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The initial BCS standings come out this Sunday and while we’ve been perplexed by the national polls shuffling of No. 1 teams without any of them losing, we all know the major piece of any BCS equation will be decided Nov. 5 when No. 1 LSU travels to No. 3 Alabama.

The Golden Nugget opened Alabama as 9-point favorites when they released their Games of the Year back in June without any initial takers. That number appears to be a little high.

“This SEC battle becomes very interesting now that Jordan Jefferson is back for LSU,” said noted oddsmaker Kenny White who co-stars on ‘The Linemakers’, a Friday night TV show on Discovery’s Velocity channel. “Jefferson brings a duel threat to the QB position, but turnovers will be a key to the game. Alabama QB A.J. McCarron is rounding into a fine signal caller and Trent Richardson will be the best player on the field. Alabama’s home field is worth five points, so I have Alabama minus-7 for the big game.”

The value of home field and what it’s worth to the spread is the key here. In White’s Linemaker’s college football poll, the only poll that actually rates teams on statistical formula’s that create point-spreads, Alabama has been No. 1 all season and is two rating points better than anyone.

Here’s a look at some others to contend for the BCS Championship with updated odds from the Hilton.

Alabama (9-5): The big game is LSU, but you can throw out the records for their season finale at Auburn on Nov. 26.

Oklahoma (3-1): The Sooners play at No. 17 Kansas State, welcome a tough rival in Texas A&M, play at No. 20 Baylor and then close out at No. 6 Oklahoma St on Dec. 3. Will be BCS No. 2 if they win out.

Wisconsin (7-2): Even if they win at No. 23 Michigan State and at No. 16 Illinois, they are going to need either Oklahoma or the winner of the LSU/Alabama game to fall. Winning the newly added Big-10 conference title game gains a few extra BCS rating points, but not enough.

LSU (5-1): The Tigers hopes rest entirely with the Alabama game and then have to beat a dangerous Arkansas squad Nov. 25.

Stanford (12-1): Their big game will be at home against No. 9 Oregon and then a Pac-12 title game, likely against No. 18 Arizona State. They need a lot help because the Pac-12 conference ratings fall well below everyone except Boise State’s.

Boise State (12-1): Same story, different year. The Broncos change in conferences doesn’t make much of a difference. Will have a hard time passing a couple one-loss teams in the BCS rankings.

Oklahoma St (15-1): Cowboys play at No. 22 Texas this week, have home games against No. 20 Baylor, No. 17 Kansas State and then the big game with No. 3 Oklahoma on Dec. 3. No conference title game, but should they get through for shot at LSU or Bama in BCS title game.

Michigan (20-1): The Wolverines will need Oklahoma and LSU/Bama winner to lose and then take of care of business on schedule that includes games at Michigan State and Illinois plus home games against Nebraska and Ohio State. Beating Wisconsin in the Big-10 title game would be big .

Clemson (20-1): The Tigers season took a major blow when QB Tajh Boyd got injured Saturday. Even if they ran the table by beating No. 12 Georgia Tech and No. 15 South Carolina, they would still be needing a lot of help, not quite as bad as Boise, but the ACC won’t be very respected by the BCS.

Georgia Tech (20-1): The Yellow Jackets have a rough three game stretch against Miami, No. 8 Clemson and No. 19 Virginia Tech that would be surprising to see them come out of unfazed. Winning the ACC title game against Clemson or Wake Forest won’t impress the BCS computer.

Illinois (100-1): The Illini need all kinds of help along with taking care of business in front of them which includes Ohio State this week, Michigan and Wisconsin. The positive for them is that all three of those games are in Champaign.

Houston (Field 300-1): Cougars should run the table with only a home game against SMU in their way, but they are at a place further back in everyone’s mind than Boise State or TCU ever thought. For them to have a chance, there may have to be only two-loss teams out there and even then it’s slim.


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