Sunday, October 23, 2011 Updated: October 24, 9:23 PM ET
SEC rivals LSU, Alabama sit atop BCS
ESPN.com news services
LSU and Alabama are on a collision course as the SEC rivals own the top two spots in this week's BCS standings, two weeks before they meet in a Nov. 5 showdown.
The Tigers and Crimson Tide both remained No. 1 and No. 2 in the second installment of this year's BCS standings and are similarly configured in the latest AP poll.
The undefeated national title contenders both are off this coming week before the prime-time affair in Tuscaloosa.
Schlabach: Where They Want To Be
Oklahoma State is No. 1 in five of six computer polls and in the best position to potentially face the winner of LSU-Alabama, writes Mark Schlabach. Blog
Upsets to Oklahoma and Wisconsin shook up the rest of the BCS Top 10.
Unbeatens Oklahoma State, Boise State and Clemson rounded out the top five with Stanford coming in at No. 6.
At No. 7, Oregon is the highest rated one-loss team in the BCS.
The Sooners, who stood at No. 3 in last week's BCS standings tumbled to No. 9 after losing at home to previously unranked Texas Tech.
A last-second loss at Michigan State cost the Badgers nine spots as they fell from No. 6 to No. 15.
Oklahoma has a chance to regain some ground in the BCS standings as they next play unbeaten Kansas State which moved up to No. 8 this week.
Arkansas, No. 9 last week, fell back a spot to round out the top 10.
Rarely better than No. 2 in its own state, Oklahoma State is now the Big 12's best bet to play for a national championship.
The Cowboys moved up to third Sunday in the BCS standings, replacing rival Oklahoma as the team behind LSU and Alabama best positioned to reach the national title game. It's Oklahoma State's best showing in the BCS standings.
The winner of the LSU-Alabama showdown will have the inside track to reach the BCS Championship Game in New Orleans.
The latest installment in this SEC rivalry is so anticipated that CBS has moved the start time of the game from 3:30 p.m. ET to 8 p.m. on Nov. 5. As part of that renegotiation, LSU athletic director Joe Alleva said CBS has agreed to air next year's game at Tiger Stadium in prime time as well.
The Southeastern Conference has had at least one team first or second in 26 of the last 27 standings, dating to Dec. 2, 2007.
The BCS standings use the coaches' poll, the Harris poll and a compilation of six computer ratings to determine which teams play in the five marquee bowls, including the championship game.
Oklahoma State was ranked first in the computer rankings, third in the Harris poll and fourth in the coaches' poll for a BCS average of .9240.
Boise State was at .8302, Clemson was .8240 and Stanford .8124.
For now, they are chasing the Cowboys, hoping for them to slip up.
Brandon Weeden, Justin Blackmon and the high-scoring Cowboys have already won three conference road games, including a 45-24 victory at Missouri on Saturday.
"I just think our team plays with a lot of confidence," coach Mike Gundy said after the Missouri game. "We have a number of guys that have been in battle and had success, and we've been fortunate."
Oklahoma State's schedule looks strong enough to keep the Cowboys ahead of Stanford, Clemson and Boise State, though if all of those teams finish unbeaten the BCS won't have enough spots in the championship game for all the teams that can claim to be worthy of being picked.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.