The good news for the non-automatic qualifying conferences is they made history when the BCS standings were released on Sunday night.
For the first time in history, three teams are ranked in the Top 10. Boise State debuts at No. 3 -- no school from a non-automatic qualifying conference has ever been ranked in the Top 3 in the 12-year history of the BCS rankings. TCU is No. 5 and Utah is No. 9.
The bad news? None of the teams are in the Top 2, and nobody knows whether that will happen. Take last season as an example. Boise State started ranked No. 4 on Oct. 18 -- its highest ranking before Sunday night. The Broncos went undefeated but ended up ranked No. 6 in the final BCS standings.
Boise State is ranked No. 2 in the Harris poll and coaches poll, but not unexpectedly, its computer average is No. 7. Three computers have the Broncos at 7 and two have them at 6. Billingsley is the only computer that agrees with the humans and has them No. 2. Interestingly, Boise State has a better computer ranking than Oregon (8).
What is making the big difference for Boise State in its current BCS ranking are the human polls. This is the highest Boise State has ever been ranked in the polls.
TCU finished fourth in the standings last year. The Horned Frogs are ranked No. 3 in the Harris poll and No. 4 in the coaches poll, and they already have a better computer average than Boise State with a No. 5 ranking. They will continue to have a better computer average, but as long as they stay behind Boise State, it will be hard for them to overtake them.
Last season, TCU was ranked three spots ahead of Boise State in the coaches poll, for example. That helped it finish as the automatic qualifier among the non-AQs.
We cannot forget about Utah. The Utes have already busted into the BCS system twice, and are ranked No. 9 in the Harris and coaches poll. Their computers average is No. 11.
TCU and Utah play Nov. 6 in Salt Lake City, so only one team will be left standing. If the Utes end up undefeated, along with the Broncos, they also would have a hard time overtaking them if they stay far behind in the rankings.