KU, Big 12 in BCS pouncing position

Kansas is now one spot away from national championship position.

The Jayhawks rose to third in the latest Bowl Championship Series standing released today.

The top two teams in the final standing play for the BCS National Championship in New Orleans on Jan. 7.

LSU and Oregon are first and second, taking advantage of the loss Saturday by top-ranked Ohio State to Illinois. The Jayhawks are third, then Oklahoma, Missouri, West Virginia and Ohio State.

The Buckeyes’ loss allowed the six teams ranked behind Ohio State in last week’s wire-serve polls to move up one spot. In the USA Today coaches’ poll and the Harris Poll, which make up two-third of the BCS standing, LSU was first, followed by Oregon, Oklahoma, Kansas, West Virginia, Missouri and Ohio State.That also is the order of the Associated Press poll.

Although the Jayhawks are fourth in the polls, they’ve third in the BCS standing because of their high standing in the computer ratings. Three of the six computer ratings rank Kansas No. 1. The other three have LSU on top.

The computer ranking is averaged, and Kansas comes out second on that last. That value added to their polls standing pushed the Jayhawks to third in the BCS.

Some BCS analysts believe if Kansas wins out, it stands a chance of jumping into one of the top two spots in the final standing because the Jayhawks will have Missouri and Oklahoma and neither of the teams in front of Kansas will have the same opportunity to play teams as high ranked.

Could Oklahoma or Missouri make the same jump by winning out? Perhaps, but the Sooners and Tigers would have to make up ground in the computer rankings. Missouri’s computer average currently ranks fifth, Oklahoma’s seventh. Winning out improves the rating but the Big 12 teams currently are behind Arizona State on that list.

Kansas, 10-0 for the first time since 1899, is the only undefeated team from a BCS conference. Hawaii, 9-0, is the nation’s only other undefeated team.

The Jayhawks picked up first-place votes in the USA Today, Harris and AP polls for the first time this season.

Missouri’s No. 6 ranking the polls matches its highest rating since 1969.

Next week, Kansas plays host to Iowa State and Missouri travels to Kansas State. On Nov. 24 the Jayhawks and Tigers face off at Arrowhead Stadium. The Big 12 championship game is Dec. 1 in San Antonio and the final BCS standing will be announced the next day.