Guess who is the highest-ranked team in the BCS? Bet you didn't see that coming in the preseason.
Well, the first BCS standings are out, and THERE ARE COMPLAINTS. I know, I'm as shocked as all of you are. The BCS is one of those fine American institutions, like materialism run amok and K Street.
In any case, here are your first official BCS Standings:
3. Boise State
7. Michigan State
10. Ohio State
If you're wondering why Oklahoma is No. 1, the answer is pretty simple: The computers love the Sooners. Only two of the computer poll don't have Oklahoma No. 1, and both of them have them at No. 3. (Also, one of them is Richard Billingsley, whose computer is notably weird even in the weird world of asking a machine to make decisions based on games it cannot watch.)
Oregon is No. 2 for the opposite reason: The humans love it, but the computers look at wins against New Mexico, Tennesee and Portland State and see them as unimpressive instead of looking at the fact that the Ducks defeated those teams by a combined 189-13 and seeing that they were pretty good wins even when accounting for the competition.
Next to Oregon, Boise gets the least computer love of the Top 5 (deservedly so, in my opinion), while the chip see the second-best team in the land as ... LSU. Again, this is because a computer looks at one of the best schedules in the country and does not see that without the most unlikely streak of late-game luck ever, LSU would have at least two losses right now.
The computers also like Michigan State, in this case because the computers don't look at Michigan State and rank the Spartans based at least in part on the fact that they weren't highly ranked in the preseason. Billingsley again is the notable exception, ranking Michigan State at 12, but his computer says that Oklahoma State is No. 11. So take that into account.
Meanwhile, ESPN chose the best non-SEC setting it could for Gameday: Circuit-based respect for Missouri puts those Tigers at No. 11 in the BCS, meaning Oklahoma-Missouri is a Top 12 showdown.
To the SEC: The Auburn-LSU game this weekend is going to be huge. The computers that don't like Auburn -- including Billingsley, who has them at No. 8 for reasons passing understanding -- do like LSU, and vice versa. Whoever wins that game will not only get a boost in the human polls but the computer polls as well. Auburn might even have a chance to leap past Boise if they win. I'm not sure about LSU.
All the computers except Billingsley (see a pattern?) are bearish on Alabama right now, but that will change if the Tide continues to win and if South Carolina and/or Florida start to look like they want to win the East, boosting Alabama's SOS.
Outside of the Top 10, the only other teams in the BCS from the conference are No. 21 South Carolina, No. 23 Arkansas and No. 24 Mississippi State. Here, the computers are the only ones that show sanity, with most of them not ranking Arkansas despite not realizing that the Razorbacks allowed 65 points Saturday. The one computer that has Arkansas in the Top 25? You don't really need me to answer that question for you. Though even Billingsley joins the rest of his computer comrades in getting one thing right that the humans don't: Mississippi State is ranked higher than Arkansas in all of them.