MSU #7 in the Initial BCS Standings

Prologue: as co-proprietor of a blog that tries to be intellectually honest with all things statistical, I'd be remiss not to emphasize that the BCS rating system truly is a travishamockery, as exposed by Dan Wetzel et. al. here.  Nonetheless, it's the system we have to live with, and so on we go . . .

Michigan State is ranked seventh in the initial BCS standings.  The six teams ahead of MSU, in order: Oklahoma, Oregon, Boise State, Auburn, TCU, and LSU.  MSU is ranked higher than any other Big Ten team; at the moment, Ohio State is #10, Wisconsin is #13, and Iowa is #15.  Auburn and LSU play this Saturday, so at least one of the teams currently ahead of MSU is nearly guaranteed to drop in next week's rankings.

In recent years, there's been no need for MSU fans to pay close attention to the BCS rankings, so to briefly review the rankings system: 1/3rd is determined by the Harris Interactive Poll, 1/3rd is determined by the Coaches Poll, and 1/3rd is determined by the average of six different computer rankings, with each team's highest and lowest rankings dropped.  A full explanation is here; MSU's rankings in each poll are below:

MSU Ranking
Harris Interactive 8
Coaches Poll 8
Wolfe Rankings 4
Colley Matrix 4
Sagarin Ratings 3
Anderson Rankings 4
Billingsley Report 12
Massey Ratings 3

Colley, Anderson, and Massey haven't yet released their Week 7 ratings.  Nonetheless, it's probably safe to say that the Billingsley rating was MSU's lowest and was thrown out.  Updated with the new Colley, Anderson, and Massey ratings.  So the Billingsley rating and one of Sagarin/Massey was thrown out for MSU.

On a personal note: it's still very strange and surreal having MSU play such a large role in the national dialogue.  Likewise, I knew that the Spartan head logo would show up at some point during the BCS rankings show, but actually seeing it on my screen was still jarring -- in the best possible way, of course.  Each passing week presents a new chance for MSU to prove to a skeptical public that it belongs; and given MSU's remaining schedule, the opportunity is certainly there for MSU to play a large role in the national championship picture.  Yes, it seems unreal to type that, but this has the possibility to be a very, very special year.

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