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OU, OSU teams close behind SEC duo in the BCS

BY TRAVIS HANEY Published: October 16, 2011

The top shelf of the initial Bowl Championship Series standings certainly has an Oklahoma feel to it.

Rivals Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are third and fourth, respectively, behind the Southeastern Conference's top two teams, LSU and Alabama.

The difference at the very top is minuscule. The Tigers and Tide, 7-0 teams who play Nov. 5 in Tuscaloosa, are separated by just .0003 points — .9522 to .9519 — in the complicated formula.

The Sooners (6-0) are close behind, at .9301. The Cowboys (6-0) are at .8568, ahead of No. 5 Boise State (.8027). Bedlam is scheduled for Dec. 3, when the other leagues, including the SEC, will play their conference championship games.

Both those from OU and OSU say they're more concerned with the standings in January — not mid-October.

“It only matters at the end of the year,” Sooners quarterback Landry Jones said Saturday night, after OU's win at Kansas. “Whether we're ranked where we are, whether we drop, we're still going to play ball.

“It'd be nice to be ranked high. It'd be nice to be ranked No. 1, or anything like that, but at the end of the year, that's when we'll know who the true No. 1 team is in the country.”

It's the first time since 2000 that the top four BCS teams came from two conferences, according to The Associated Press. Nebraska and Oklahoma represented the Big 12. Miami and Virginia Tech were Big East representatives, at the time.

This year's initial BCS Top 25 features three other schools from the 10-team Big 12. Undefeated Kansas State is 11th, Texas A&M is 17th and Texas is 24th. The relative strength of the league — the computer rankings say the Big 12 is the strongest conference in the country, top to bottom — is one thing boosting both OU and OSU.

Even those who dedicate their livelihoods to studying the BCS were caught by surprise by the first round of rankings. ESPN's Brad Edwards updated his projections late Saturday night to indicate OU would be ranked No. 1, ahead of the SEC's tandem. CBS' Jerry Palm thought Alabama would be first and OU second.

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