The top three teams in the BCS standings didn't change after Week 13, but the one-loss teams sure got shuffled.
SEC teams Auburn and Missouri were the big benefactors. Auburn moved from No. 6 to No. 4 in the rankings while Missouri jumped three spots to No. 5. Missouri leapfrogged Clemson after beating Ole Miss while Clemson took care of The Citadel at home.
But significant roadblocks for Missouri and Auburn remain, even outside of Alabama. If Florida State and Ohio State remain undefeated, would a one-loss SEC team be worthy of jumping either team?
Until this week, Ohio State's relatively weak standing in the computer polls would make that a slightly feasible scenario. But thanks to a loss by Baylor and Auburn's off week, Ohio State's computer poll average moved from fifth to third.
Add in a win over Michigan State in the title game, and a one-loss SEC team vaulting the Buckeyes will be incredibly tough. Why? Last week, Ohio State's ranking was at 0.8869, far below Florida State's 0.9661. This week, the top two hardly budged, while Ohio State moved to 0.9200.
Auburn plays Alabama on Saturday. We'll have a much better idea of how we can proceed with our BCS scenarios early Saturday evening, even before Missouri hosts Texas A&M.
Here are some other notes:
- Oklahoma State moved up to seventh from 10th after throttling Baylor 49-17 in Stillwater, while the Bears fell five spots to ninth. The Big 12's automatic bid will come down to Oklahoma State's game against Oklahoma on Saturday night. If the Cowboys win, they're going to the Fiesta Bowl. If the Sooners win, the Bears are going to Glendale.
What if Oklahoma State wins, and Baylor beats TCU and Texas convincingly? Well, Baylor's got a nice case for an at-large bid.
- Northern Illinois moved up to 14th in the standings, primarily because the Huskies are seventh in the computer standings. The big note here is that they leapfrogged Fresno State in the process and are now the highest non-automatic qualifier. If NIU stays in the top 16 and ahead of Fresno, a second-straight BCS berth is in the cards. All that remains are games against Western Michigan -- one that could hurt in the strength of schedule department -- and the MAC championship.
Can we just have a quarterback-off between Derek Carr and Jordan Lynch to settle this instead?
- The Pac-12 championship is set, and it's between Stanford, who's now No. 8, and Arizona State, who is No. 12. If Arizona State beats Arizona on Saturday, they'll host the title matchup. After Arizona beat Oregon, the Ducks dropped eight spots to No. 13. That's the second-biggest freefall of anyone in the top 25. The biggest was Texas A&M, who fell from 12th to 21st.
- It's time to give another shoutout to Duke, who, at 9-2, is making a BCS standings appearance, clocking in at 24th.
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