Boise State was idle this weekend but still dropped one spot in the latest BCS standings released Sunday night, falling to No. 5.
Though the Broncos got help when Clemson and Kansas State lost, they really needed Stanford to lose to USC to help clear even more teams from their path to the BCS National Championship Game. The Cardinal rallied to beat the Trojans in triple overtime, and poll voters didn't punish them for their close victory. Stanford leapfrogged Boise State, moving from No. 6 to No. 4.
Boise State still needs every undefeated team ahead of it to lose to have any shot at becoming the first non-AQ to make it to the BCS title game. No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama play Saturday, so one of those teams will have one loss. But of course the question always becomes whether any one-loss team would finish ahead of the Broncos in the final BCS standings.
Addressing that question on the "BCS Countdown" show Sunday night, ESPN BCS guru Brad Edwards said, "I think that's the thing with Boise State is what are their chances of finishing ahead of a one-loss team? Right now there's a pretty big gap between them and that group of teams that have been beat, but if Boise State were to find its way in the top 2 of the polls, you start to see the contenders behind them take shape. You have a definitive team move into that No. 3 spot, whether it's that Alabama/LSU loser or Oklahoma -- they're likely to be ranked ahead of Boise State in the computers, which is going to make it tough for the Broncos to fight that team off."
Boise State has a better computer average than Stanford, but is ranked lower in the coaches' and Harris poll.
There were two other non-AQs featured in the new BCS standings: Undefeated Houston moved up four spots to No. 13 for its highest-ever BCS ranking. Fellow Conference USA school Southern Miss made its first appearance in the BCS standings since 2004, entering at No. 25.
Houston appears to be in a tough spot. Its best shot to make it to a BCS game is to get into the top 12 of the final BCS standings and for Boise State to lose.