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USC, Texas expected atop BCS rankings

Associated Press

Let the complaining begin.

The season’s first Bowl Championship Series standings come out today, and it looks like Southern California and Texas will be on top.

And here’s the really bad news for fans of Virginia Tech, Georgia and Alabama: Unless the Trojans or Longhorns stumble on their way to the Rose Bowl, everybody else is probably fighting for third.

With seven weeks left in the regular season, there’s more than enough time for these things to sort themselves out. Or become impossibly muddled.

The BCS’ formula is the same as last season, but with a new component. Teams are graded on how they fare in the USA Today coaches’ poll, the new Harris Interactive poll – which replaces the AP Top 25 – and a compilation of six computer rankings. Each component counts for one-third of a team’s grade.

USC, Texas, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, Texas Tech and UCLA are undefeated.

BCS analyst Jerry Palm expects USC to be in first and Texas to be a solid second in the BCS standings.

“Texas played an opponent (Colorado) that is now 4-2,” Palm said. “So that’s going to help what has been a pretty weak strength of schedule so far.”

Virginia Tech is looking at third place at best in the BCS standings, Palm projected.

Georgia should benefit from the losses by Florida State and Penn State and Alabama’s 13-10 squeaker at Mississippi.

Coming off a convincing 34-17 win at Vanderbilt, the Bulldogs might be closer to Virginia Tech than the Hokies are to the Longhorns, Palm said.

Alabama kept its perfect season alive with a field goal as time expired. The Crimson Tide will have to compete with Miami (5-1) and maybe even LSU (5-1) for the fifth spot in the BCS rankings.

UCLA and Texas Tech are on the rise and have the opportunity to make the big leap into the thick of the national title race. The Red Raiders (6-0) get their shot Saturday against Texas in Austin. The Bruins (6-0) play USC on Dec. 3.

Hawaii 49, New Mexico St. 28

Colt Brennan threw for a career-best 515 yards and seven touchdowns, and Ryan Grice-Mullen had four touchdown receptions to lead Hawaii to a victory over winless New Mexico State on Saturday night in Honolulu.

Brennan tossed touchdown passes of 3, 15, 17, 4, 9, 2 and 44 yards for the Warriors (2-4, 2-2 Western Athletic Conference), who didn’t call a running play until the fourth quarter.

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