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Badgers' BCS lead on OSU tightens a bit

11/14/2010

Not much has changed for the Big Ten's elite in the latest set of BCS standings.

Wisconsin and Ohio State held steady at No. 7 and No. 9, respectively. The Badgers also maintained a two-spot edge on the Buckeyes in both the Coaches' and Harris' polls, as Wisconsin ranks No. 5 in both and Ohio State ranks No. 7 in both.

Ohio State moved a little bit closer to Wisconsin in BCS average, trailing the Badgers by .0584. Wisconsin led Ohio State by .0736 last week.

The Buckeyes should have another chance to close the gap this week against No. 20 Iowa, which dropped seven spots in the BCS standings after its loss to Northwestern.

Should Wisconsin be worried about being leapfrogged? A little, but I still think the Badgers are OK.

Although Ohio State should inch closer if it beats Iowa on the road this week, the Iowa win doesn't look as good after the Hawkeyes' backslid Saturday. Both Wisconsin and Ohio State face Michigan, but the Badgers visit the Big House, which will help them in the computers. Wisconsin also could benefit from its regular-season finale against Northwestern, which rose to No. 26 in the BCS standings after its win against Iowa. And the Badgers will remain ahead of Ohio State in the human polls because of their head-to-head win Oct. 16.

Both Wisconsin and Ohio State continue to fight the computers. The Badgers are 12th in computer average, while the Buckeyes are 13th. The teams were 10th and 15th, respectively, last week.

Michigan State was idle Saturday but dropped a spot in the BCS standings to No. 12. The Spartans are 10th in the Harris Poll and 11th in the Coaches' Poll, and while their computer average (No. 9) isn't bad, the computers like both Oklahoma State and Alabama more.

Although Michigan State has a good chance to win out, I can't see the Spartans jumping ahead of Wisconsin or Ohio State if the BCS standings are the Big Ten's ultimate tiebreaker. The Spartans were the only team in the BCS standings to drop without playing a game.

Other Big Ten teams in the BCS standings include Northwestern (No. 26), Michigan (No. 27) and Penn State (No. 45).