Love them or hate them, the Bowl Championship Series standings return to the spotlight Sunday night with the BCS Countdown Show (ESPN, 8:15 p.m. ET). The first set of official standings will be released, and as always, there figures to be plenty of debate about who belongs at the top.
Eight BCS-conference teams and recurrent BCS-buster Boise State all completed Week 7 with perfect records. Despite the clutter at the top, there seems to be a consensus that the cream of the crop can be whittled down to Alabama, LSU and Oklahoma -- for now, anyway.
BCS Guru, a website that uses the college football polls to mimic the BCS formula, projects Alabama to land on top of the initial rankings, with LSU edging out Oklahoma for the coveted No. 2 spot. The Crimson Tide and Tigers head up a group of four Southeastern Conference teams in BCS Guru's top 10, no surprise given the league's recent run of national dominance. By contrast, not a single team in the projection's top 15 hails from the northeast region of the country, with only Penn State ranking in the top 30 of last week's projections.
The Nittany Lions, ranked 26th in last week's projections, should climb after Saturday's 23-18 win over Purdue upped their conference ledger to a perfect 3-0. Big 10 foes Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan are all projected inside BCS Guru's top 15, with the unbeaten Badgers leading the pack at No. 6.
Check back later tonight for the first batch of standings and visit Black Shoe Diaries for complete coverage of Penn State football.