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Spartans rise to No. 5 in BCS standings

10/24/2010

The BCS computers continue to love the Green and White, and Michigan State's path to the BCS championship game got a little easier this week.

The Spartans rise to No. 5 in the latest BCS standings, trailing Auburn, Oregon, TCU and Boise State. Michigan State moves up a spot to No. 3 in computer average, and even the Billingsley computer is warming up to Mark Dantonio's squad.

I have a hard time seeing Michigan State leapfrog Auburn or Oregon if those teams keep winning. But I doubt the Tigers run the table, and don't be surprised if Chip Kelly's squad loses this week at USC. The big question going forward: Can Michigan State leapfrog Boise State and/or TCU?

The Spartans are a little hurt by their remaining schedule, which includes only one more game against a ranked opponent, Saturday at No. 18 Iowa. Michigan State should root for Wisconsin to keep winning, which helps its cause. It also could use losses by Boise State, TCU, Missouri and Utah.

Speaking of the Badgers, they move up three spots to No. 10 in the BCS standings. The Badgers are No. 9 in both polls and in computer average, but they remain behind Oklahoma because the Sooners are No. 5 in computer average.

Wisconsin's big concern is Ohio State, which lurks only one spot behind at No. 11. The Buckeyes still have a Nov. 20 game at Iowa to improve their profile. As crazy at it sounds, Ohio State likely will leapfrog Wisconsin in the BCS standings if it wins out, despite an Oct. 16 loss at Camp Randall Stadium. Ohio State will remain behind Wisconsin in the human polls if both teams keep winning, but the Buckeyes are already ranked higher than the Badgers in two of the computers.

Ohio State now has the nation's longest active streak in the BCS standings (44 weeks). It is the only FBS school to make every edition of the BCS standings in the last four seasons.

Iowa drops three spots to No. 18, which is consistent with its ranking in the polls. Other Big Ten teams in the BCS standings include Michigan (No. 26), Illinois (No. 34) and Northwestern (No. 35).