As we make ourselves comfortable here in the month of November, the narratives of different possibilities start becoming clearer and the lobbying to get teams into the BCS championship ramps up. The big results of the weekend impacting the top of the rankings include the wins by Oregon, TCU, and LSU.
Last week we linked to Ivan Maisel's argument that Oregon's seemingly poor computer ranking would be remedied down the stretch. Again, we have nothing to do with the official BCS Standings; but the consideration of the whole family of random walker rankings (across various values of the bias parameter p) is an imperfect proxy for weighting outcomes and schedule strength in the computer rankings. Comparing last week's plot of rank versus p with the plot from this week, Oregon is already in a much stronger position with the algorithms, and that's still before playing any of the three teams Maisel highlights.
Keep in mind that these rankings do not consider margin of victory (nor do any of the official computer rankings in the BCS Standings, by edict). So indeed, Oregon would appear to hold their fate in their own hands. Meanwhile, TCU did what they could to solidify their case, by knocking off previously undefeated Utah, while LSU continues to make itself part of the conversation. If either Auburn or Oregon stumble down the stretch, we're going to have another season of BCS chaos.
Our rankings for the full FBS and FCS are available on Kenneth Massey's College Football Ranking Comparison