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Virginia Tech left in third
Associated Press

Nebraska is first and Oklahoma second -- for a week, anyway -- in the first Bowl Championship Series standings.

Virginia Tech, No. 2 in the AP media poll and USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll, finds itself in third place in the rankings, which will determine what teams play in its national championship game.

The standings, released Monday night, are based on a formula that incorporates the AP poll plus the coaches' poll, eight computer rankings, strength-of-schedule and number of losses.

The teams that finish 1-2 in the final BCS standing released Dec. 3 will play for the title in the Orange Bowl on Jan. 3.

Nebraska is No. 1 and Oklahoma No. 3 in both the AP and coaches' polls this week.

Not to worry Hokies fans, the Cornhuskers (7-0) visit the Sooners (6-0) on Saturday in Norman, Okla., and the result of that game likely will shake up next week's BCS rankings.

In two weeks, there will be even more shuffling when Virginia Tech (7-0) visits Miami (5-1) and Clemson (8-0) plays at Florida State (7-1). On Nov. 18, Florida (6-1) is at Florida State.

Miami is fourth in the BCS standings, Florida State fifth, Florida sixth and Clemson seventh.

Nebraska had 3.61 points in the BCS standings -- 1 point for poll average, 1.57 for computer rank average, 1.04 for strength-of-schedule and zero for losses. The Huskers beat Baylor 59-0 on Saturday, a week after a 56-3 win over Texas Tech.

Oklahoma had 5.43 points -- 3 for poll average; 1.71 for computer rank average; 0.72 for strength-of-schedule and zero for losses. The Sooners were idle Saturday after beating Kansas State 41-31 on Oct. 14.

Virginia Tech, which also started out third in the BCS standings last year, had 6.66 points -- 2 for poll average, 4.14 for computer rank average, 0.52 for strength-of-schedule and zero losses.

The Sooners were first in four of the eight computer rankings; the Huskers were first in three; and Florida State was first in the other.

In the computer ratings, the lowest ranking is discarded and the seven highest are used to come up with an average. For example, the Huskers came away with the best computer average based on three firsts and four seconds, A fourth-place finish in one computer rating was tossed out.

The BCS, chaired this season by ACC commissioner John Swofford, was created two years ago to come up with a national title game without instituting a playoff. After the top two teams are decided, the remaining BCS games -- the Rose, Sugar and Fiesta bowls -- select from the remaining pool of qualified teams.

Champions of six conferences -- the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and SEC -- qualify for a BCS game, and two at-large teams are selected to fill out the field.

In each of the first two seasons of the BCS standings, the teams that played for the title also were ranked 1-2 in the polls. Tennessee beat Florida State in the 1999 Fiesta Bowl for the '98 title; and Florida State beat Virginia Tech in the 2000 Sugar Bowl for the '99 championship.

Arute: Black day in Blacksburg