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BCS Standings Notes: The Shadows are Unanimously Awakened, and the State of South Carolina Can't Get a Break

A look at some of the oddities and eccentricities of the Byzantine BCS formula, including a look at which teams only got to the rankings because of the computers and which ones were human-only selections

Rob Carr

It's a sweep. If you're going to finally, truly RETURN TO GLORY, you might as well do so in unanimous fashion. Notre Dame is No. 1 in both polls and all the computer lists. Alabama needs the humans to get to No. 2 and Florida gets an assist from the computers to advance to No. 4, but the Fighting Irish are the best no matter what measure you use. It's frustrating as it can be for an SEC fan, but it's time to acknowledge that Notre Dame is a whale of a football team.

Yawn. The computers still hate Florida State and Clemson. This is not really going to get any better any time soon, particularly because a rag-tag champion will emerge from the "Miami division" to get blown away by the Seminoles in the ACC Championship Game. Clemson is actually ranked two spots higher by the collective chips, clocking in at No. 15 to the 'Noles No. 17.

The machines would be put Oklahoma, South Carolina, Nebraska, Oregon State and Texas ahead of the ACC teams among teams that aren't ahead of them in the overall standings, and would put UCLA between the two. Kenneth Massey's computer still doesn't even rank Florida State at all.

South Carolina falls back to earth a bit. The Gamecocks were benefiting from the computers' look at the their strength of schedule, something that took a bit of a dive once Wofford made an appearance. South Carolina went from ninth last week to 12th this week. True, the Gamecocks also lost one spot in both human components of the survey, but they really saw their fortunes fade in the computers. They fell by an average of more than two spots in the machines, including plunging from No. 8 to No. 14 in Anderson & Hester. Only one computer had the Gamecocks lower than ninth last week; only one computer had them higher than 10th this week.

Elsewhere among the SEC teams, you know that Alabama now checks in at No. 2. Georgia's at No. 3 and Florida is at No. 4. LSU stood pat at No. 7, which could become tangentially interesting if Alabama loses to Auburn, but that's crazy talk. Texas A&M fell a spot to No. 9, again largely because of the computers. (This is why your mother told you that too many sweets are bad for you.) The SEC still controls half of the Top 10 and half of the Top 12, though.

Your human-only entry: Boise State. The Broncos aren't ranked in any of the computer polls, which doesn't notice the name on the side of the helmet. They are the only team on the board to get there without so much as a point from the computers. The humans put them 21st and 22nd, and so the Broncos end up at No. 22. Not that it matters in the least.

Your computer-only entries: Arizona and Washington. This is slightly different because of the set-up; the Wildcats and the Huskies do get some human points because of voters who put them in the Top 25. But the only polls to rank either team come from the computers, who peg Zona as the No. 20 team in the nation and U-Dub as No. 23. The only computer not to rank both is Colley Matrix, which snubs Washington.