USC moves up to second in BCS standings
Monday, November 3rd 2003, 12:00 am
News On 6
Miami's first regular season loss in more than three years cleared a path for Southern California to get to the Sugar Bowl.
USC was in second place in the Bowl Championship Series standings Monday, trailing only unanimous No. 1 Oklahoma.
``I suspect that this ranking shows the respect people have for our program and the way we're playing,'' Trojans coach Pete Carroll said. ``We hope to continue to play like we have. If we do, good things will happen.''
The Sooners (9-0), the only undefeated team from a major conference, got every first-place vote in the polls and was the top pick by all seven computers used in the BCS standings.
The standings are used to determine which teams play in a national title game. The teams that finish 1-2 in the final BCS standings on Dec. 7 will play for the championship in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 4.
The formula uses the AP media and USA Today/ESPN coaches' polls, seven computer rankings, strength of schedule, losses and a bonus-point system for quality wins.
The Sooners have a 1.0 for poll average, 1.0 for computer-rank average, 0.24 for strength of schedule and zero for losses for a 2.24 total. USC was second with 7.02 points.
The Trojans (8-1) are off this week and close the seasons with three unranked teams: Arizona, UCLA and Oregon State.
``Our focus is on the remaining three games we have on our schedule,'' Carroll said. ``I don't pay much attention to the polls and the predictions and all that. And I really don't fully understand the mechanisms of how the BCS rankings are determined.''
Miami fell two spots to No. 4 with 10.26 points following a 31-7 loss to Virginia Tech that snapped a 39-game regular-season winning streak. Florida State remained in third place with 9.52.
If Oklahoma wins its remaining three regular season games and the Big 12 title game, it is guaranteed one of the two spots in the Sugar Bowl. The other spot is still up for grabs, although USC has the inside track.
``I've got enough problems without having to worry about anybody else,'' Sooners coach Bob Stoops said.
Following Miami are the other three major one-loss teams: Ohio State (11.47), Virginia Tech (12.47) and LSU (14.92).
Despite falling to sixth in the AP poll and seventh in the coaches' poll, Miami remained in second place among the computers with a 2.83 average.
``If we win the games, we're going to be fine,'' Miami coach Larry Coker said. ``We'll be where we want to be.''
TCU, major college football's only other undefeated team, moved up three spots to No. 9. The Horned Frogs are hurt by having the 98th toughest schedule out of 117 teams.
TCU will need to be in the top 12 to be eligible for one of the lucrative BCS games and the top six to guarantee a bid. There has been pressure from schools outside the big six conferences to improve access to the BCS bowls _ Orange, Sugar, Fiesta and Rose.
The BCS was started five years ago to create a national title game without playoffs. Champions of six conferences _ the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC _ qualify for a BCS game, and two at-large teams are selected to fill out the field.
The BCS standings will be released each week for the remainder of the season.
The seven computer rankings are operated by Anderson & Hester, Billingsley, Colley Matrix, Kenneth Massey, The New York Times, Jeff Sagarin's USA Today and Peter Wolfe.