BCS Analysis - Week Three

Posted Oct 29, 2006

Breaking down the top ten in the week three BCS rankings.

BCS Rankings | Computer Rankings

In week three of the BCS rankings, USC drops to eight, but in the key move of the week, Florida moves to fourth to get in range of the coveted number two spot. West Virginia is third and Louisville fourth making the battle on Thursday as big as it gets for a Big East battle. Boise State is 15th, still three spots out of an automatic spot, and Notre Dame is ninth, one spot out of an automatic invite.

Don’t forget that the BCS takes the entire season into account, so there will be wild changes from the computers as the year goes on, but once again, the two polls will be the biggest factors.

The Big Winners: Florida (6th to 4th), Georgia Tech (24th to 20th), Maryland (41st to 35th), Oklahoma State (unrated to 38th)
The Big Losers: USC (3rd to 8th), Clemson (12th to 19th), Missouri (20th to 29th), Nebraska (22nd to 30th)

1. Ohio State   Last Week's BCS Ranking: 1
Ohio State moves up even more as the number one finally getting some respect from the computers getting the number two spot behind Michigan in five of the six polls. There's still a wide gap between the Buckeyes and the Wolverines, and a massive chasm between them and No. 3 West Virginia.
predicted wins: at Illinois, at Northwestern, Michigan
predicted losses: none
predicted record: 12-0
predicted bowl: BCS Championship

2. Michigan   Last Week's BCS Ranking: 2
No real change in the overall situation, win three games and it's BCS championship game time, except Michigan went from being 0.002 ahead of No. 3 USC to a massive 0.184. With five of the six computers giving the Wolverines the number one spot, even more fuel is being added to the fire for the November 18th showdown.
predicted wins: Ball State, at Indiana
predicted losses: at Ohio State
predicted record: 11-1
predicted bowl: Rose Bowl

3. West Virginia   Last Week's BCS Ranking: 4
Let the debates begin. West Virginia is in the coveted number three spot with a chance to move up in everyone's ranking with a wins over Louisville, Pitt and Rutgers. The computers still despite the Mountaineer schedule with only one putting WVU in the top ten.
predicted wins: at Louisville, at Pitt, South Florida, Rutgers
predicted losses: None
predicted record: 12-0
predicted bowl: BCS Championship Game

4. Florida    Last Week's BCS Ranking:
In the big move of the week, Florida leapfrogged Auburn to get into the number four spot and in range of taking over at number three with a little bit of luck. However, the Mountaineer computer ranking will go nowhere but up over the next few weeks, so Florida can't slip and has to somehow get more credit from the humans and get into the number three ranking. That's unlikely if West Virginia keeps winning.
predicted wins: at Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Western Carolina, at Florida State, at SEC Championship
predicted losses: none
predicted record: 12-1
predicted bowl: Sugar Bowl

5. Louisville  Last Week's BCS Ranking: 8
One of the week's big winners without doing anything, the Cardinals cranked up three spots to the five, and will likely get to three if they can beat West Virginia this Thursday. The computers cranked the Cards up in a big way, while the USC freefall certainly helped in the human polls. Winning at Rutgers and at Pitt would do nothing to hurt the overall stats.
predicted wins: at Rutgers, South Florida, Connecticut
predicted losses: West Virginia, at Pitt
predicted record: 12-0
predicted bowl: Texas Bowl

6. Auburn   Last Week's BCS Ranking: 5
Auburn's chances for the national title took a serious hit this week dropping from fifth to sixth getting passed over by Louisville and Florida. It'll be a strange situation down the stretch, but Auburn might turn out to have a better shot of getting into the BCS if it doesn't play in the SEC title game, if it loses. A win in the SEC Championship obviously means the Sugar Bowl, at worst, but 11-1 might be enough to get an at-large bid. 11-2 might make things tough.
predicted wins:
Arkansas State, Georgia, at Alabama
predicted losses: SEC Championship
predicted record: 11-2
predicted bowl: Orange Bowl

7. Texas    Last Week's BCS Ranking: 7
What does Texas have to do to get a little love? The Longhorns lost to one team, Ohio State, and has a few nice wins over teams like Oklahoma, Nebraska and Texas Tech, but only one computer has them in the top five and only one other has them in the top ten. Unfortunately, for UT fans, there aren't many wow games left to move up the charts. However, there are two sure losses ahead for the top six teams, and maybe three if Auburn and Florida play for the SEC title.
predicted losses: Oklahoma State, at Kansas State, Texas A&M, Big 12 Championship
predicted record: 12-1
predicted bowl: Fiesta Bowl

8. USC   Last Week's BCS Ranking:
And bu-bye to all national title hopes. The human polls dropped the Trojans like a stone, but the computers still give a little bit of love keeping distant dreams alive of moving up quickly with some big games ahead. To get in the hunt for a top two spot, USC has to go nuts and start to impress the humans in a big hurry, and then the computers will likely follow suit.
predicted wins: at Stanford, Oregon, Notre Dame, at UCLA
predicted losses: California
predicted record: 11-1
predicted bowl: Holiday Bowl

9. Notre Dame   Last Week's BCS Ranking: 9
Notre Dame still hasn't beaten anyone of note outside of the opener against Georgia Tech, but the computers are starting to like the Irish more and more. Three have Brady Quinn in the boys in the top three, and one other has them in the top six. It's all about the USC game to finish up, and for national title hopes, the Trojans' loss to Oregon State might have turned out to be a killer.
predicted wins: North Carolina, at Air Force, Army
predicted losses: at USC
predicted record: 10-2
predicted bowl: Sugar Bowl

10. California   Last Week's BCS Ranking: 10
Cal moved up this week without doing a thing. Blame the relatively low ranking on the humans; four of the six computers have the Bears No. 3, and all have them ranked in the top seven. Beating UCLA won't do anything, but a win at USC should do wonders in the human polls. Even so, it'll likely take winning the Pac 10 title to get into the BCS.
predicted wins: UCLA, at Arizona, at USC, Stanford
predicted losses: none
predicted record: 11-1
predicted bowl: Rose Bowl

In Range
11. Tennessee
12. Rutgers
13. Arkansas
14. Boise State
15. Boston College
16. Wisconsin
17. LSU
18. Oklahoma
19. Clemson
20. Georgia Tech

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