Just remember, this is the second-to-last time we have the release of an initial BcS rankings for any given season.
That said, there were few surprises in the first set of BcS rankings released for the 2012 season, even more so when viewed through the prism of half the regular season and conference championship games still remain.
As expected, Alabama, a unanimous No. 1 in both major polls — and the Harris poll, too — is the No. 1 team in the country according to the BcS formula that consists of the coaches’ poll, computers, and the aforementioned Harris poll. In fact, it’s not even all that close at this way-too-early point in time.
The Tide had a .9761 average in the convoluted BcS formula, while No. 2 Florida stood at .9092; that gap is more than twice as great as the gap between the Gators and No. 5 Notre Dame (.8774).
“The release of the first BCS weekly standings always creates great excitement for college football fans,” BcS executive director Bill Hancock, presumably with a somewhat straight face, said in a statement. “Even though there are still almost two months to go in the regular season, everyone loves to talk about the standings and make projections for the postseason. Whether your favorite team is trying to qualify for a bowl game or trying to make it all the way to the National Championship Game, every game is going to count*.”
(*except for 2011 LSU-Alabama v1.0)
Perhaps the only surprising aspect of the initial release involves Oregon. Near-unanimous among the human voters as the No. 2 team in the country, the Ducks were just sixth in the computer compilation, dropping UO to No. 3 in the initial release.
The Gators, on the other hand, were at No. 1 among the non-human machines*. In another computer oddity, Texas Tech, coming off a thumping of then-No. 5 West Virginia in Lubbock, is the No. 7 team in the country according to the computers.
(*for those already asking about the term “non-human machines,” I have two words for you: Nick Saban, coaching cyborg. If that’s not enough, I’ll gladly delve into the Disney automaton known as Les Miles, carved partially out of actual human flesh.)
Just as expected as Alabama’s spot atop the initial BcS perch, the Tide’s conference is well-represented as well. Not only does the SEC have four teams in the top seven of the rankings — Alabama, Florida, LSU (No. 6), South Carolina (No. 7) — there are a total of seven — Georgia (No. 11), Mississippi State (No. 12) and Texas A&M (No. 18) being the others — inside the Top 20.
The Big 12 also has seven — three 20th or lower — in the initial Top 25, while the Pac-12 has four. The Big East has three teams represented, while the Big Ten, with Ohio State ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA sanctions, has no teams in the initial Top 25.
Boise State at No. 22 is the only team from a so-called non-AQ conference in the first set of rankings.
(Much thanks to the National Football Foundation for the chart)