UCLA Tops OSU In Bowl Poll


UCLA is on top of this week's Bowl Championship Series poll, but what does it really mean?

The poll, which officially will be released Monday, is used to determine the top two teams to play in the Fiesta Bowl. That hasn't changed. Ohio State and UCLA still are on a collision course to meet in the national championship game.

Bowl Predictions
Fiesta Ohio State vs. UCLA
Rose Wisconsin vs. Notre Dame
Orange Virginia, Florida State or Georgia Tech
-vs.-
West Virginia, Syracuse or Virginia Tech
Sugar Tennessee vs. Nebraska or Kansas State

But it is interesting to note the Bruins are starting to benefit from the Pac-10's strength of schedule this season. UCLA has the nation's third-toughest schedule, according to the Seattle Times computer index released this week. Ohio State is 27th.

Kansas State, playing in the top-rated Big 12, picked up ground on its strength of schedule but is still hindered by the nation's No. 39 schedule. If Ohio State and Tennessee win out, it is doubtful either Tennessee or K-State could gather enough strength of schedule to get into one of the top two spots.

The rankings

2.0
Rank Team PVS AR AC SS L Total*
1. UCLA 2 1.66 0.12 0 3.78
2. Ohio St. 1 1.0 2.33 1.08 0 4.41
3. Tennessee 3 3.5 3.33 0.40 0 7.23
4. Kansas St. 4 3.5 2.66 1.56 0 7.72
5. Florida St. 5 6.0 7.33 0.80 1 15.13
6. Florida 10 5.0 8.66 0.96 1 15.62
7. Nebraska 6 7.0 7.00 0.72 1 15.72
8. Wisconsin 11 8.5 10.00 3.20 0 21.70
9. Arkansas 13 13.5 8.75 2.36 0 24.60
10. Penn St. NR 9.5 15.00 1.28 1 26.78

*Key
PVS = Previously ranked
AR = Average rank in the AP and coaches poll
AC = Average rank in three computer polls with maximum adjusted deviation figured in.
SS = Schedule strength from weekly Seattle Times ratings

Notes:

  • Teams shown are the undefeated ranked teams plus Florida, Florida State, Penn State and Nebraska. Both schools each have one loss but are ranked in the top 10.

  • Tulane is undefeated and ranked in both polls but is not ranked in all three computer indexes.

  • Notre Dame is 4-1 and needs four victories to qualify for one of two at-large berths in the BCS.

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