Alabama, Florida St. still 1-2 in BCS
The BCS standings are a lot clearer this week after Oregon fell from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Now Oregon is No. 6 -- looking up at No. 4 Stanford in both the BCS and the Pac-12 North standings -- and the Ducks would need a host of teams ahead of them to lose to have a chance to get back in the title discussion.
Alabama remained No. 1 for the fourth straight week, while Florida State stayed at No. 2.
The Crimson Tide strengthened their hold on No. 1 after beating LSU on Saturday night, thanks to a unanimous No. 1 ranking in the Harris Poll, as well as four of the six computers that ranked Alabama first. Florida State led the other two computers, and Alabama ranked second in those.
LSU dropped eight spots to No. 21 after the loss.
Both Ohio State (.8926 BCS average) and Baylor (.8618) are unbeaten but must overcome a considerable gap to catch front-runners Alabama (.9958) and Florida State (.9619).
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If Alabama and Florida State both win their remaining three games and respective conference championships, they almost certainly will play for the national championship.
No. 10 South Carolina also moved up two spots despite having the week off. The Gamecocks need Missouri to slip up to have a chance to reach the SEC Championship Game.
No. 12 Oklahoma State moved up two spots while No. 13 UCLA jumped six. Oregon and Stanford will be rooting for the Bruins to keep climbing the standings to boost their BCS numbers in a potential Pac-12 Championship Game.
No. 14 Fresno State climbed two spots and remained in position to bust into a BCS bowl game. The 9-0 Bulldogs would earn a spot if they finish in the top 16 and stay ahead of the champion from the American Athletic Conference. The AAC's UCF kept the pressure on by moving up four spots to No. 17, while Louisville stayed at No. 20.
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No. 15 Northern Illinois is also ahead of the AAC teams but likely will need Fresno State to lose to go to a BCS bowl.
No. 16 Michigan State is the second-highest ranked team from the Big Ten. The Spartans' success will be key for Ohio State to move up, or even remain No. 3 ahead of Stanford and Baylor. Ohio State and Michigan State could meet in the Big Ten Championship Game.
Miami was the biggest loser this week, dropping 12 spots to No. 23 after the Hurricanes lost their second straight game.