BCS: Back To No. 2 For Horns

Last week, the computers gave Texas a bump to No. 1 in the BCS rankings. This week, the humans sent the Horns back to No. 2.

UT held on to the top ranking in the computer portion of the BCS formula (earning No. 1 in all six rankings), but a slight drop in total points in both the USA Today and Harris polls, and a subsequent gain by USC, was enough for the Trojans to take back the top spot in the third BCS rankings of the 2005 season. No. 3 Virginia Tech also slightly closed the gap with Texas.

USC (.9767, up from .9756 last week) edged Texas (.9729, down from .9763 last week), with the Hokies (.9294, up from .9164 last week) back a bit in third. VaTech's gain is a function of improved computer rankings after toppling top 15 Boston College as well as a consolidation of votes for the No. 3 spot in the human polls after previous poll No. 4 Georgia's loss to Florida. The Hokies could gain even more ground after this weekend if they beat Miami. The one-loss 'Canes (.7566) are sixth in the current BCS rankings.

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.

In between Virginia Tech and Miami in the rankings are the final two undefeateds, Alabama (.8695) and UCLA (.7874). Penn State (.6905), LSU (.6875), Florida State (.6277) and Ohio State (.5967), the highest-ranked two-loss squad, round out the top 10.

Tech (.4496) inched up a spot to No. 15 after its 28-0 blanking of Baylor, the Horns upcoming opponent, in Waco. Colorado (.1746) moved up two notched to No. 22 and Oklahoma (.0704) made its '05 BCS debut with a No. 25 ranking. With the Sooners now in the rankings, the Horns own victories -- three commanding -- over four schools in the BCS top 25.

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:

Stanford at USC (1)

Texas (2) at Baylor

Miami (6) at Virginia Tech (3)

Alabama (4) at Mississippi State

UCLA (5) at Arizona

Wisconsin (12) at Penn State (7)

Appalachian State at LSU (8)

North Carolina State at Florida State (9)

Illinois at Ohio State (10)

Tennessee at Notre Dame (14)

Texas opponents:

Illinois at Ohio State (10)

A&M at Texas Tech (15)

Missouri at Colorado (22)

Nebraska at Kansas

Rice at SMU

UL-Lafayette at North Texas

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