A few thoughts and observations on the first Bowl Championship Series standings, which were released on Sunday night:
1. Boise State must have really been hurt by Nevada and Oregon State both losing on Saturday night. The Broncos were expected to be the No. 1 team in the initial BCS standings, but they actually came in at No. 3, behind No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 2 Oregon. The Beavers lost 35-34 at Washington on Saturday night; the Wolf Pack fell 27-21 at Hawaii in a game that didn't end until early Sunday morning.
The Broncos had an average ranking of No. 7 in the six computer rankings -- they were as high as No. 2 and no lower than No. 7. That's a sign that Boise State is really going to be hurt by its lack of schedule strength down the stretch.
2. Oklahoma is No. 4 in the Harris Interactive Poll and No. 3 in the USA Today coaches' Top 25 poll, but the Sooners are No. 1 in four of the six computer rankings used in the BCS formula. I'm surprised the Sooners are rated that high by the computers, especially since they've beaten only two ranked teams -- No. 17 Florida State 47-17 on Sept. 11 and No. 19 Texas 28-20 on Oct. 20.
Oklahoma plays two more games against teams currently rated in the BCS Top 25 -- at No. 11 Missouri on Saturday and at No. 14 Oklahoma State on Nov. 27.
3. Auburn fans don't have to worry that it's going to be 2004 all over again. The undefeated Tigers are No. 4 in the BCS standings, ahead of No. 5 TCU, which is ranked ahead of them in both the Harris Interactive Poll and USA Today coaches' poll.
As long as the Tigers keep winning, they're in really good position with two big games left on the schedule: Saturday's home game against No. 6 LSU and a Nov. 26 road game at No. 8 Alabama. Auburn went 12-0 in 2004 but was left out of the BCS National Championship Game.
4. Defending BCS national champion Alabama isn't out of the BCS race after losing at South Carolina 35-21 two weeks ago. The Crimson Tide are No. 8 in the BCS standings, but still play games against two teams ranked ahead of them, No. 4 Auburn and No. 6 LSU.
The Tide have an average ranking of No. 12 in the six computer rankings; they're ranked as high as No. 4 and as low as No. 20.
5. How can No. 11 Missouri be ranked in the top 10 of five of the six computer rankings, but then be left out of Richard Billingsley's computer rankings altogether?
6. Oregon is No. 1 in the Harris poll and coaches' poll, but is ranked No. 7 or worse in five of the six computer rankings. Jeff Sagarin has the Ducks rated as the No. 2 team in his computer rankings, but Dr. Peter Wolfe has them at No. 11.
7. No. 6 LSU, which keeps finding ways to win close games, is No. 1 in two of the six computer rankings -- Anderson & Hester and Richard Billingsley.
8. Undefeated Missouri and Oklahoma State still aren't getting much respect. The No. 11 Tigers are ranked behind two one-loss teams (No. 8 Alabama and No. 10 Ohio State) and the No. 14 Pokes are ranked behind four one-loss teams (Bama, Ohio State, No. 12 Stanford and No. 13 Wisconsin).