The week nine BCS rankings were released Sunday evening and the Stanford Cardinal began their journey up the polls as they climbed from No. 8 to No. 6. Stanford was ranked No. 8 in the first BCS standings last week, thanks in large part to a poor strength of schedule hurting their computer ratings. Stanford was ranked no higher than No. 8 in any of the computer ratings. Even with the dropping of the top and bottom rating, Stanford was hurting.
This week, Stanford benefited primarily from Oklahoma and Wisconsin losing, but the Cardinal also saw their computer ratings move up for the most part. Washington is not a great team, but they entered the game fairly well rated, which boosts the Cardinal's previously poor strength of schedule.
The BCS formula combines human and computer rankings to devise the standings. The USA Today/Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll are voted on by humans each Sunday. The computer ratings include the Sagarin Ratings, Anderson & Hester, Billingsley Report, Colley Matrix, Massey Ratings, and Wolfe Ratings. Stanford rates as follows according to the computers:
The top rating of six and the bottom rating of 21 are removed. Stanford is left with the lowest computer percentage of the top six teams, but their remaining schedule will improve that rating as long as Stanford keeps winning. They travel to face USC next week and still have their big tilt with the Oregon Ducks in November. Boise State is seeing their computer ratings take a dip as their schedule strength suffers in Mountain West play. If Stanford wins out, they likely end up ahead of an undefeated Boise State.
Of course, Stanford also benefits if more top five teams lose. They may need a mix of losses, but as this past weekend showed us, anything is possible this season.