A couple of times, it's stayed almost the same. In 1999, Florida State and Virginia Tech started 1-3. Ditto USC and Oklahoma in 2004. They're the only 2 years that the team that started No. 1 wound up winning the title. Alabama and Texas were 2-3 in 2009. Yet the thing to remember here: It's not about finishing first. It's about making sure you're at least No. 2. That's all that matters, at least until they stretch this thing out to a four-team playoff in 2014.
To me, the most insightful historical info is that in all but 2 years, at least one of the top two teams in the initial standings has made it to the title game. The exceptions were 1998, when it wound up being No. 3 Tennessee and No. 5 Florida State, and 2008, when it was No. 4 Oklahoma and No. 10 Florida. So that seems to indicate there's a pretty decent chance either Alabama or Florida will be in Miami on Jan. 7. Which should come as no shock, since the SEC has had someone in the title game the last 6 years (and won each time).
The temptation is to over-think it, especially this early.
The two scenarios that could cause the most insanity (other than Alabama and Florida playing a one-pointer in the SEC final) would be an SEC team, Oregon and Notre Dame all finishing unbeaten (no explanation necessary), or Ohio State being your lone unbeaten. That wouldn't impact the BCS, since the Fighting Urban Meyers are on NCAA probabation and therefore ineligible for the Big Ten title and postseason. Still, it could get OSU half a title in the Associated Press (media) poll. Now that would be special.
But plenty of stuff might happen between now and then. Embrace the ride. It's what we've got.
Who was No. 1 in the first BCS standings on Oct. 6, 1998? Hint: That was the only time it was No. 1. See Answer Man.
Have You Noticed? * Oklahoma just laid 60 on Texas. The last two times it did that, in 2000 and '03, it played for the national title. * Ohio, ranked for the first time in 46 years, has won its last three by a combined 16 (none by more than seven) over Massachusetts, Buffalo and Akron, which are a combined 2-17.
UCLA, which lost its last game that year (at Miami) to fall from No. 2 to 5. The Bruins have only been ranked 12 times since then. Eight of those were in 2005, when they started 9, got as high as 5 in week 3 and finished 16.
Spotlight on ... Will Muschamp
MORE THAN a few precincts in Gator Nation weren't exactly thrilled when Florida was only leading Bowling Green by three after 45 minutes at home in the Sept. 1 opener. That's what can happen when you're trying to replace someone who won two national titles in 3 years, and you're coming off a 7-6 debut. Especially when you're employing a different offensive system than Urban Meyer, or even Steve Spurrier.
But apparently, old-time football can still work. Ask Alabama's Nick Saban. Or Spurrier, whose South Carolina team, coming off its first loss, will be in Gainesville Saturday to play the nation's third-ranked squad. But whatever your preference, one thing is becoming clear: Will Muschamp might not be another Ron Zook.
Muschamp was Saban's defensive coordinator when LSU won the title in 2003. And he held the same position at Texas in 2009 when the Longhorns almost beat Saban's Crimson Tide in the final game even after quarterback Colt McCoy went out early. So . . .
The Gators have allowed 10 fourth-quarter points. All of them came in last week's 31-17 win at Vanderbilt. Washington High product Sharrif Floyd, a junior defensive lineman, is sixth on the team with 22 tackles.
They were missing five starters against Vandy. All are supposed to be back for this one.
On offense, they're doing just enough, with most of the damage coming on the ground. One week it was senior running back Mike Gillislee, the next it was sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel. But they're finding a way. Three of their SEC wins - at Texas A&M, at Tennessee and at home against LSU - were comebacks. That's never a bad sign.
South Carolina has won the last two meetings. It has never beaten UF three straight. But it had never beaten Georgia three straight before 2 weeks ago. And it had never won at the Swamp until 2 years ago.
Next week, the Gators get Georgia in Jacksonville. They didn't win that one last year, either.
It's the eighth time UF has started 6-0. The last four, it finished with one loss. Three of those times, it won the SEC. And twice, it also got a national title (see chart).
BIG EAST BITS
* Cincinnati's 10-game winning streak is the third-longest in the country, behind Alabama and Oregon (10 each).
* Pitt is at Buffalo, trying to avoid its first 2-5 start since 2001. But that team won its last six.
* Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni will return to the Carrier Dome for the first time against his old team, Syracuse, where he was in charge from 1991-2004. His Huskies beat Syracuse at home last year, 28-21.
Two weeks ago, LSU lost at unbeaten Florida. Last week at home it beat previously unbeaten South Carolina. This week it's at Texas A&M, which has only lost to Florida. Then, following a bye, the Tigers host No. 1 Alabama before hosting Mississippi State, which has also yet to lose.
Alabama doesn't play Florida, South Carolina or Auburn. And the only way Oregon State and USC can meet is in the Pac-12 final.
7:30 Hampton at North Carolina Central, ESPNU
9 Oregon at Arizona State, ESPN
8 Connecticut at Syracuse, ESPN
Noon Virginia Tech at Clemson, 6ABC
Noon New Hampshire at Maine, CSN
Noon LSU at Texas A&M, ESPN
Noon Purdue at Ohio State, ESPN2
Noon Minn. at Wisconsin, ESPNU
Noon Wake Forest at Virginia, CW57
Noon Iowa State at Okla. State, FX
Noon Penn at Yale, NBCSN
Noon Auburn at Vanderbilt, WMCN-44.2
3 Stanford at California, FOX29
3:30 South Carolina at Florida, CBS3
3:30 South Florida at Louisville, 6ABC
3:30 Nebraska at Northwestern, ESPN2
3:30 NC State at Maryland, ESPNU
3:30 BYU at Notre Dame, NBC10
3:30 Rice at Tulsa, FCS, WMCN-44.1
3:30 JMU at Richmond, TCN
3:30 UNLV at Boise State, NBCSN
3:30 Michigan State at Michigan, BTN
6 Colorado at USC, Pac-12
7 Kansas State at West Virginia, FOX29
7 Alabama at Tennessee, ESPN
7 North Carolina at Duke, ESPNU
7 Kansas at Oklahoma, FCS
7 Idaho at Louisiana Tech, WMCN-44.1
7 Middle Tennessee at Mississippi State, ESPN2
8 Penn State at Iowa, BTN
8 Florida State at Miami, 6ABC
10 Washington at Arizona, Pac-12
10:30 Utah at Oregon State, ESPN2