Boise narrows BCS gap with TCU


For week 11, the BCS top four — Oregon, Auburn, TCU and Boise State — remained unchanged, but the big story from the weekend was the performances of the two non-AQ schools.

Just one week ago, TCU jumped Boise State after an impressive 47-7 win over then No. 5 Utah. Fast forward seven days and it’s an entirely different story.

Yes, TCU overcame a 14-point deficit to beat San Diego State, but that was the problem. It’s hard to believe a win would count for so little, but the Horned Frogs suffered their closest win this season, 40-35, over the Aztecs. Additionally, TCU’s best win this season, Utah, got waxed by Notre Dame 28-3. Whether it’s fair or not, that, without a doubt, had an effect on TCU’s BCS stock.

On the other hand, Boise’s campaign for a potential national championship keeps gaining momentum as the Broncos, and Virginia Tech, keep on winning. A dominating 52-14 win over Idaho was complimented by a 26-10 Virginia Tech victory over North Carolina. As long as Virginia Tech still plays like the best team in the ACC, Boise’s resume keeps getting stronger.

If either Auburn or Oregon slips up in the next few weeks, the BCS national championship could be Boise State’s to lose. This late in the season, it’s hard to think of many one-loss teams who could (and should) jump over either non-AQ school. Of course, this also means Boise State and TCU will have to continue to be perfect.

Maybe even better.


Rank Team BCS Avg. Harris % Coach % AH RB CM KM JS PW %
1. Oregon .9753 1 .9782 1 .9878 2 2 4 2 2 2 .960
2. Auburn .9687 2 .9589 2 .9471 1 3 1 1 1 1 1.000
3. TCU .8966 4 .9063 4 .8936 4 1 3 5 6 3 .890
4. Boise St. .8634 3 .9091 3 .9010 5 4 6 7 12 8 .780
5. LSU .8243 6 .7863 6 .7966 3 5 2 4 4 4 .890
6. Stanford .7553 8 .7432 8 .7227 9 10 7 3 3 5 .800
7. Wisconsin .7258 5 .7958 5 .8115 14 9 14 11 11 11 .570
8. Nebraska .7203 9 .6916 9 .7193 8 7 9 8 5 6 .750
9. Ohio St. .6674 7 .7516 7 .7505 13 11 12 16 17 13 .500
10. Okla. St. .6601 12 .5814 10 .6190 6 8 5 6 7 7 .780
11. Alabama .6151 11 .5940 12 .5614 7 6 11 10 8 10 .690
12. Mich. St. .6066 10 .6151 11 .6047 10 12 8 13 13 9 .600
13. Arkansas .5133 13 .5347 13 .5051 15 17 15 12 9 12 .500
14. Oklahoma .4728 14 .4653 14 .4631 11 14 13 14 14 15 .490
15. Missouri .4563 16 .3937 16 .3953 12 15 10 9 10 14 .580

You can also view all the latest polls here.

USC’s Max Tuerk already questionable for Notre Dame game

TUCSON, AZ - OCTOBER 11:  Center Max Tuerk #75 of the USC Trojans prepares to snap the football during the college football game against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Tucson, Arizona.  The Trojans defeatred the Wildcats 28-26.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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As if the questions about the head coach’s future aren’t enough, now USC could have a rather significant issue in the middle of its offensive line to deal with as well.

Early in the first quarter of what would turn out to be an embarrassing loss to Washington Thursday night, Max Tuerk sustained a sprained knee. Upon further examination, it was determined that the veteran center would be unable to return to the game.

Not only that, Tuerk, who was wearing a brace on his right knee following the loss, is already labeled as questionable for what it in every sense of the phrase a must-win game for Steve Sarkisian against Notre Dame eight days from now.

With Tuerk sidelined for the remainder of the game, he was replaced by Toa Lobendahn. It’s unclear which direction the Trojans would go if Tuerk is a no-go this weekend, although Khaliel Rodgers, who had been dealing with a personal issue, has been Tuerk’s backup.

Tuerk has started 38 games in his Trojan career — 18 at center, 14 at left guard, five at left tackle, one at right tackle. Lobendahn started all 13 games as a true freshman last season, the first eight at left guard and then five at right tackle.

Was Washington loss the beginning of the end of the Steve Sarkisian era at USC?

Steve Sarkisian

Steve Sarkisian’s win totals in his six previous seasons are both a positive and a negative.

On one hand, he resurrected a moribund Washington program that went 0-12 under Ty Willingham in 2008 and took them to four consecutive bowl games from 2010-2013. He won nine games his last year in Seattle, then led a talented-yet-thin USC team to a nine-win season and AP No. 20 finish in 2014.

Those are good accomplishments. But the flip side of the argument is Sarkisian has never won double-digit games in a season, something that’s a necessity to keep one’s job at USC. The Trojans’ 17-12 loss to Washington last night — at home, no less — means the road to 10 wins and a Pac-12 title will be awfully difficult.

And worse yet, there are plenty of arguments to be made Sarkisian doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt and a little more time in Los Angeles to turn things around (#SarkAfterDark, his drunken rant at a booster event, certainly doesn’t help). The reaction from national media to last night’s loss looked like this:

Mandel, in his column, argued USC is right where it was two years ago with Lane Kiffin as its coach. And there’s this embarrassing thought, that looks more and more like a truth, for Pat Haden:

This one, however, was the most damning by far for many reasons, most notably that it came at the hands of Sarkisian’s old team. The sense among many Washington fans nearly two years ago was that the Huskies managed to upgrade coaches when the school lured Chris Petersen from Boise State upon Sarkisian’s departure to USC.

They were right.

USA Today’s Dan Wolken similarly wrote that USC needs to drop Sarkisian and bring in Chip Kelly from the Philadelphia Eagles.

This is the state of USC, and it may not get better. The Trojans start a brutal three-game stretch next Saturday at Notre Dame in primetime, then welcome Utah to Los Angeles the next week. A Halloween trip to Berkeley to face Jared Goff and Cal finishes it up. There’s a very real chance USC, for all its talent and all its hype, limps into November with a 4-4 or 3-5 record.

Sarkisian will have to engineer and sustain a major turnaround in these coming weeks, otherwise he’ll give Haden all the ammo he needs to unceremoniously jettison him after two years.