As was speculated last night, Iowa's rather unconventional approach to the 18-point victory against Indiana didn't cost them anything in the BCS standings. They were announced on Fox tonight, and it all looks pretty familiar:
The relevance drops way off after USC--in fact, you could make the case that USC isn't relevant to the title chase and you wouldn't be wrong, but it's worth seeing just how damaging that loss was. They are D-U-N done.
The more relevant factors are as follows:
1) Iowa's iron-fisted hold on the computers is softening. Iowa has dropped to #2 in the computer behind Florida, and they'll likely not get back to the top without some help. Beating Ohio State would help, but if Penn State does the job first, it may not be enough. Barring an upset, then, #2 is Iowa's ceiling
2) Thus, the SEC champion and Texas are in a commanding lead for the BCS title game. Florida is #1, and if they lose, it'll be to the Alabama team that'll step right up into that top spot. Meanwhile, Texas is in the top two of the polls and can't possibly fall behind Iowa without losing, even though their schedule is GARBIDGE this season. Seriously. Their toughest games were Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and.... like, what? Missouri? Texas Tech? Whatever.
Look, Iowa's resume is objectively better than Texas' and some XII Championship game against another powderpuff like Kansas State (and, lest we forget, in Cowboy Stadium which come on people this is just ridiculous) isn't going to sway matters. But since Texas is in the top two, isn't losing in the second half of most of their games, and is Texas, they're going to be favored by the human polls so much that the computer rankings--for as constantly adjusted and scrutinized as they are--will be rendered meaningless. The BCS, of course, will hail this as progress.
3) All of this, of course, is Ohio State's fault. If they'd just win a damn bowl game against the SEC--or even against Texas last year--people wouldn't be dreading the thought of another Big Ten team in a high-profile bowl setting. Just like 51 weeks ago, there were a whole lot of Iowa fans around the college football world, there were a whole lot of Indiana fans on Saturday, and there'll be a whole lot of people who are just Northwestern fans this weekend (bonus: if Iowa makes it past jNW, everyone will have to root for Ohio State and my my won't that be awkward?).
Ah well. Still a long way to go. In the meantime, just keep winnin'.