• 61°

Florida, Alabama sit atop first BCS ratings

NEW YORK — Florida, Alabama and Texas hold the top three spots in the first BCS standings and control their fates in the national championship race.

The Gators (.988) are in first, just ahead of the Crimson Tide (.952). Texas (.891) is third.

Boise State (.808) is fourth, but the Broncos still seem to be a long shot to play for a national championship.

Florida is No. 1 in the two polls used by the Bowl Championship Series — the USA Today coaches’ poll and Harris poll — and rated highest by the computers. The polls make up two-thirds of a BCS grade and a compilation of six computer ratings accounts for the other third.

Alabama is second in all the components. Texas is third in the two polls and sixth in the computer ratings.

With the strength of their remaining schedules, the Gators, Tide and Longhorns just need to win out to reach the BCS title game on Jan. 7 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., according to BCS analyst Jerry Palm.

Alabama and Florida would play each other in the Southeastern Conference championship game if each remains undefeated.

While the top teams in the standings are in good position, history is not on their side.

In the first 11 years of the BCS, the top two teams in the first standings have reached the title game once. Texas and Southern California did it in 2005 season. Overall, 10 of the 22 teams that were ranked first or second in the first standings made it all the way to the championship game.

That would seem to be good news for unbeaten Boise State, but the Broncos have other problems.