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With No Playoffs---We're Forced to Talk About the First BCS Rankings

Tonight is the unveiling of the first BCS rankings.

They're pretty much meaningless at this point in mid-October, but that isn't going to stop ESPN from acting like it's as important as the seeding of the NCAA basketball tournament.

Hey, they even have Craig James along for the ride tonight.

Let's take a look at the BCS standings after week 7 of the 2011 season.

Before we dive into the BCS rankings, it should be known that the Irish barely moved in the AP and Coach's polls.

Notre Dame moves from 27th to 26th in the AP.

In the Coach's Poll, the Fighting Irish moved from 30th to 26th as well.

BCS Standings (Week of October 17, 2011)

1. LSU

This would be my pick for number one as well. LSU has handed two really good teams their only loss of the season, took out Mississippi State, and just beat Florida and Tennessee by a combined 61 points!

I thought they might be offensively challenged, and that this could harm them against teams like Alabama, but they are picking up steam now. 

Any chance they falter against Auburn before their bye week while looking forward to the Tide?

2. Alabama

The computers like Alabama a little more than LSU, but it's that #3 ranking in the Coach's poll that is really hurting the Tide right now. 

What they have to do is beat LSU in a few weeks and change all of it.

3. Oklahoma

There's no surprise that the Sooners are below the two SEC teams. And the truth is, OU still has their work cut out for them with games against Kansas State, Texas A&M, Baylor, and Oklahoma State in 4 out of their last 6 games.

Win the rest of the way and Oklahoma will get into the title game---it's a lock.

4. Oklahoma State

And the computers LOVE the Cowboys right now, as they are #1 in 5 out of the 7 rankings after this first installment.

I'm just not sold that they have a good enough defense to be a serious contender. But by the looks of things, they are a very good bet to be 11-0 when they play Oklahoma to end the season.  

5. Boise State

Here's those pesky Broncos again, all up in the top 5 and not ashamed in any way, shape, or form.

We're pretty much in agreement that they are going undefeated right? 

How big is the wrench they'll be throwing into this party going to be?

6. Wisconsin

Oh, and the boo's can already be heard from the Badger faithful with this ranking!

Should they already be worried that an undefeated season might not be enough to get into the title game? Will wins against Michigan State, Ohio State, Illinois, and against a team they've already beaten in the BIG title game be enough to impress the voters?

Is it not awesome that voters can decide championships!

7. Clemson

Is this a team of destiny? 

What would this Clemson team do matched up against someone like Oregon or Wisconsin in a bowl game?

8. Stanford

We knew Stanford wouldn't be high enough on this list due to their rather weak first half schedule. They aren't being talked about a lot at this point and I'm sure they are just fine with that.

They'll start to answer some questions with the rest of their schedule though: Washington, @ Southern Cal, @ Oregon State, Oregon, Cal, and Notre Dame.

9. Arkansas

The Hogs will be an interesting team to watch down the stretch. They have the talent to make another BCS bowl even if they don't make it to the SEC title game (like last year). 

Their season ending showdown with LSU could have major implications, no matter if the Tigers win or lose against Alabama.

10. Oregon

This is just a little bit lower than most thought Oregon would be, but it's just fine. They still have the inside track in the Pac-12 and depending on how their game against Stanford goes, will still be a favorite for a BCS bowl.

11. Kansas State

They haven't played a ranked team yet, and will most likely move to 7-0 next week. But then comes a string of games against Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas A&M, and Texas in consecutive weeks. 

Enjoy your time in the BCS rankings while you can Wildcats.

12. Virginia Tech

The Hokies blew their season with a loss to Clemson, but they'll likely be hanging around this spot in the rankings and a little higher for the rest of the season. There's still a decent shot that they end up in a BCS bowl when it's all said and done too.

And let's thank them for showing us that while Wake Forest might not be awful, they certainly aren't very good.

13. Nebraska

I'll tell you what, the BIG title game is likely going to be a snooze fest. If Nebraska can beat Michigan State, they're likely to face Wisconsin again---a team that has already demolished them. Or, Michigan State will get in after probably already losing to the Badgers as well.

Should we believe in this team anymore, especially without Crick?

14. South Carolina

Luckily the Gamecocks have the tie breaker over Georgia after beating the Bulldogs, but it's going to be tough sledding the rest of the season without running back Marcus Lattimore.

Does South Carolina fall apart down the stretch?

15. West Virginia

The Mountaineers are coming off a bye week, and have drilled Bowling Green and UConn after losing to LSU at home. 

I am interested to see how good this team is, but we may never find out until they (likely) win the Big East and enter a BCS bowl game.

16. Michigan State

Hey we beat these guys! And they control their own destiny to a certain degree now with a big win over Michigan on Saturday.

Unfortunately they now have to play Wisconsin and Nebraska back-to-back, which could hurt. A loss to Wisconsin could be okay, but the key game will be against the Corn, who are in their division and already with 1-loss in BIG play.

17. Texas A&M

This is a team I like to move up a little in the rankings over the next couple weeks. They likely have to beat Oklahoma to have a chance at the Big 12 title, but they'll end up being a 9-win team at worst with a chance to really lay a pounding on a team in a bowl game.

18. Michigan

The loss to Michigan is always going to hurt, but we feel a lot better without that zero in the Wolverines loss column. Maybe they come back down to earth after an inept offensive performance against Michigan State, but they're still in line to win 9 or 10 games, and maybe still get into the BIG championship game. 

I just want to see them play 3 games without Denard Robinson. Just three games and see how it goes.

19. Houston

How cute that the BCS let's the Cougars in the rankings, they are undefeated after all! 

Do you really want to know who Houston has played so far? Nah, we don't wan....oh okay here it is: UCLA, North Texas, Louisiana Tech, Georgia State, UTEP, and East Carolina.

20. Auburn

Auburn is going to have a hard time staying in these rankings, but they are likely outplaying their expectations this year right now. They've got two losses to highly ranked teams, but they still have LSU, Georgia, and Alabama left on the schedule.

21. Penn State

This is one of the worst 6-1 teams I think we may have ever seen in college football history. 

They benefit from not being raped by Alabama---I think Saban has taken it easy on the Nittany Lions the last two years (your welcome JoePa), but they've played one FCS team, Eastern Michigan, and beat four teams with Sagarin rankings of 36, 52, 94, and 130 by a COMBINED 25 points.

Penn State has scored only 17 touchdowns (only 6 through the air) through 7 games. In games not against Indiana State or Eastern Michigan---Penn State has scored 7 touchdowns in 5 games. Read that again and contemplate how that is even possible. 

22. Georgia Tech

Boy, the Yellow Jackets were an offensive machine through week five, and now they squeaked by Maryland after scoring 21 points, and just lost to....Virginia(!?!?) by three points, putting up only 21 points again.

Georgia Tech is going only 2-3 at best down the stretch---bet on it.

23. Illinois

We knew Illinois wasn't going to stay undefeated for much longer. They are an incredibly underwhelming 1-loss team now after falling to Ohio State this weekend, but the Illini are likely benefiting from a win over Arizona State and having 6 wins overall already.

24. Texas

Irish fans are going to complain here, with a 2-loss Longhorn team ahead of Notre Dame---but the BCS always respects losses against good teams. In this case, Texas has lost to two undefeated and top ten teams.

25. Washington

The Huskies are a very quiet 5-1 this year, right?

Wins over Hawaii, Cal, Utah, and Colorado isn't the greatest resume out there, but you would think there'd be more "OMG STEVE SARKISIAN IS BUILDING SOMETHING SPECIAL IN SEATTLE!!!"