Ranking BCS title contenders

As we near the first release of the 2011 BCS standings on Oct. 16, don't expect any surprises.

The debate over which team should be ranked No. 1 in the polls continues, but the computers have high regard for LSU, Oklahoma and Alabama, so it's unlikely that any other team could sneak into the top three of the initial standings. Popular opinion is that those teams all control their BCS fates, because LSU and Alabama eventually will play each other.

But of the other undefeated teams, which ones have the best chance to enter the championship discussion and which ones need the most help? Here's how the unblemished 13 stack up entering the middle of October.

Tier 1: LSU Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, Alabama Crimson Tide, Oklahoma State Cowboys