BCS standings to be released Sunday


football’s unique, national

championship-deciding ritual starts this weekend. Play Saturday.

Pull out the calculator Sunday.

The season’s first Bowl Championship Series rankings —

mathematically blending the USA TODAY Coaches and Harris

Interactive polls and six computer ratings — will be released

Sunday (8:15 p.m. ET, ESPN), setting an initial pecking order of

contending teams. Boise State has the edge going in,

CollegeRPI.com’s Jerry Palm and other analysts say. But any of a

handful of unbeatens, from the Broncos and Oregon to TCU and Ohio

State, could emerge at the top after Saturday’s games.

Boise, ranked No. 3 in the coaches poll, plays at San Jose State

(1-5). No. 5 TCU hosts Brigham Young (2-4). Both are overwhelming


No. 2 Oregon is idle.

Ohio State carries the coaches’ No. 1 ranking into a sturdier

test at No. 16 Wisconsin, where a win figures to bolster the

Buckeyes’ computer scores.

Another seven weeks remain in the regular season. Starting with

San Jose, the dwindling strength of Boise State’s remaining

schedule is a point of particular interest.

In each of the last two seasons, the BCS’ first-week No. 1 —

Texas in 2008, Florida a year ago — failed to crack the final top

two to reach the national championship game. Only once, when

Southern California and Texas went wire-to-wire in 2005, have both

initial Nos. 1 and 2 wound up in the title game. — Steve


*After playing its first six games with an interim mascot,

Georgia will introduce bulldog Uga VIII before Saturday’s

homecoming game against Vanderbilt. Georgia has had “Russ” as the

interim since Uga VII’s death last year.

University President Michael Adams

and new athletics director Greg McGarity will participate in the

pregame ceremony as the collar is passed from Russ to Uga VIII.

Number of the week

3 Second-ranked Oregon is idle this week, while top-ranked Ohio

State is at No. 16 Wisconsin. Should the Badgers prevail, Oregon

has a chance to move up to No. 1 while not playing. This has

happened three times since USA TODAY took over administration of

the coaches poll for the 1991 season. The most recent example? Ohio

State, in the final poll of the 2007 regular season. After handling

Michigan the week before, the Buckeyes saw No. 1 West Virginia and

No. 2 Missouri fall.

Stat of the week

In its weekly news release, the Mountain West Conference lists

the shutouts each of its teams has pitched since the inception of

the league in 1999, along with each team’s most recent shutout.

Among the top five, a pattern emerges:

Rank, team Games Last time (opponent)

1. TCU 12 Oct. 9, 2010 (Wyoming, 45-0)

2. Utah 6 Nov. 10, 2007 (Wyoming, 50-0)

3. New Mexico 5 Oct. 4, 2008 (Wyoming, 24-0)

Air Force 5 Oct. 17, 2009 (Wyoming, 10-0)

BYU 5 Nov. 7, 2009 (Wyoming, 52-0)

*Follow the weekend action at campusrivalry.usatoday.com, USA



football and basketball community

featuring live game updates and breaking news. It’s also where to

find the new USA TODAY Coaches Poll each Sunday.

*Eras begin and end as Nebraska meets Texas, at