By Ralph D. Russo
Alabama and Florida State hold the top two spots in the first BCS standings of the season. Oregon was a close third behind second-place Florida State.
The Seminoles (.9348 BCS average) are coming off their biggest win of the season, a 51-14 victory at previously unbeaten Clemson.
The Ducks (.9320) have only played one team that was ranked at the time, but could get a boost in the next two weeks with games against UCLA and at Stanford.
Ohio State is a more distant fourth, followed by Missouri in the standings released Sunday night.
The top two teams in the final standings after the end of the regular season play in the Rose Bowl for the national title in January.
Alabama is a comfortable No. 1 on the strength of being top-ranked by a wide margin in both the USA Today coaches’ poll and Harris poll. The two-time defending champion Crimson Tide are second in the computer ratings.
If the Tide can stay unbeaten, they should reach the BCS championship game for the third straight year and for the fourth time in five seasons.
The polls count for two-thirds of a BCS grade.
Florida State is No. 1 in the computer ratings and third in each poll. Oregon is second in the polls and fourth in the computers.
Ohio State is probably relegated to hoping for the teams in front of it to fall. The Big Ten is not affording the Buckeyes many opportunities for resume-boosting victories.
Stanford was sixth and Miami seventh. Unbeaten Baylor starts the BCS race eighth.
Only twice since the BCS started in 1998 have the top two teams in the first standings played in the title game.
The BCS is in its final year.