2009 BCS Analysis & Breakdown, Nov. 8
TCU RB Ed Wesley
TCU RB Ed Wesley
Posted Nov 8, 2009

And now TCU is in the discussion. Ed Wesley and the Horned Frogs jumped over Cincinnati into the No. 4 spot, and now they're in the hunt for more than just a BCS bowl. Pete Fiutak breaks it all down with the analysis of the Week Four BCS rankings.

2009 BCS Analysis

Week 4 ... Nov. 8

- 2009 CFN Rankings
- 2009 Harris Poll
- 2009 Coaches' Poll 
- 2009 BCS Rankings

- BCS Breakdowns Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

The Top 25
- Expanded BCS Rankings

1. Florida
2. Alabama
3. Texas
4. TCU
5. Cincinnati
6. Boise State
7. Georgia Tech
8. LSU
9. USC
10. Iowa
11. Ohio State
12. Pitt
13. Oregon
14. Miami
15. Houston
16. Utah
17. Arizona
18. Penn State
19. Oklahoma St
20. Wisconsin

Well hellooooooo, TCU.

No one benefitted more from Iowa's lost to Northwestern than the Horned Frogs, who not only moved up in the rankings, but leapfrogged Cincinnati going from sixth to fourth and within range of national title consideration if Texas loses or if something miraculous happens in SEC play. Cincinnati has the respect of the computers, ranked third, and is still within range of getting back into the discussion for the BCS Championship with the tougher games on the slate coming up. But, of course, as long as Texas is unbeaten and if there's an unbeaten SEC champion, the question is moot.

Boise State moved up one spot with Iowa moving down to tenth, but at this point it's going to take a TCU loss to get the automatic spot for the non-BCS school. While it's assumed that TCU and Boise State are the two battling out for the bid, Utah, at No. 16, could quickly throw its hat into the ring with a win over TCU, while Houston is creeping into the picture even though it stayed puts at 15.

The big question mark going forward will be about the open BCS spots. At the moment, it appears that either TCU or Boise State will take one of the four bids, the SEC Championship loser will take another, and if USC keeps winning and Oregon goes to the Rose Bowl, the Pac 10 will get two teams in. That leaves one open spot and the potential for a big debate. Will the BCS take two non-BCS teams and pick Boise State? Will Iowa, at No. 10, get in even if it loses to Ohio State? Could the Pitt/Cincinnati loser give the Big East two teams in the show? Watch out for plenty of lobbying and plenty of arguing over the final few weeks from all the conferences that want the BCS dollars.

Other interesting notes from the Week Four rankings …

- The Pac 10 might have been the biggest winner this week, even with a high-profile loss. The Stanford win over Oregon couldn't have worked out better. Now USC is in range of a BCS slot, and would be a shoo-in to be selected as an at-large team if ranked in the top ten, while Oregon can still win the Pac 10 title and a Rose Bowl slot despite checking in at 13th this week. Arizona is in the picture at 17, but that's going to change with the meat of the Pac 10 schedule kicking in.

- The Big Ten will make a big push to get two teams in the BCS, but it's going to be a fight if Iowa beats Ohio State. The winner of the Hawkeye-Buckeye showdown next week will go to the Rose Bowl, but the loser won't be a lock for an at-large bid. Penn State, even if it finishes at 10-2, will be a tough sell with a soft schedule and a bad computer ranking (currently 20th). Wisconsin is ranked 20th overall but should start creeping up the rankings with a relatively soft finishing kick starting with Michigan next week. The Badgers will likely finish 10-2, barring a major upset, meaning there might be four Big Ten teams with ten wins.

- LSU didn't get punished, but it's going to suffer from being in the SEC. The Tigers actually moved up from nine to eight after losing to Alabama, but remember, only two teams from the same conference can get in and Florida and Alabama are going to gobble up the spots.

- Talk about falling off the radar, Notre Dame went from 22nd, and within range of moving up quickly, to 42nd and now just dreaming of going to a bowl after the disastrous loss to Navy.

- Temple, at 34th, is ranked ahead of Tennessee (36th), Ole Miss (41st), Notre Dame (42nd), and South Carolina (44th). Temple, yes, that Temple.

The Big Winners:
TCU (6th to 4th), Georgia Tech (10th to 7th), The Pac 10 (USC 12th to 9th, Oregon at 13, Arizona at 17)
The Big Losers: Iowa (4th to 10th), Oregon (8th to 13th), Penn State (11th to 18th)

1. Florida Score: 0.9842
Florida won and it moved down. Okay, so the Gators only moved down a bit in the overall score with only three computer formulas coming in with a No. 1 ranking as opposed to last week when five of the six put them in the top spot. Overall, nothing changes. If Florida wins its next four games, it'll play for the national title. If if loses to the Alabama in the SEC Championship it'll be in the Sugar Bowl.

Predicted Wins: at South Carolina, FIU, Florida State, SEC Championship
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 13-0
Predicted Bowl: BCS Championship
Toughest Remaining Tests: at South Carolina, Florida State, SEC Championship

2. Alabama  Score: 0.9516
Alabama moved up from No. 3 to No. 2, but it doesn't matter other than for promotional purposes for CBS and the SEC Championship. The Tide won the West with the win over LSU, and even if it loses twice the rest of the way it'll play in a BCS game. Ranked No. 1 by three of the computers, but No. 3 by the humans, Bama isn't going to finish in the No. 1 overall spot unless it beats Florida. 

Predicted Wins: at Mississippi State, Chattanooga, at Auburn
Predicted Losses: SEC Championship
Predicted Final Record: 12-1
Predicted Bowl: Sugar Bowl
Toughest Remaining Tests: at Auburn

3. Texas  Score: 0.9234
It's going to take a major miracle for Texas to not play for the national title. The blowout win over UCF (who can actually play a little bit of defense) shows just how hot the Longhorns are, and even though the computers aren't impressed, putting them fifth behind the SEC kings, Cincinnati and TCU, the humans will make sure the trip to Pasadena is secure. There's absolutely no fear of losing the top two spot if they win out. TCU isn't even close to getting into the top three.

Predicted Wins:  at Baylor, Kansas, at Texas A&M, Big 12 Championship
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 13-0
Predicted Bowl: BCS Championship
Toughest Remaining Tests: at Texas A&M

4. TCU Score: 0.8620
The Horned Frogs are at the gate and ready to barge in. Helped by Clemson getting red hot, TCU is getting a boost from the computers being ranked fourth in five of the six and fifth by the Anderson & Hester formula. While there's a huge game between TCU and Texas, there's a slim margin over Cincinnati, so style points count. To impress the humans and stay ahead of the Bearcats, TCU needs to be fantastic against Utah with the Gameday crew in town and all the world paying attention.

Predicted Wins: Utah, at Wyoming, New Mexico
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 12-0
Predicted Bowl: Sugar Bowl
Toughest Remaining Tests: Utah, at Wyoming

5. Cincinnati Score: 0.8580
The computers like them with a No. 3 ranking, two spots ahead of Texas, but the Bearcats aren't capturing the humans. They have three tough games ahead with West Virginia and Illinois on national TV, so everyone will get to see what they can do. The emergence of the Illini over the last few weeks will be a huge boost to the overall respect if UC can win out, but there's still a ceiling. There's no way and no chance of cracking the top two without a miracle.

Predicted Wins: West Virginia, Illinois
Predicted Losses: at Pitt
Predicted Final Record: 11-1
Predicted Bowl: Orange
Toughest Remaining Tests: West Virginia

6. Boise State Score: 0.8126
Oregon's loss to Stanford was a killer for Boise State both in the formulas and in the overall debate. The Broncos aren't playing well enough in spotlight games, struggling to put away Louisiana Tech in a ten-point win, and only the date with Nevada will get any interest on a national scale. The national title talk is completely gone now, and it's likely going to take a TCU loss to get into the discussion for one of the big money games.

Predicted Wins: Idaho, at Utah State, Nevada, New Mexico State
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 12-0
Predicted Bowl: Humanitarian
Toughest Remaining Tests: at Louisiana Tech, Nevada

7. Georgia Tech  Score: 0.7552
The issue now isn't whether or not Georgia Tech is the class of the ACC, defensive struggles and all, it is. The question will be whether or not the Yellow Jackets could get an at-large bid if it loses the ACC Championship, most likely against Clemson. If they're 11-1 going into the title game, they might be the ones to take the one in question at-large spot. Firmly entrenched at No. 7, ranked there by both human polls and by the computers, Tech could be in the top five by winning out.

Predicted Wins: at Duke, Georgia, ACC Championship
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 12-1
Predicted Bowl: Orange
Toughest Remaining Tests: Georgia

8. LSU Score: 0.6138
LSU lost to Alabama and moved ... up? The losses by Oregon and Iowa helped, and the impartial computers give credit for the two losses coming against the top two teams. While the humans moved the Tigers down two spots, the computers moved them from ninth to eighth. It doesn't matter. Alabama is going to the SEC title game and LSU will be left out because of the silly rule that only two teams from a conference can get into the BCS.

Predicted Wins: Louisiana Tech, at Ole Miss, Arkansas
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Capital One
Toughest Remaining Tests: at Ole Miss

9. USC Score: 0.5922
Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz commented a few weeks ago that the computers must not have eyes. The humans do, but there's no way they could've seen the pile of garbage that was USC's performance against Arizona State. The Trojans moved from 12th to ninth thanks to a nice boost from the human polls. and now, even though Oregon is still in the driver's seat for the Rose Bowl, USC will likely be an extremely attractive at-large team.

Predicted Wins: Stanford, UCLA, Arizona
Predicted Losses: None
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Fiesta
Toughest Remaining Tests: Stanford, Arizona

10. Iowa  Score: 0.5745
When all is said and done, the Iowa loss to Northwestern did nothing more than save Hawkeye fans a lot of grief and a lot of wondering about what might have been. The Hawkeyes weren't going to play for the national title, and at best, they'd end up playing for the Rose Bowl. Beat Ohio State, go to Pasadena ... goal achieved. Even with a loss to the Buckeyes, Iowa could still play in a BCS game. the Fiesta Bowl would love to come up with a Trojans-Hawkeye matchup bringing in the Iowa fans base to invade Glendale.

Predicted Wins: Minnesota
Predicted Losses: at Ohio State
Predicted Final Record: 10-2
Predicted Bowl: Fiesta Bowl
Toughest Remaining Tests: at Ohio State

In Range:
11. Ohio State Score: 0.5733
12. Pitt Score: 0.5628
13. Oregon Score: 0.5318
14. Miami Score: 0.4712
15. Houston Score: 0.4691
16. Utah Score: 0.4003
17. Arizona Score: 0.3363
18. Penn State Score: 0.3350
19. Oklahoma State Score: 0.2909
20. Wisconsin Score: 0.2334