Oklahoma added two points to its lead over No. 3 Auburn.

    The Tigers (10-0) needed to pull way out in front of the Sooners in the polls to make up ground in the Bowl Championship Series standings, which will be released Monday.

    The Sooners are second behind USC in the BCS standings because of strong computer ranking. To make up for Oklahoma's large advantage in the computers, Auburn needs to be a clear No. 2 in the polls.

    No. 4 California, No. 5 Utah and No. 6 Texas all held their positions from last week in the new rankings.

    Louisville moved up to No. 7, followed by Georgia, Miami and Boise State. Florida State dropped 10 spots to No. 20 after losing to Florida, 20-13. The Gators moved back into the rankings at No. 25. Michigan, which was upset by Ohio State 37-21, dropped six spot to No. 13.

    Virginia Tech is No. 11 and Iowa, the co-Big Ten champ along with the Wolverines, is No. 12. No. 14 is LSU, followed by Tennessee, Virginia, Boston College and Arizona State.

    Wisconsin is down to No. 20 after its second straight loss, a 30-7 defeat at Iowa that dashed the Badgers Rose Bowl hopes.

    No. 21 West Virginia, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and UTEP join Florida in the final five.

    AP NEWS
    The Associated Press News Service

    Copyright 2004, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved
    -11-21-2004, 04:58 PM
  • DJRamFan
    Weekend in Review: 'New' BCS still could produce a mess
    by DJRamFan
    Oct. 10, 2004
    By Dennis Dodd
    SportsLine.com Senior Writer
    Tell Dennis your opinion!


    Halfway through the season, the national championship race has some feel, some texture.

    Dodd's Power Poll

    1. Oklahoma
    2. USC
    3. Miami
    4. Florida State
    5. Auburn
    6. Virginia
    7. Purdue
    8. Louisville
    9. Georgia
    10. Texas
    11. Utah
    12. Boise State
    13. Wisconsin
    14. Arizona State
    15. Cal
    16. LSU
    17. Michigan
    18. Tennessee
    19. Florida
    20. West Virginia
    21. Oklahoma State
    22 Minnesota
    23. Navy
    24. Southern Miss
    25. Missouri
    25. UCLA
    Non-BCS Top 10
    1. Louisville
    2. Utah
    3. Boise State
    4. Navy
    5. Southern Miss
    6. Florida Atlantic
    7. UAB
    8. Memphis
    9. Wyoming
    10. Northern Illinois
    And some chaos just in case you forgot the BCS is a week away from weighing in. USC remains No. 1 but lost style (and poll) points in beating Cal. No. 2. Oklahoma handled Texas to creep closer. It's hard to believe Miami is now a heartbeat away at No. 3 considering some of its problems.

    What's it all mean? Refer back to last season when the BCS couldn't make up its mind between LSU, USC and Oklahoma. A similar nightmare scenario is developing.

    Three words: Split national champions. The new BCS that was supposed to lessen that likelihood looks like it is leading down the same path. Remember, there is nothing in the new BCS formula that can pick the "right" teams if there are three or more worthy teams for the two Orange Bowl slots at the end of the season. By leaning more on the human polls this year, the BCS commissioners are hoping the credibility of those rankings will sort things out.

    One of many problems: The computers still count for one-third of the formula, which could just as likely create split champions as prevent it. Last season, LSU, Oklahoma and USC all lost one game before the bowls. The BCS math picked Oklahoma and LSU to play in the Sugar Bowl despite the fact USC was No. 1 in both human polls.

    We'll say it again: More reliance on the human polls this year doesn't necessarily clean things up.

    Here's an early glimpse at this year's potential train wreck: Assume there are these 13 legitimate national championship contenders at this point. Nine of them are undefeated -- USC, Oklahoma, Miami, Purdue, Wisconsin, Virginia, Utah, Arizona State and Auburn. Four have one loss -- Florida State, Michigan, Cal and Tennessee.

    At this point a year ago (using the Oct. 12, 2003 Associated Press poll), there were 14 contenders. But there were only three undefeated teams worthy of title...
    -10-11-2004, 01:36 PM
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