The results are in, and K-State officially owns the number one ranking in the nation. And while the ranking is reason for excitement, work remains. The Wildcats currently own a commanding lead with a .9674 average, compared to .9497 for Oregon and .9396 for Notre Dame. However, the computer rankings (1/3 of the formula) remain the component lifting K-State’s ranking. While K-State has the number two computer ranking, Notre Dame is one and Oregon is at four (Florida holds the third spot). Oregon has the number one position in both the Harris and Coach’s polls (the other two components). Kansas State is second in both polls and Notre Dame is third.
Conventional wisdom is that while Oregon has a chance to climb to #1 due to a backloaded schedule, Notre Dame will be on the outside looking in assuming all three teams remain undefeated. Oregon must still play Stanford and Oregon State, which are ranked 13 and 16 in the most recent BCS iteration, respectively. The Ducks than face the Pac-12 South champion in the championship. Although the Ducks have yet to play a very strong schedule, the difficulty level is about to get significantly greater.
Notre Dame can’t climb any higher in the computer rankings, and would need more convincing wins over powerful opponents to increase its appeal in the eyes of the voters. Wake Forest (5-5) is up first for the Fighting Irish, where a win would do nothing to enhance their reputation. They must then travel to #18 USC. It’s unlikely a win for Notre Dame would convince pollsters that they should be ranked ahead of K-State or Oregon, and it wouldn’t be entirely surprisingly if Notre Dame walked out of Los Angeles with their first lost of the season.
Of course, all of this talk is moot as far as Manhattan is concerned if the ‘Cats don’t take care of their own business. Following a near gimme against Baylor, #15 Texas comes to town. Before the season started, no one believed K-State would be in this position. Four games into the season, no one believed Texas would have the chance to impact anything other than the Big 12‘s Pinstripe Bowl representative. And now this game appears to be the only thing standing between the Wildcats and the national championship game. Senate Resolution 1 for the 2013 State of Kansas Legislative Year: rename to the state to ‘Greater Snyderville.’