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November 10, 2013

Bulldogs moving up in the BCS




In a week that featured some significant movement in the rankings, the Bulldogs were finally able to overcome the Laramie obstacle and continue their quest for a BCS berth.

Fresno State overcame a shaky start and eventually ran away from the Wyoming Cowboys for their first ever win at War Memorial Stadium. This went together well with Oregon losing to Stanford and blowout losses by Oklahoma and Miami. After the new BCS rankings were unveiled Sunday night, the Bulldogs found themselves ranked No. 14 in the nation, their highest in school history.

As an additional perk, the Bulldogs have widened the gap between them and Northern Illinois in the computers. Last week the Bulldogs held an advantage of .0506 in the BCS computers. This week they saw that lead rise to .0812 in those same rankings. The Huskies can certainly close some of that gap with a win over the 9-1 Ball State Cardinals. But the Bulldogs will be helped by the fact that the Cardinals are not ranked in any major poll leading into this weekend's game with the Huskies.

The Bulldogs were the week's biggest winner in the USA Today Coaches Poll. They moved up three spots from No. 17. On the flipside, Miami was the week's biggest loser in that poll, falling nine spots to No. 23. The AP Poll didn't change much for the Bulldogs. They rose one spot up to No. 16, but the Huskies moved up two spots to No. 22.

Things get a little interesting for the Bulldogs as you move over to the computer portion of the BCS rankings. The Bulldogs are no higher than No. 12 in any computer poll. Unfortunately, the Huskies are No. 6 in the Sagarin system and they're No. 10 in the Wolfe rankings. Billingsley has the Bulldogs ranked No. 17 and the Huskies No. 12. Should the Huskies beat Ball State, expect to see some improvement for them in the computers.

Overall, Fresno State is in a great position as the season is winding down. Though the Huskies will have the tougher competition based purely on schedules, the Bulldogs have the voter confidence and really haven't seen much of a challenge from the Huskies in the poll. Barring an absolutely horrible showing against New Mexico in two weeks, the Bulldogs should be in the clear for the BCS.

Of course, don't expect that the Huskies can't make a move. They still have the Cardinals this week and Toledo has improved greatly as the season's progressed. Toledo has a game with Buffalo this weekend that will help shape the picture of the Mid-American North conference. It could also bolster Toledo's worth if they manage to upend the 7-2 Bulls.

The outlook appears to be good, but anything can happen in November.

Stay tuned to FSBulldogs.com for more updates on the 2013 Fresno State Bulldog season.

Josh Webb is a special contributor to FSBulldogs.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @BulldogsTwist.


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