MADISON, Wis. – The first edition of the BCS Standings were announced tonight on ESPN, with the Wisconsin Badgers checking in at No. 6. That’s a small but significant difference from the human polls, where the Badgers rank 4th in both the AP and Coaches’ polls. It seems as though the Badgers strength of schedule hurt them among the computers, which make up a third of the BCS standings.
Both Oklahoma State and Boise State jumped the Badgers, while LSU, Alabama, and Oklahoma remain in the top three. At first glance, it looks like the Badgers will need help if they want to play in the national championship game. In addition to winning the rest of their games, the Badgers need a few key losses to happen. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State still play each other in their annual rivalry game, and a top two showdown looms for LSU and Alabama on Nov. 5.
But the Badgers would need more than the two guaranteed losses to get a realistic shot at playing in New Orleans. The Badgers have a chance to jump Boise naturally, as the computers usually hurt Boise more than other BCS teams. That still leaves the pair of teams in the Big 12 and the SEC.
Ideally, a team like Oklahoma State or Alabama would be upset, but would still have a chance to play spoiler for Oklahoma or LSU. In short, the Badgers’ national championship ambitions depend on a few lucky breaks, in addition to winning the rest of their games this season.
The Badgers are the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten, where six teams are ranked. Nebraska is ranked No. 13 after a bye week, and the Badgers’ next opponent, Michigan State, was ranked No. 16. Michigan and Illinois end up at No. 18 and No. 23, respectively, after both teams lost their first games of the season. Penn State is working its way back into the rankings at No. 21, after losing early in the year to Alabama.