Baylor has a lot of work to do to catch up in the BCS rankings.
While a victory over Oklahoma could certainly close the gap between the Bears and Buckeyes, there is just too much ground to make up in the span of one week.
Not even a shutout could help Baylor surpass Ohio State in the BCS rankings—not to mention the team would need a lot of other results to go in its favor as well.
As it stands, Baylor sits at No. 6 in the latest BCS rankings, and Ohio State comes in at No. 4.
But while the human element of the polls sees the Bears and Buckeyes separated by just one spot—No. 5 and No. 4, respectively—the computers see things a bit differently:
It all leaves Ohio State with a significant .190 advantage.
Furthermore, other than the top five teams in the standings, Clemson, Missouri and Auburn also rank ahead of Baylor in the computer rankings. Even South Carolina, Miami and the Sooners have better showings in some of the six computers used to make up the computer rankings.
Losses by any of those teams would help the Bears significantly.
But with a tough matchup against Oklahoma on Thursday—currently No. 10 in the standings—Baylor should first focus on taking care of its own business.
Entering Week 11, the Sooners are ranked in the top 10 in both human polls and rank No. 11 among the computers. The team is also ranked as high as seven in two of six computers while boasting victories over two Top 25 BCS foes—No. 23 Notre Dame and No. 25 Texas Tech.
A win over Oklahoma, especially one of the blowout variety, would certainly boost the resume of the Bears.
Throw in the fact that both No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon have difficult matchups ahead—vs. No. 13 LSU and at No. 5 Stanford, respectively—the recipe is there for Baylor to make a splash in next week's BCS rankings.
Unfortunately, it’ll take more than that to leapfrog the idle Buckeyes.
Although the team is off this weekend, Ohio State headed into its bye week on a high note. In fact, it could be said that the team arguably put together its two most impressive victories over the last two weeks.
Will Baylor jump Ohio State with a win over Oklahoma?
On Oct. 26, the Buckeyes spanked a better-than-advertised Penn State squad, 63-14. The team racked up 686 yards of total offense in the process, including an impressive 408 on the ground.
Ohio State followed that up with a near flawless 56-0 drubbing of Purdue in Week 10. The team totaled 640 yards of offense while limiting the Boilermakers to just 116.
It’s hard to punish a team that is playing at such a high level.
True, the Bears should close the gap with a victory on Thursday. But ultimately, the team’s exclusion from the preseason polls could be the thing that comes back to nip Baylor’s BCS title hopes in the bud.
Hey, it wouldn’t be the BCS without some controversy.
All stats and rankings used in this article are courtesy of NCAA.com.