BCS Analysis - Week Two
Utah QB Brian Johnson
Utah QB Brian Johnson
Posted Oct 26, 2008

It's week two of the BCS rankings, and while there wasn't much of a change at the top, there was a major move in the middle of the pack with Brian Johnson's Utah team making a huge push by getting into the top ten. Check out the breakdown and analysis of Week 2 of the BCS rankings.

2008 BCS Analysis

Week 2

By Pete Fiutak   

BCS Rankings | Computer Rankings

- BCS Analysis Week 1

There wasn't a whole bunch of movement in the top of the rankings. The top five teams, Texas, Alabama, Penn State, Oklahoma and USC all stayed the same. Basically, the Texas win over Oklahoma State did nothing but solidify the Longhorns at No. 1, Penn State wasn't able to impress anyone with that win at Ohio State, at least it didn't do enough to make a dent in Alabama's No. 2 spot, and Oklahoma and Georgia are lurking and ready to pounce.

The Top 25
- Expanded BCS Rankings

1. Texas
2. Alabama
3. Penn State
4. Oklahoma
5. USC
6. Georgia
7. Texas Tech
8. Florida
9. Oklahoma St
10. Utah
11. Boise State
12. Ohio State
13. TCU
14. Missouri
15. Florida State
16. Ball State
17. Minnesota
18. Tulsa
19. LSU
20. BYU
21. Michigan State
22. North Carolina
23. South Florida
24. Oregon
25. Connecticut

However, what's interesting to note is the rise of the non-BCS teams. Utah has cracked the top ten, and considering TCU is 13th and BYU 20th, is in range of making a big-time run for a very, very high spot by winning out. The Georgia-Florida loser will most certainly drop after this week, and Texas Tech still has to play Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas; at least two of those Big 12 teams will fall. There might be a ceiling on how high the Utes can go, but if Boise State, currently at No. 11, wins out, could there be two BCS busters this year? By rule, only one has to go in, but it's possible for someone to want to take Boise State. Unlikely, but possible. Meanwhile, Ball State is 16th and Tulsa 18th.

Also interesting is the lack of Big East, Pac 10 and ACC teams in the top 25. Florida State is No. 15, while North Carolina is No. 22. Neither of them appear to be any real threat to go flying up the rankings. The Big East is having the biggest problems with South Florida 23rd and Connecticut 25th. The West Virginia win over Auburn apparently did nothing to move the needle.

Basically, here's what you need to know ...

1.Texas and Alabama are in control of their own destinies for the national title. If those two win out, they're in Miami on January 8th. Penn State isn't likely to leapfrog either of the two, so a Longhorn and/or a Tide loss is a must. Where this gets interesting is if Texas Tech somehow wins out. With Texas up next week and with Oklahoma State and Oklahoma still to play, not to mention a Big 12 title game if the Red Raiders survive the South, they'll almost certainly finish in the top two if they finish unscathed.

2. Oklahoma is in trouble at four. It needs to win the Big 12 title to be in the discussion, but it needs Texas to lose twice or for there to be a three-way tie and to have the highest ranking of the three to represent the Big 12 South.

3. By rule, one non-BCS league team gets an automatic invite if it finishes in the top 12 or if it finishes in the top 16 and a BCS conference champion, like the Big East or ACC champion likely will this season, finishes lower. It's almost a lock that there will be a BCS buster for the third straight season.

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 (from 10th to 8th), Florida State (25th to 15th), Minnesota (24th to 17th)
The Big Losers: Penn State (didn't budge from 3), Ohio State (9th to 12th), South Florida (16th to 23rd)

1. Texas       Score: 0.9981  Last Week: No. 1
Everyone's No. 1 team just solidified its spot, and even got a little bit closer to a perfect score. No. 1 in both polls and No. 1 by all six computers, there isn't any question who the lead dog in the pack is. Not only is the top spot safe, it's not going to budge as long as the wins keep on coming. There are some dangerous hurdles ahead, don't gloss over trip to Kansas or the rivalry showdown against a resurgent Texas A&M, so if this really is going to be a second national title season in the last four, Texas will have truly earned the shot. This isn't a cheap No. 1.

predicted wins: at Texas Tech, Baylor, at Kansas, Texas A&M, Big 12 championship (projected to be Missouri)
predicted losses: none
predicted record: 13-0
predicted bowl: BCS Championship
toughest test: at Texas Tech

2. Alabama      Score: 0.9499  Last Week: No. 2
Not only did Alabama not lose any ground to Penn State after the big Nittany Lion win at Ohio State, it actually moved ahead a wee bit with a score of 0.9499 this week after scoring a 0.9487 last week. There's not a huge cushion over the Nittany Lions, so the Tide can't lose to LSU, win the SEC title, and leapfrog an unbeaten team to play for the national title. However, if all things are equal, and it's down to a few one-loss teams, the SEC champion will get the benefit of the doubt after winning the last two national championships.

predicted wins: Arkansas State, at LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn
predicted losses: SEC Championship (projected to be Florida)
predicted record: 12-1
predicted bowl: Rose Bowl
toughest test: at LSU

3. Penn State     Score: 0.9257   Last Week: No. 3
Ohio State, Schmohio State, The win in Columbus impressed a few voters who gave the Nittany Lions a vote for the top spot, but overall, it didn't matter. The computers aren't impressed by the weak schedule, with only one voting the Nittany Lions second and the rest putting them at No. 3. While there might be a lot of anger from the Penn State fans, there's no need to freak out quite yet. Texas and Texas Tech still have some major battles to face, while Alabama has to play at LSU, Auburn, and in the SEC title game, if everything else works out. Penn State has to take care of home. The game in Iowa City isn't going to be a walk in the park, and Michigan State is certainly not going to be an easy out.

predicted wins:
at Iowa, Indiana, Michigan State
predicted losses: None
predicted record: 12-0
predicted bowl: BCS Championship
toughest test: at

4. Oklahoma      Score: 0.8270   Last Week: No. 4
Get those Texas Tech pom-poms out. With Texas beating Oklahoma State, the Sooners desperately need a Red Raider win next week over Mack Brown's club with the hope of a three-way tie to finish up the Big 12 season. Either that or hope for a total Texas collapse with two losses in the final four games. OU is 1.5 games behind the Longhorns, but in a three-way tie, the highest ranked team represents the South for the title. Before OU can worry about the scenarios, it has to start playing some defense and it has to survive certain shootouts against Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State.

predicted wins: Nebraska, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State
predicted losses: None
predicted record: 11-1
predicted bowl: Fiesta Bowl
toughest test: at Oklahoma State

5. USC    Score: 0.7822   Last Week: No. 5
Not enough things seem to be happening for USC to make a major move. Struggling to beat Arizona, and a weak overall Pac 10, aren't helping the cause. The computers are starting to buy in a little bit more than last week with the Trojans tied for fourth, but there's no possible hope of a leapfrog over a one-loss SEC champion, a one-loss Big 12 champion, and/or an unbeaten Penn State. USC needed an Ohio State win over the Nittany Lions. Forget moving up, staying in this spot could be a problem with the impressive traffic in the rearview mirror. A one-loss Florida or Georgia could take over this No. 5 spot next week after the Cocktail Party, while Utah is going to be nipping and the Trojans' heels relatively soon.

predicted wins:
Washington, California, at Stanford, Notre Dame, at UCLA
predicted losses: None
predicted record: 11-1
predicted bowl: Rose Bowl
toughest test: California

6. Georgia   Score: 0.7703   Last Week: No. 7
Everyone liked the explosive win at LSU, but this is still a wait-and-see ranking before the Florida showdown. The computers love the Dawgs, two have them ranked fourth and the other four have them sixth, and the humans will most certainly follow with a win next week. By winning out, the lowest they'll finish is third, but they'd be the first ones in if there were slip ups from Texas and Texas Tech.

predicted wins:
at Kentucky, at Auburn, Georgia Tech
predicted losses: vs. Florida
predicted record: 10-2
predicted bowl: Capital One Bowl
toughest test: Florida

7. Texas Tech    Score: 0.7431    Last Week: No. 8
After the dominant win over Kansas, and with the offense starting to hum, you'd think there would be a little bit of respect for one of the four remaining unbeaten BCS teams. Not quite. The rest of the schedule has stunk, and while the computers haven't buried the Red Raiders, they weren't very complimentary. It doesn't matter. Win the last four games, win the Big 12 championship, play for the national title. It's that simple.

predicted wins:
Baylor, Oklahoma State
predicted losses: Texas, at Oklahoma
predicted record: 10-2
predicted bowl: Sun Bowl
toughest test: Texas

8. Florida        Score: 0.7295   Last Week: No. 10
Read the Georgia blurb and apply the same to Florida. However, the computers are angry with the Gators. The humans are big fans, putting Urban Meyer's team just out side of the top five, but the wires and gizmos are still not all that forgiving for the Ole Miss loss with one computer ranking coming in at 17th. However, a win over Georgia next week would change everything, and if the Gators win out, they'll have a great shot to play for the whole ball of wax.

predicted wins: vs. Georgia, at Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Citadel, at Florida State, SEC Championship (projected to be Alabama)
predicted losses: None
predicted record: 12-1
predicted bowl: Sugar Bowl
toughest test: Georgia

9. Oklahoma State     Score: 0.6746   Last Week: No. 6
The national title shot is off the table for the moment, but that doesn't mean the Cowboys can't make things really interesting. If they can beat Texas Tech and Oklahoma and finish 11-1, they'll almost certainly find their way into a BCS game of some sort. Their only hope for the Big 12 title is if Texas loses to Texas Tech and Oklahoma State wins out impressively. On the plus side, the computers respect the schedule with two of them coming in with a No. 4 ranking. Remember, theoretically, if Texas is No. 1, Oklahoma State could be No. 2.

predicted wins: Iowa State, at Texas Tech, at Colorado
predicted losses: at Texas Tech, Oklahoma
predicted record: 9-3
predicted bowl: Holiday Bowl
toughest test: Oklahoma

10. Utah      Score: 0.6698  Last Week: No. 11
Here's the wild-card in the equation. The computers respect the schedule, the Utes are tied with Oklahoma State for seventh in the computer rankings, and the big guns, TCU and BYU, are still left on the slate. The stakes couldn't be higher. If the Utes win out, they'll get the nod over Boise State and will be this year's BCS buster, and then things will get really interesting. There might be a groundswell of support for a BCS championship bid if the wins over the Horned Frogs and Cougars are impressive, but almost everyone else would have to collapse. On the flip side, one loss could mean a spot in one of the Mountain West's cavalcade of mediocre bowl games.

predicted wins: at New Mexico, at San Diego State, BYU
predicted losses: TCU
predicted record: 11-1
predicted bowl:
Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl
toughest test: TCU

In Range
11. Boise State   Score: 0.6362
12. Ohio State   Score: 0.5373
13. TCU   Score: 0.5065
14. Missouri   Score: 0.4747
15. Florida State   Score: 0.3383