The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Sports

October 14, 2012

Alabama, Florida are top 2 in BCS

— Alabama and Florida are at the top of the season's first BCS standings, making it yet another all-SEC top two, with Oregon and Kansas State close behind the Gators.

The Crimson Tide in first was no surprise. Alabama is an overwhelming No. 1 in both polls used in the BCS formula. Florida in second was less anticipated. The Gators are No. 3 in the polls, but rated best by the computer rankings That gave them a slight edge over Oregon and Kansas State when the numbers were crunched. Florida's BCS average is .9092. Oregon's is .8993 and Kansas State's is .8963.

Notre Dame is fifth and not too far back at .8774.

Despite the strong showing by the Southeastern Conference, another all-SEC national championship game is still a long shot. Oregon's schedule is backloaded with strong opponents and the Ducks will likely be able to close the gap in the computers if they keep winning.

The Ducks play Arizona State on Thursday (5-1) and still have games against Southern California and Oregon State left, and a possible Pac-12 title game.

Florida has some tough games left, too, starting Saturday against South Carolina.

With half the season still to play, there are plenty possibilities and teams still alive.

Teams with one loss, such as sixth-place LSU, seventh-place South Carolina, ninth-place Oklahoma and 10th-place USC are still very much in the race as long as they keep winning.

Oregon State is in eighth, the lowest rated of the unbeaten teams.

This is safe to say: If Alabama keeps winning, the Tide will play for its second straight national title, and third in four seasons.

Alabama has never before been first in the initial standings. Seven times since the Bowl Championship Series was implemented in 1998, the team that was first in the initial standings went on to play in the BCS title game.

Seven times the team that started second played for the BCS title. And only twice has neither of the teams that were in the top two spots in the first standings reached the title game.

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