Surprise! Horns No. 1 In The BCS

UT's stay at No. 2 in the BCS was a short one. But instead of the scenario often mentioned in the weeks leading up to the release of the BCS rankings, which had Virginia Tech overtaking Texas for the No. 2 spot, it's the Horns leaping the previously No. 1 Trojans for the top spot in the second BCS rankings of the 2005 season.

Texas (.9763) is just a fraction ahead of USC (.9756) in the rankings. In last week's inaugural rankings, the Horns stood at .9591 while the Trojans owned an average of .9923. Obviously, with Texas still at No. 2 in both human polls that are components of the BCS (and inching up only slightly in total points in the polls), the move is largely attributable to a large jump in the computer polls. After walloping previously top 10-ranked Texas Tech 52-17, the Horns earned the top spot in five of the six computer polls (Sagarin has UT No. 2) that make up a third of the BCS formula.

Teams are assigned an inverse point total (25 for #1, 24 for #2, etc.) for each of their respective computer poll rankings to determine the overall computer component. The highest and lowest ranking for each team is dropped, and the sum total of the remaining four rankings is divided by 100 (the maximum possible points). This figure produces a Computer Rankings Percentage, which is a third of the BCS formula. The Computer Rankings Percentage figure is then averaged with the poll percentage of both the Harris and USA Today Coaches polls. The poll percentages figures are derived by taking a team's point total in each poll and dividing by a maximum 2825 possible points in the Harris Interactive Poll and 1525 possible points in USA Today.

After the Horns and Trojans, undefeateds own the next four slots: No. 3 Virginia Tech (.9164), No. 4 Georgia (.8679), No. 5 Alabama (.8513) and No. 6 UCLA (.7381). The Bruins bumped up from No. 9 in the week one rankings and are on a collision course with No. 2 USC. Miami is the top one-loss team at No. 7 (.7114), ahead of last week's No. 6 LSU (.7065), which now checks in at No. 8. No. 9 Penn State (.6450) and No. 10 Florida State (.5735), also one-loss squads, round out the top 10.

Tech (.4222) tumbled to No. 16 after its blowout loss in Austin. Colorado replaced Nebraska, which lost to Missouri over the weekend, as the third Big 12 team in the rankings, coming in at No. 24 (.1067). Ohio State, which the Horns conquered earlier in the season, is No. 13 (.5113).

Click here for the complete rankings

The top two teams in the final BCS standings, released on Sunday, Dec. 4, will square off in the Rose Bowl for the national title on Jan. 4, 2006. The champions of six leagues -- the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and the SEC -- receive automatic berths in one of the four BCS bowls (Orange, Sugar, Rose and Fiesta). There are also two at-large berths available to non-league champion teams from BCS conferences, to independents and to teams from non-BCS leagues.

Match-ups this week with top level BCS implications:

Texas (1) at Oklahoma State

Washington State at USC (2)

Boston College at Virginia Tech (3)

Georgia (4) at Florida

Utah State at Alabama (5)

UCLA (6) at Stanford

North Carolina at Miami (7)

North Texas at LSU (8)

Purdue at Penn State (9)

Maryland at Florida State (10)

Texas opponents:

Ohio State (13) at Minnesota

Texas Tech (16) at Baylor

Oklahoma at Nebraska

Missouri at Kansas

Colorado (24) at Kansas State

Iowa State at A&M

Horns Digest Top Stories