USC and Miami _ not Oklahoma _ take top two spots in first BCS standings

Monday, October 18th 2004, 11:41 am
By: News On 6

Southern California took the top spot Monday in the season's first Bowl Championship Series standings, but surprisingly Miami is ahead of Oklahoma in a close race for the second spot.

Oklahoma is No. 2 behind USC in both The Associated Press Top 25 and coaches poll. The new BCS formula relies more on the human polls than ever before _ they each count for one-third of a team's total points.

The other third is made up of a compilation of six computer rankings, and that's where Miami made up the difference over the Sooners. The Hurricanes are ranked fourth in the AP media poll and third in the coaches poll, but have the second-most points in the computer rankings.

Oklahoma was fifth in the computer rankings.

USC, No. 1 in each of the major polls all season, has a comfortable lead in the BCS with a score of .9912 out of a possible 1.000. Miami's score is .9187 while Oklahoma graded out to .9161.

Auburn is fourth with a score of .9036 and Florida State is fifth.

The BCS changed its formula for determining which teams play for the national title after last season, when USC finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in both polls, but third in the BCS standings and was left out of the title game.

Oklahoma was the beneficiary of the flaw in the old system. The Sooners lost the Big 12 title game and dropped to No. 3 in the major polls, but still played in the Sugar Bowl for the BCS title. They were beaten by LSU, which was voted No. 1 in the coaches poll. USC ended up No. 1 in the media poll.