BCS Rankings Explained: How Oklahoma State Can Pass Alabama

Mike Dowling@MikeLeeDowlingContributor IIIDecember 4, 2011

STILLWATER, OK - DECEMBER 03:  Jamie Blatnick #50 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys runs a 59 yard fumble recovery against the Oklahoma Sooners at Boone Pickens Stadium on December 3, 2011 in Stillwater, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Last night, the Oklahoma State Cowboys proved their worthiness of a showdown with LSU to much of America, but was it enough for them to move to No. 2 in the BCS Rankings?

The first component has already been released. The Cowboys cut into Bama's No. 2 ranking in the USA Today Poll, but the Crimson Tide managed to narrowly hang onto the second spot. Based on the BCS system for determining the USA Today Poll "score," they came away with a score of 0.95 to OK State's 0.93.

For the Pokes to pass Alabama in the final BCS rankings, they essentially have to be No. 2 outright in the computer polls, which is very likely. Even before the Oklahoma win, the computers liked State more than Alabama. If this happens, Alabama would have a computer score of 0.92 to Oklahoma State's 0.96.

If they do indeed end up at No. 2 there, the Cowboys would need 59 of the 115 Harris Poll voters to rank them at number two and Alabama at number three, a slight majority. Assuming the other 56 rank Alabama second and Oklahoma State third, the Crimson Tide would earn a 0.939 score in this category to the Cowboys' 0.941.

Averaging the three scores together, the final BCS Rankings would have Oklahoma State at No. 2 with a score of 0.944 with Alabama at No. 3 with a score of 0.936, and the Pokes would head to New Orleans to take on LSU.