Love them or hate them, the Bowl Championship Series standings return to the spotlight Sunday night with the BCS Countdown Show (ESPN, 8:15 p.m. ET). The first set of official standings will be released, and as always, there figures to be plenty of debate about who belongs at the top.
Eight BCS-conference teams and recurrent BCS-buster Boise State all completed Week 7 with perfect records. Despite the clutter at the top, there seems to be a consensus that the cream of the crop can be whittled down to Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma -- for now, anyway.
BCS Guru, a website that uses the college football polls to mimic the BCS formula, projects Alabama to land on top of the initial rankings, with LSU edging out Oklahoma for the coveted No. 2 spot. The Crimson Tide and Tigers head up a group of four Southeastern Conference teams in BCS Guru's top 10, no surprise given the league's recent run of national dominance. By contrast, not a single team in the projection's top 15 hails from the northeast region of the country, with only Penn State ranking in the top 30 of last week's projections.
Neither Boston College nor Connecticut charted in last week's 42-team projections, a status that likely won't change, even with Connecticut's victory over South Florida on Saturday. Boston College had the weekend off.
Despite not playing this weekend, West Virginia is expected to lead the way among Big East teams. The Mountaineers were projected 19th in last week's rankings and is the only team from the conference ranked in either of the AP or USA Today Coaches' polls. South Florida was projected No. 31 in last week's rankings, but lost to Connecticut on Saturday, while Rutgers and Cincinnati won Saturday after being ranked No. 32 and No. 39 in last week's projections, respectively.
Boston College's conference-mates have fared significantly better. The hoops-centric Atlantic Coast Conference places two teams in BCS Guru's top 15, with undefeated Clemson at No. 8 and Virginia Tech at No. 17 after a 21-point thrashing of Wake Forest. Georgia Tech, ranked No. 11 in last week's projections, will hope to remain in the top 25 after its loss to Virginia, while Florida State hopes to climb from its 42nd spot after a rebound victory over Duke. Other teams in last week's projections were North Carolina, ranked No. 27 before falling to Miami at home and the aforementioned Wake Forest, at No. 33.
Check back later tonight after the standings are revealed for more.