PARK RIDGE, IL – The Big Ten leads all conferences with four teams ranked among the top 15 in the nation in the first issue of the Bowl Championship Series rankings which were released today. The Big Ten's four representatives are twice as many as any other league, as the Big 12, Big East, Pac-10 and SEC all feature two programs in the top 15.
Defending national champion Ohio State (6-1, 2-1 in the Big Ten) leads the way for the Conference at No. 6, which is the same position where OSU opened in the initial BCS poll of 2002. The Buckeyes continue their Conference slate on Saturday at Indiana (1-6, 0-3). Purdue (6-1, 3-0) joins the Buckeyes in the BCS top 10 with a No. 8 showing, as the Boilermakers look to remain undefeated in League play with a game at Michigan (6-2, 3-1) on Saturday.
Two more Big Ten representatives appear in the top 15, as Michigan State (7-1, 4-0) is rated No. 13 while Iowa (5-2, 1-2) rounds out the list at No. 15. The Spartans have a bye this week after opening 4-0 in Conference play for the first time since 1966 while Iowa hosts Penn State (2-5, 0-3) on Saturday.
The BCS rankings will be announced each Monday through December 1 and the final BCS poll will be announced on Sunday, December 7. The teams ranked No. 1 and 2 in the final BCS standings will meet for the national championship in the Sugar Bowl on January 4. If a Big Ten team is not ranked No. 1 or 2 in the final BCS poll, the Conference champion (or co-champion as designated by the Big Ten tie-breaking procedures) will play in the Rose Bowl on January 1.