Three weeks, and three different Bowl Championship Series (BCS) leaders. This week's results, however, are a mere shuffling at the top of the remaining undefeateds.
The Top Two: Oregon vs. Auburn
Both the Ducks and Tigers had solid road wins by similar margins: Auburn over Mississippi and Oregon over Southern California. Presumably after playing a tougher opponent, the Ducks were rewarded. They’re #1 in the human polls (USA Today and Harris), and #2 in the various computer rankings; Auburn is #2 and #1 respectively.
Next up for Auburn is the last of their non-conference foes, FCS Chattanooga. The Mocs are 5-3 and were ranked #23 in the FCS Top 25 for October 24, but make no mistake: They will not pose a challenge to the Tigers. Challenges will come in the stretch drive of the Tigers' SEC schedule, at home against Georgia and on the road against BCS #6 Alabama.
Oregon's scoring machine has yet to be held under 40 points; Arizona State has the dubious honor of losing to the Ducks by the closest margin, 42-31. They blitzed Tennessee in Knoxville, obliterated their other non-conference patsies (New Mexico and Portland State) by a combined score of 141-0, and took care of business against the Trojans.
But, these guys have four big Pac-10 games coming up: home tilts against Washington this weekend and Arizona (BCS #15) in two weeks, plus road trips to California and the season-ending rivalry game against Oregon State. Any one of these teams could potentially tar and feather the Ducks. Oregon Ducks football tickets are sure to be a hot commodity in the next few weeks, and Auburn Tigers Football tickets are selling like crazy as these teams battle for the tops spot. If you want to get to a game, the time is now to get your tickets
The Outsiders: Boise State, Texas Christian and Utah
Non-automatic qualifier, and popular darlings Boise State, at #4, continue to be hamstrung by a factor really beyond their control—the perceived weakness of the Western Athletic Conference. This factor contributes to BCS insiders like Auburn and Oregon leapfrogging Boise State; the Broncos, however, must also be careful of lackluster play, even in clear-cut wins such as their last game against Louisiana Tech.
BSU's remaining schedule features a few speed bumps: home contests on the Smurf Turf against Hawaii, who are just outside the Top 25 in the human polls, and Fresno State; and a visit to Reno to play Nevada (#23 in the current BCS standings).
The next intriguing non-AQ, #3 Texas Christian, is arguably the best college team in Texas right now. Their stingy defense has allowed more than 20 points only twice, to Oregon State and Southern Methodist; they have allowed a grand total of 27 points in their other six wins combined. They benefit by playing in the Mountain West, a slightly tougher conference than Boise’s WAC, but that means they have one remaining, very large landmine looming in their schedule: BCS #5 Utah, in a game which has never been so important in Mountain West play.
This weekend's Texas Christian at Utah matchup will essentially be for all the MWC marbles, and will go a long way to clarifying the picture among the three non-AQs. While TCU has been dominant all season, they have never beaten Utah in Salt Lake City. The Utes have had a pair of close games this season, beating Pitt 27-24 and holding on against Air Force 28-23. After TCU, the Utes can't let down, as they have a good non-conference game against Notre Dame in South Bend, and they also have their in-state rivals, BYU, at the end of the regular season.
After losing two previously undefeated teams, the chaos at the top of the BCS is starting to subside. Don't expect much shuffling next Sunday, except to see a one-loss team back in the mix at #5. If you want to see the Blue turf in person, Boise State Broncos tickets are going fast so get them soon. Utah Utes football tickets for this weekend against TCU are hot! Get them now while they are available.