The first set of BCS standings was released on Sunday. While there were a couple of surprises, such as Florida being ranked ahead of Oregon, most teams finished close to where they expected to land.
Every team contending for a spot in a BCS game now has a pretty good idea of what it needs to do to reach that goal. As always, it start with taking care of business every week.
Let's take a look at three teams that will do exactly that in Week 8, keeping them in promising positions as the season crosses the halfway point. A full list of the BCS standings is also below.
No. 1 Alabama
In what's probably the least surprising development of the season, Alabama is ranked atop the first BCS standings. Nick Saban's ability to immediately replace exiting stars is amazing.
Although the Crimson Tide know every SEC road game poses a tough challenge, they should be in good shape on Saturday against a Tennessee squad that remains winless in conference play. The Volunteers don't have the elite offense necessary to compete with Alabama, which leads the nation in scoring defense, surrendering just more than seven points a game.
The running game, which is ranked 25th in the nation, will be a key for Alabama down the stretch. Tennessee's lackluster defense should leave Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon plenty of lanes to exploit.
No. 5 Notre Dame
The Fighting Irish are no fluke. Notre Dame already has three wins over ranked opponents and, as illustrated by its goal-line stand against Stanford, has a defense good enough to lead the charge toward an undefeated regular season.
Next up is BYU, which lost to No. 8 Oregon State by 18 at home on Saturday. With a strong defense and a balanced offense, the Cougars are a team built in the same mold as Notre Dame. But the Irish are better in every important area.
The two biggest concerns for the Irish are quarterback Everett Golson's reported mild concussion and, with Oklahoma next on Oct. 27, the potential for BYU to be a trap game. But neither of those issues should lead to an upset. Notre Dame is playing too well right now.
No. 6 LSU
LSU is the top-ranked one-loss team. And with three regular-season games left against ranked opponents, including this week's against No. 18 Texas A&M, the Tigers still have a chance to reach the national championship game.
They have to beware of the Aggies, who haven't lost since Florida knocked them off in their first game.
The Tigers' defense is good enough to slow down the high-powered A&M attack, though, and that's crucial to success this week.
A lot will depend on the play of Zach Mettenberger, who's thrown two interceptions and no touchdown passes over the past two weeks. He's due for a bounce-back game against a Texas A&M defense that allowed 57 points last week in a wild two-point win over Louisiana Tech.
Week 8 BCS Standings
|4||Kansas State |
|5||Notre Dame |
|7||South Carolina |
|8||Oregon State |
|12||Mississippi State |
|13||West Virginia |
|14||Florida State |
|17||Texas Tech |
|18||Texas A&M |
|22||Boise State |
|24||Iowa State |
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