TCU climbed to No. 4 in the latest BCS rankings, helped in large part by a No. 4 ranking by the BCS computers, leaving them in prime position to leap into the top two and make the BCS title game that they narrowly missed out on last year.
TCU Ties Boise (Almost)
TCU also closed the gap with Boise State, rising into a virtual tie with the Broncos, only .0013 points behind.
How close is that?
If a mere handful of voters were to switch Boise State with TCU on their ballots, the Horned Frogs would rise above the Broncos.
How can that be? After all, TCU is fourth in both human polls, while Boise State is second in both polls.
Simple: The BCS formula does not count human votes like the computer votes. While the computer rankings are based upon place in the computer systems (with small differences being greatly exaggerated), the human polls minimize the space between teams by counting actual votes.
As such, Boise State is just a place above TCU in votes cast.
TCU's position in both the computers and the human polls will greatly benefit from the upcoming contest at Utah. In the one of the best games of the season (and the last chance for two undefeated teams to meet in the regular season), TCU will have to play its best game of the season to take down the BCS No. 8 team.
In their last meeting in Salt Lake, TCU led the entire game and looked like they would secure a BCS slot, only to miss two late field goals and yield a final-minute scoring drive to a Utah team that went on to dominate Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
A Little Help Please?
TCU will be looking for some help this weekend to get into the BCS top two. The Frogs do not need Oregon or Boise State to lose to rise to the top two. Instead, TCU can greatly benefit from wins by Iowa and Nebraska.
Why those two schools?
Iowa can knock out a pesky Michigan State team that has been living dangerously for some time, while Nebraska can smack down Missouri. Those two schools are second and third in the BCS computers, so with them out of the picture, TCU would rise to the second spot even without a loss by Oregon.
The BCS computers don't like Oregon or Boise State or even Alabama. Oregon has only played one team that will make a bowl game. Boise State's best win is over a team getting a .000 ranking from the BCS computers. Alabama's No. 11 ranking with the computers results mostly from the collapse of its opponents in the SEC.
Of course, TCU, who hopes to be considered the USC or Miami of Texas anyway, would really like Oregon to be knocked out as well, clearing the path in the human polls.
And we all know if Oregon loses, Boise State will not get the No. 1 spot in the human polls. That will go to Auburn, who will stay at No. 1 in the BCS at least until the Iron Bowl, unless the War Eagle finds a way to lose to improving Georgia.
BCS System Shock Still Possible
There is still a very good chance at complete BCS Armageddon, with TCU facing Boise State on Jan. 10 in Arizona. And while TCU and Boise State fans have gotten a little tired of facing each other in the postseason, I think both fan bases can get excited for the possibility of a BCS championship.
Alabama is the only one-loss team in position to jump to the top two based upon the human polls. The Tide still have games at LSU, against Mississippi State, and the Iron Bowl against Auburn, plus a possible SEC title game. 'Bama could be eliminated prior to the Iron Bowl and be playing to stop their archrival's trip to the record books.
LSU still gets a lot of computer love (tied for sixth with Boise State), so they could conceivably put the Mad Hatter back into contention as well. But LSU's complete lack of a decent offense means that voters will continue to disrespect the Tigers.
If the SEC teams continue to destroy each other, we can hope for the all non-AQ title game. Such a result would most likely help speed the end of the BCS, as the power conferences would adopt a plus-one or full playoff in an effort to avoid such a result.
And while TCU is looking forward to its annual regular-season matchups with Boise State, the Frogs will accept one last postseason battle if TCU can get its third national title. But TCU will just be happy to get a chance to play for the national title and would love the chance to square off versus the high-flying offenses of Auburn or Oregon.
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