SEC powerhouses Louisiana State and Alabama rank first and second  in the first BCS poll of the year. In-state and Big 12 rivals Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are third and fourth, with Boise State rounding out the top five.

The initial rankings set up what, barring other upsets along the way, could essentially be two “play-in” games for the national championship, with LSU at Alabama on November 5 and Oklahoma at Oklahoma State on December 3.

However, it may be too early for the Sooners and Cowboys to book their flights to New Orleans just yet. The computer polls, which incorporate strength of schedules, could give undefeated teams like Wisconsin (#6 in the BCS) and Stanford (#8) a chance to move up with arguably tougher schedules down the stretch, including their respective conference championship games.

Teams from the SEC have won the last five BCS national championships, while Oklahoma has played in the championship game four times in the BCS’ 13-year history, winning once (2000).

The BCS poll is based on a formula that combines the coaches’ poll, Harris poll and six different computer rankings. The AP poll is not a part of the formula.

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