NORMAN — Oklahoma debuted at No. 9 in the 2012 Bowl Championship Series standings, putting the Sooners in decent shape for a possible run at January's BCS national championship game.
The Sooners were ranked ninth and seventh in the Harris Interactive and coaches' polls, respectively. The two top 25 polls comprise two-thirds of the BCS formula. The final rankings determine the No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup for the BCS National Championship Game, which will be played Jan. 7 at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Six computer rankings figure into the BCS formula, with each team's highest and lowest rankings disregarded. Oklahoma's average computer ranking is No. 10 when you throw out one of the two rankings — Kenneth Massey's and Peter Wolfe's systems — with OU ranked the highest at No. 6, and Anderson & Hester, the computer system with OU ranked the lowest at No. 15.
The Sooners' lone loss came at home Sept. 22, when Kansas State took advantage of OU turnovers and left Norman a 24-19 victor. The Wildcats are still unbeaten and were ranked fourth in the initial BCS standings.
“Unfortunately, we do have one loss and there are still a lot of undefeated teams,” senior quarterback Landry Jones said Saturday, after the Sooners routed Texas 63-21 in Dallas.
“We have to have something happen for us. Every year something is gonna happen. Something is gonna go. It's extremely tough, especially in this league, to go undefeated. For us, we're focused on us and our next game is Kansas.”
As long as the Sooners continue winning, they're sure to rise in the BCS standings because ranked teams still have to play each other, and OU's expected strength of schedule going forward should be a strong boost in the computer rankings.
The Sooners play Kansas (1-5, 0-3 in Big 12 play) Saturday, but then host Notre Dame, unbeaten and ranked fifth in the BCS, a week later on Oct. 27.
After that, OU plays three more teams currently ranked in the BCS's top 25 — No. 13 West Virginia, No. 24 Iowa State and No. 23 TCU.
Baylor, which beat OU last season and has shown an ability to be potent offensively, and defending Big 12 champion and in-state rival Oklahoma State round out the schedule. Each of those games represents — at the very least — a decent threat.
“Everybody likes to project too much,” Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Saturday.
“We're 4-1. All we've gotta do is keep making corrections and be better against Kansas and keep taking it down the road. I don't want to look to the end.”
The top of the BCS, meanwhile, looks pretty similar to how the 2011 final standings looked, with two SEC teams. Defending national champion Alabama came in ranked No. 1, as expected, but unbeaten Florida is No. 2, with Pac-12 unbeaten Oregon, which is ranked second by the human polls, is third.
Last season, controversy ensued when LSU and Alabama played a rematch of their regular-season defensive struggle, won by the Tigers, in the BCS Championship game. Despite not having played in the SEC championship game, Alabama played in the BCS Championship game and won the rematch, while No. 3 Oklahoma State was left on the outside looking in despite an impressive 44-10 rout of rival Oklahoma in the regular-season finale.