Let's not kid ourselves... We are all terrified of getting passed up by TCU and playing in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl with a 12-0 record and possibly the best team in our school's history. Remember, it took an extraordinary amount of extenuating circumstances for two non-AQ schools to reach the BCS last season. Being ranked #3 or #4 BEHIND TCU will guarantee nothing. Right now the gap between us and TCU in the BCS standings is .0013. A Virtual a tie.
As of right now, TCU's victory over the Baylor Bears is helping their BCS ranking more than BSU's big Virginia Tech win is helping the Bronco's ranking. Of the 6 computer polls, Baylor is ranked in 3 (#23,24 & 25) and Va Tech is ranked in 1 (#25). The computers don't only take into consideration SOS, they also take into consideration quality wins, which is why even with the same amount of losses, Baylor does more for TCU than Va Tech does for us. Each computer must be treated as its own poll. The best ranking and the worst ranking are thrown out. Unfortunately for us, the computer that has Virginia Tech ranked also give us our best ranking. So not only is that ranking thrown out for determining Va Tech's BCS ranking, but it is also thrown out for us. Essentially, Va Tech is unranked in the computer and the ONLY element of the Hokies BCS score is the human rankings, which doesn't help our computer rankings at all like Baylor's is helping TCU's.
Note: North Carolina State's victory over Florida State is significant. Va Tech's biggest computer win this season is over the Wolfpack. This should boost the Wolfpack's computer rankings, therefore boosting Virginia Tech's ranking, therefore helping us with those small points we need to stay ahead of TCU.On the other hand, both NC State and Florida State could be ranked ahead of Hawaii now, thus keeping the Warriors unranked for our Nov 6 game.
Who to root for (besides the obvious):
East Carolina over UCF: Both are 5-2. East Carolina win strengthens Va Tech's SOS as well as NC State's who is the opponent of an opponent. We're talking thousandths of points people. But remember, .0013
Tulsa over Notre Dame: Assuming TCU beats Utah, we'd like for Utah's next game to be against a sub .500 Notre Dame team so Utah's SOS can remain horrible.
Tulane over SMU: Had SMU not lost to Houston last week, we would all be in a mode of panic because TCU WOULD have jumped us. We dodged a bullet. That, along with Toledo winning, helped us dodge a bullet.
Lousiville over Pitt: Not only does this weaken Utah's SOS, but it strengthens Oregon State's... which I know helps TCU as well, but a Pitt win would strengthen Utah's SOS and hurt Oregon State which is a wash for TCU but hurts us. Plus human element comes in to play with Utah hanging its hat on the Pitt "victory" (I call it the debacle).
Cincinnati over Syracuse: Fresno's win over Cincinnati can still help us if the Bearcats can muster a decent season. Their starting QB is questionable though.
Purdue over Illinois: This is a wash in the end of the season because Toledo beat Purdue and Fresno gets a chance to play Illinois in Fresno in December. But for maintaining a lead over TCU as they try to make their move next week, this could slightly help in the short term. .0013
Boston College over Clemson: Va Tech played BC. Clemson not on the 2010 sked.
Wake Forest over Maryland: Va Tech played Wake. Maryland not on the 2010 sked.
Obvious for the wrong reason- Ole Miss over Auburn: Focusing on strengthening our schedule to stay above TCU, Ole Miss is on Fresno's schedule. Opponents SOS counts. If Ole Miss beats #1 computer-ranked Auburn, that cascades to Fresno which eventually impacts us for the good. .0013.
Obvious for the wrong reason (part 2)- Nebraska over Missouri: The more Missouri wins, the more San Diego State is going to start getting more recognition as the team that SHOULD have beaten Missouri but didn't because of a blown no-call on Missouri's magical finish play. They already have votes in the polls, which helps TCU.
Obvious- Root for Toledo over (1-7) E. Michigan (who suspended 7 players... I think we're good) and Wyoming over San Diego State... not so easy. Wyoming winning helps us and TCU, but San Diego State winning only helps TCU and hurts us.
Chew on this- Cal over Oregon State. Not focusing on getting to the national Championship game, if our sole purpose is to stay above TCU, Cal winning will help Nevada's already impressive computer numbers which will help us when we play them. Oregon State's loss will hurt us and TCU equally, but Cal's win will only help us. That being said, Go Beavers.
And two for fun- Murray State over Tennessee Tech (TCU's 1-AA opponent) and James Madison over UMass. .0013
I am very grateful that BYU stinks this year and that TCU still has to play UNLV and New Mexico. With all these thousandths of points being counted, that New Mexico State victory over New Mexico could prove to be quite important. Thanks Aggies. Oh and did I mention, .0013?