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Alabama, Oregon stating case for title shot

11/14/2011

Does Alabama or Oregon have the best argument for playing a rematch against LSU in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game?

If Oklahoma State slips in one of its final two regular-season games -- the Pokes play at Iowa State on Friday and host No. 5 Oklahoma in the Dec. 3 Bedlam game in Stillwater, Okla. -- there might actually be a rematch played in the Jan. 9 title game at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.

After previously undefeated Stanford and Boise State both lost on Saturday, the Ducks made the biggest move in the BCS standings, jumping from No. 7 to No. 4, behind No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Oklahoma State and No. 3 Alabama.

The top two teams in the final BCS standings released on Dec. 4 will play for the national championship in New Orleans.

If LSU or Oklahoma State fall between now and then, there are eight one-loss teams waiting in the wings. But it seems that Alabama, Oregon and Oklahoma are in the best positions among the one-loss teams.

Oregon blasted then-No. 4 Stanford 53-30 on the road on Saturday night, its ninth consecutive victory since losing to LSU 40-27 in its Sept. 3 opener at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Ducks host USC on Saturday night and then host rival Oregon State in the Civil War game on Nov. 26. If Oregon wins those games, it would win the Pac-12 North and play the Pac-12 South winner (probably either Arizona State or UCLA) in the inaugural Pac-12 championship game on Dec. 2.

Alabama's only defeat also came against LSU, a 9-6 loss in overtime on Nov. 5. The Crimson Tide rebounded to beat Mississippi State 24-7 on the road on Saturday. The Tide play FCS foe Georgia Southern at home on Saturday and then play at No. 24 Auburn in the Nov. 26 Iron Bowl game.

The Sooners, who moved up one spot from No. 6 to No. 5 in the BCS standings, didn't play on Saturday. The Sooners play at No. 25 Baylor on Saturday and host Iowa State on Nov. 26 before meeting the Pokes in the Bedlam game. Oklahoma's only defeat this season was a 41-38 loss to Texas Tech at home on Oct. 22.

Arkansas moved up two spots to No. 6 in the BCS standings, but the Razorbacks will probably have to beat LSU in Baton Rouge, La., on Nov. 25 and have Alabama lose another game to be a factor in the BCS title race.

The Razorbacks lost at Alabama 38-14 on Sept. 24 and it's hard to imagine them jumping the Tide in the BCS standings -- even if they beat LSU in their regular-season finale.

Boise State fell from No. 5 to No. 10 in the BCS standings, one spot ahead of undefeated Houston. But it seems to be only a matter of time until the Cougars jump the Broncos, as long as they keep winning. The Cougars might still play three teams with winning records. Houston hosts SMU on Saturday and plays at Tulsa on Nov. 25.

The Cougars also might play No. 20 Southern Miss in the Dec. 3 Conference USA championship game.