Alabama, Florida State atop BCS standings

The national-championship picture became clearer as Alabama and Florida State retained the top two spots in the BCS standings released on Sunday, and it appears that they will meet for the national title if both win their remaining games.

Thanks to Oregon's loss to Stanford on Thursday, Florida State solidified its hold on the No. 2 spot and is not far behind No. 1 Alabama.

The Seminoles have a .9619 average in the BCS this week, giving it a comfortable lead over Ohio State, which is No. 3 with an .8926 average. It appears the Buckeyes have no chance of catching the two teams above them unless one or both loses a game.

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Baylor is the other unbeaten team still in the national-title picture, but the Bears are No. 5 in the BCS standings this week, behind once-beaten Stanford. Baylor has a BCS average of .8618, so it conceivably could pass both Stanford and Ohio State if it wins its remaining games against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas.

Fresno State and Northern Illinois are 14th and 15th is the BCS standings, respectively. If either finishes in the top 12 it will earn an automatic berth to a BCS game, although if both finish in the top 12, only the higher ranked team will get that bid. Either could also earn a BCS game berth if it finishes in the top 16 but ahead of the highest-ranked team from one of the automatic-qualifier conferences. Central Florida is currently the highest rated American Athletic Conference team at No. 17.

The BCS standings are based on three components: the USA coaches poll, the Harris poll and an average of the BCS computers.

This is the final year for the BCS. Next year a four-team playoff will determine the national champion, with the four participants chosen by a selection committee.