Florida State and Oregon are running neck-and-neck after the initial release of the official BCS standings, with the Seminoles nudging just ahead for the No. 2 spot behind Alabama. Thanks to an impressive beatdown of Clemson, Florida State rode its superior computer rankings past Oregon.
But that's not going to last.
Which Team Is Most Likely to Finish No. 2?
If both teams run the table the rest of the year and finish the season undefeated (and assuming Alabama also does so), Oregon will have the No. 2 ranking and its second BCS title game appearance in four years. A 13-0 Ducks simply will not be supplanted by Florida State—or anyone else.
Oregon will see its computer rankings improve the next two weeks if it were to defeat Stanford and UCLA, two teams currently ranked among the top 12. The Ducks also have the benefit of playing in the Pac-12, ranked either the top or second-best conference by the computers. And finally, the Ducks are a solid No. 2 in both the coaches and Harris polls, and that position will only be more entrenched as long as Mark Helfrich's squad keeps winning.
That leaves Florida State, among several other teams, on the outside looking in. And here are the prospects for these teams in their quest to get into the BCS Championship Game:
No. 2 Florida State
The Seminoles need either Alabama or Oregon to lose a game for a shot to return to the BCS title game for the first time since 2000. FSU will face Miami on Nov. 2, but otherwise doesn't have a lot of games to boost its profile—including its regular-season finale against a wounded Florida team. The 'Noles should be a solid No. 3, though, and not be in danger of being jumped by another team.
No. 4 Ohio State
The Buckeyes require help, and even their current position is tenuous. OSU not only need two of the teams in front of it to lose, it's also in danger of being jumped by Missouri should the Tigers roll through the season undefeated. Though wins over Wisconsin and Northwestern are solid, it's entirely possible that the Buckeyes do not play another ranked team the rest of this season, thanks to the all-around mediocrity of the Big Ten.
Which One-Loss Team Has Best Shot at BCS Title Game?
No. 5 Missouri
The Tigers are without a doubt the surprise team of the SEC, having beaten Georgia and Florida in back-to-back games to stay unbeaten. If they can negotiate the remaining schedule, which includes South Carolina and Texas A&M, unscathed, they will play their way into the BCS title game should they beat the SEC West champion for the conference title.
No. 7 Miami
The Hurricanes barely escaped North Carolina on Thursday, but now find themselves in the Top 10 thanks to a slew of upsets. Their stiffest tests are still ahead, with games against Florida State and Virginia Tech in back-to-back weeks in November. Miami has more upside than Baylor, but it still needs a lot of help.
No. 8 Baylor
The Bears began the season out of the preseason Top 25 and had to play their way up the rankings. Now that Baylor has reached No. 8 in the BCS, it might not have much more room to grow unless teams ahead of it lose games. Like Ohio State, the Bears are hurt by their uninspiring conference. They'll need to be one of only two unbeaten major conference teams to play for the BCS title.
No. 10 Texas Tech
The Red Raiders are also a surprise as one of only 10 unbeaten teams at this point of the season. They face the same obstacles as Baylor and will need to defeat the Bears on Nov. 16 just to stay in the conversation.
|Rank||Actual||BCS Guru||Jerry Palm||Brad Edwards||BCS Know How|
|2||Florida St.||Florida St.||Florida St.||Oregon||Oregon|
|3||Oregon||Oregon||Oregon||Florida St.||Florida St.|
|4||Ohio State||Ohio State||Ohio State||Ohio State||Ohio State|
|10||Texas Tech||UCLA||Texas Tech||LSU|
|12||UCLA||Texas A&M||Oklahoma||Texas A&M|
|14||Va. Tech||S. Carolina||Auburn|
|16||Texas A&M||Auburn||Texas A&M|
|17||Fresno St.||Va. Tech||Fresno St.|
|18||N. Illinois||N. Illinois||Okla. State|
|19||Okla. State||Louisville||N. Illinois|
|20||Louisville||Fresno St.||S. Carolina|
|21||S. Carolina||Okla. State||Louisville|
|23||C. Florida||Nebraska||C. Florida|
Official BCS Standings (Oct. 20)
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