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College Football Rankings 2011: BCS Rankings Coming Into Shape Via Computer Polls

The 2011 BCS rankings will not be released until week eight of the college football season, but in the meantime we can start to make some inferences about where the Stanford Cardinal and others will likely land on those early rankings. The BCS rankings are made up of the USA Today/Coaches Poll, the Harris interactive Poll, and an average of six computer ratings with the best and worst computer ratings thrown out.

The week six Coaches Poll has Stanford ranked fourth, while the AP Poll has the Cardinal seventh. The AP Poll is not a part of the BCS rankings anymore so it's more just a placeholder until the Harris Interactive comes out in a couple weeks.

The six computer ratings that make up the BCS are put together by Jeff Sagarin, Anderson & Hester, Richard Billingsley, Colley Matrix, Kenneth Massey, and Dr. Peter Wolfe. The BCS rankings drop the best and worst and average the rest. For now they are not all available, but we do have enough to start getting an idea of where teams are starting to stack up. As they currently stand, here are some of the computer ratings following week five:

Sagarin: #6
Anderson & Hester: N/A
Billingsley: #9
Colley Matrix: #11
Massey: #3 (through 9/25 games)
Wolfe: N/A

At this point the Colley Matrix rating and Massey rating would both be dropped leaving 6th and 9th. Given the Coaches Poll and AP polls, the Harris Interactive poll would likely have them in the 4-7 range as well, meaning an average there of between 4 and approximately 5.5.

The reason some of their computer numbers are relatively low at this point is the weak strength of schedule. A team can only beat the teams placed in front of them and for Stanford, the quality will start to raise as the season moves forward. They still have a highly ranked Oregon on their schedule and could also get ranked opponents in Washington and Notre Dame if things fall the right way. Those would be significant boosts to their computer profile.