Ohio State woke up Sunday morning big fans of USC.
The Trojans' 20-17 upset of No. 4 Stanford eliminated one of the Buckeyes' biggest competitors for a possible national championship berth and helped them retain their No. 3 position in the BCS standings.
Alabama and Florida State are Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, with wins over Mississippi State and Syracuse.
While Stanford is out of the picture, the Buckeyes will have to look over their shoulders at a surging Baylor squad that had a big win over Texas Tech on Saturday to remain undefeated and inch closer to the Buckeyes in the BCS standings. In fact, the two teams are separated by just .001 points. Last week, that margin was .0308.
Both the Harris Poll and the Coaches Poll have the Buckeyes third, but the computers favor Baylor.
While Ohio State probably won’t move up in the BCS standings next week – Alabama plays Chattanooga and Florida State plays Idaho – it still has to have an impressive win against Indiana to keep voters on the Buckeyes' side. Baylor travels to No. 10 Oklahoma State and a win against the Cowboys would not only put Baylor in the lead for the Big 12 title, but it would give the Bears some much-needed clout both in the computers and the human polls.
And it would almost certainly push the Bears into that coveted No. 3 spot in case one of the top two teams fall.
Here are some other notes from this week’s BCS standings:
• Welcome back to national relevance USC. By virtue of their win over Stanford, the Trojans made their first appearance in the BCS standings at No. 23. However, when you’re that low, being in the standings is more of a feel-good story. Still, it’s amazing to see the turnaround the Trojans have experienced this season.
• Fresno State remains the top non-AQ team in the standings at No. 15. The Bulldogs actually fell a spot in the standings, but still hold a comfortable lead over non-AQ foe No. 16 Northern Illinois for the automatic spot in a BCS bowl (as long as they stay ahead of the AAC champion).
• Texas A&M comes in at No. 12, which continues to make the Aggies attractive as a possible BCS at-large team. Quarterback Johnny Manziel is one of the can’t-miss players to watch on Saturdays and after what he did to Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl a year ago, bowl executives might be inclined to stretch to invite the Aggies.
• Oregon wasn’t down for long. Thanks for Stanford’s loss, the Ducks regained control of the Pac-12 North and moved to No. 5 in the BCS standings. Unfortunately for the Ducks, they don’t have any more marquee games until they reach the Pac-12 championship.
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