New York Florida, Alabama and Texas hold the top three spots in the first BCS standings and control their fates in the national championship race.
The Gators (.988) are in first, just ahead of the Crimson Tide (.952). Texas (.891) is third.
Boise State (.808) is fourth, but the Broncos still seem to be a long shot to play for a national championship.
Florida is No. 1 in the two polls used by the Bowl Championship Series — the USA Today coaches’ poll and Harris poll — and rated highest by the computers. The polls make up two-thirds of a BCS grade and a compilation of six computer ratings accounts for the other third.
Alabama is second in all the components. Texas is third in the two polls and sixth in the computer ratings.
With the strength of their remaining schedules, the Gators, Tide and Longhorns just need to win out to reach the BCS title game on Jan. 7 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., according to BCS analyst Jerry Palm.
Alabama and Florida would play each other in the Southeastern Conference championship game if each remains undefeated.
While the top teams in the standings are in good position, history is not on their side.
In the first 11 years of the BCS, the top two teams in the first standings have reached the title game once. Texas and Southern California did it in 2005 season. Overall, 10 of the 22 teams that were ranked first or second in the first standings made it all the way to the championship game.
That would seem to be good news for unbeaten Boise State, but the Broncos have other problems.
“The national championship is not realistic for them,” Palm said. “They’re going to get passed. Their support in the polls is eroding each week.”
Poll points, not rankings, are used in the BCS formula. Boise State lost 17 points in the coaches’ poll despite moving up a spot to No. 5 this week.
Palm said fifth-place Cincinnati, sixth-place Iowa, both unbeaten, and seventh-place Southern California, which has lost a game, are all in position to pass the Broncos if they keep winning because those three teams play tougher schedules the rest of the way.
Boise State, from the Western Athletic Conference, does not have another ranked team on its schedule.
The Broncos are trying to reach the BCS from a league without an automatic bid for the second time. To earn an automatic bid, teams from the WAC, Mountain West Conference, Sun Belt, Mid-American Conference and Conference USA need to finish in the top 12 of the final BCS standings.
But only one team from those leagues can bust the BCS and Boise State has competition.
“The only team that matters to Boise is TCU,” Palm said.
Undefeated TCU is in eighth place. If the Horned Frogs run the table in the Mountain West, Palm said they have a good chance to pass Boise State.
If I had to bet I would bet TCU eventually does,” Palm said. “Because they’re going to win a better league.”