Nov. 13, 2006
The Big Ten leads all conferences with three of the top nine teams in the latest edition of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) rankings which were released today. For the fourth straight week, Ohio State (11-0, 7-0 in Big Ten) and Michigan (11-0, 7-0) were ranked first and second, respectively, while Wisconsin (10-1, 7-1) climbed from 15th to ninth in the polls.
The Buckeyes and Wolverines will put their perfect seasons on the line on Saturday when they square off in Columbus, Ohio, in a game that will mark the first time the top two BCS schools have met this late in the season since the inception of the system in 1998. The winner of the Ohio State-Michigan game will earn the 2006 Big Ten Championship and the conference's automatic berth into the BCS.
The Big Ten earned the top two spots in the BCS poll on Oct. 22 for the first time in conference history and became the first conference to produce the top two programs in the BCS ratings since Oct. 27, 2001 (Nebraska and Oklahoma of the Big 12). The Big Ten has now boasted two of the top five schools in 12 BCS polls, including all five top 25 listings so far this season.
The Buckeyes remain the only Big Ten team to earn the No. 1 spot since the system's inception in 1998. Ohio State also appeared atop the list on Nov. 11, 2002, and Nov. 2, 1998. The Wolverines are ranked No. 2 for the fourth straight week, the school's highest spot ever in the BCS poll. The Badgers jumped six spots to ninth in the latest rankings and will wrap up the regular season with a non-conference home game against Buffalo on Saturday.
The BCS rankings will be announced each Sunday with the final poll being released on Dec. 3 during a special prime time BCS Selection Show at 8 p.m. ET on FOX. The teams ranked No. 1 and 2 in the final BCS standings will participate in the BCS National Championship Game to be played on Jan. 8, 2007 in Glendale, Ariz. If a Big Ten team is not ranked No. 1 or 2 in the final BCS poll, the conference champion (or co-champion as designated by the Big Ten tie-breaking procedures) will play in the Rose Bowl.