LSU tops the BCS polls. AP Photo
Robert Gillard III
Sentinel Sports Writer
After seven weeks of college football, the first Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings of the season have been released — and as usual, there’s controversy. Elsewhere, the Big East tries to stop the bleeding. Also, Heisman hopeful falters and the top games for Week 8.
This year’s initial BCS standings have LSU on top. No surprise there. The Tigers have beaten four ranked opponents and play in the SEC, which is arguably college football’s toughest conference. What is a surprise to some people is that Wisconsin — which is ranked fourth in the AP Top 25 Poll — is sixth in the BCS standings. However the BCS doesn’t include the AP Poll in its formula. To formulate its standings the BCS uses the Harris Poll, the USA Today coaches’ poll, and six computer rankings.
Despite leading the nation in scoring with just over 50 points per game, and boasting a defense that allows a shade under 10 points per game, Wisconsin has been widely faulted for playing a soft non-conference schedule.
All is not lost for them, as wins in late-season games against Penn State and Illinois could help their strength of schedule.
Alabama is ranked second in the BCS, but only by a .0003 margin. Rounding out the top five in order are Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Boise State. With LSU and Alabama scheduled to play each other on November 5, and Oklahoma and Oklahoma St. on a collision course for their Dec. 3 match-up, the likelihood of two of these four teams playing for the National Championship seems very high.
The Big East is falling apart
After announcing that Texas Christian would be joining its conference last year, the Big East was riding high.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson had compiled an impressive resume, and his squad had proved it could hang with the big boys.
The Big East started to fall back down to Earth last month when both Pittsburgh and Syracuse announced that they would be leaving for the Atlantic Coast Conference. Now their prized acquisition wants out, too, as TCU announced it will be joining the Big 12.
To hinder the depletion of its conference, the Big East announced this week that it has raised the exit fee for its football members from $5 million to $10 million. The move could prove costly, as a few remaining schools have been rumored to be considering leaving as well.
Several schools have been rumored to join the Big East for football, including Houston, Air Force and Boise State.
Michigan falls from the ranks of the unbeaten
Michigan is unbeaten no more. The Wolverines lost to their in-state rival Michigan State Spartans over the weekend, 28-14, their fourth straight loss in the series.
For all of the praise Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson receives as a playmaker, he still has shortcomings as a quarterback.
Although Robinson’s athleticism allows him to keep many drives alive, and can even be attributed to several team victories, his accuracy remains highly questionable. Robinson has completed 53.9 percent of his passes this season, a sharp decline from his 63.5 completion percentage from last season. He also remains turnover prone, having thrown 10 interceptions, one fewer than his total last year.
In the game against Michigan State last Saturday Robinson completed just nine of 24 passes for 123 yards.
Robinson is not completely out of the Heisman race yet — his impressive 108 rushing yards per game accounts for 47 percent of Michigan’s 232 rushing yards per game average. But to improve his stock he has to get better as a passer.?
Big games this week
Wisconsin vs. Michigan State
The country’s top scoring offense visit’s the country’s top total defense.
Stanford vs. Washington
Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck looks to continue his Heisman campaign against a Washington team that is ranked for the first time in two years.
USC vs. Notre Dame
The Trojans will look to avenge last season’s loss to their longtime rivals this Saturday in South Bend.
LSU vs. Auburn
The No.1 team faces off against the defending champs.
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