BCS standings show Wisconsin needs help

For the Big Ten, the biggest takeaway from the release of the initial BCS standings is that Wisconsin needs some help.

The Badgers have been as dominant as any team in America so far, rolling over all six opponents by at least 31 points each and earning a No. 4 national ranking in the major polls. But they are only sixth in the BCS standings right now.

The schedule has not helped Bret Bielema's team with the computer rankings. Three of the six computer rankings that make up the BCS formula have the Badgers rated 10th or worse, with Massey putting Wisconsin 17th and Colley Matrix having the Badgers 14th. Of course, that is ridiculous, but the fact is Wisconsin just hasn't played a tough schedule yet. That will get better with the Big Ten schedule ahead, including the game against Michigan State (BCS No. 16) looming this week.

A major concern is that Oklahoma State is ahead of Wisconsin in the BCS standings despite being ranked below the Badgers in the polls. The Cowboys still must play Oklahoma, and that means whoever wins that game will stay ahead of Wisconsin. The Badgers probably must hope that no Big 12 team goes undefeated, since the SEC seems all but guaranteed to get one spot in the BCS title game.

Wisconsin is also behind Boise State, but the Badgers should make up that difference once Boise State gets into its weak conference schedule. The first-ever Big Ten title game should also provide a boost.

The BCS standings also shed little light on who might gain the second Big Ten BCS bid, assuming there is one. Nebraska is ranked 13th in the first standings, with Michigan State three spots behind and Michigan at No. 18. All three of those teams are in a dogfight for the Legends Division title, with the Spartans holding the edge right now. In the Leaders Division, Penn State is 21st and Illinois is at No. 23. Any of these teams could be in line for an at-large bid with a strong finish, and they don't necessarily need to make the conference title game to do so.

The bottom line is it's still very early. If Wisconsin wins out, the Badgers will have a strong argument to be included in the BCS title game.