College football finally produced some big games, but the national title picture is not much clearer. This is especially true after Baylor produced a 41-12 win over Oklahoma.
The Bears entered Thursday as the No. 6 team in the BCS standings, but critics had questioned their quality of schedule. While they had the No. 1 scoring offense in the country, they had not faced a single ranked team all year.
A nationally televised battle against No. 10 Oklahoma would finally give the squad a chance shine. It certainly took advantage of this opportunity.
Despite a slow start, Baylor dominated its Big 12 opponent on both sides of the football. The offense showcased plenty of balance, while the defense was much stingier than anyone could have expected.
As a result, the Bears squarely put themselves in the national title race as one of the top teams in the sport, as noted by ESPN's Kirk Herbstreit:
Final score Baylor 41 Oklahoma 12. The Bears are officially in the discussion of teams atop the BCS. Congrats @BUFootball— Kirk Herbstreit (@KirkHerbstreit) November 8, 2013
The only question is where they will land in the upcoming BCS standings. Here is a projected look at the Top 10 based on Thursday's results:
The biggest variable is what voters decide to do with No. 5 Stanford. The Cardinal had an impressive 26-20 victory over No. 3 Oregon on Thursday night in a game that likely knocks the Ducks out of the top five.
However, it is also important to remember that this same Stanford team suffered a terrible loss to Utah earlier in the year. This kept the squad behind Baylor in both the Harris and USA Today Coaches Poll, and that should not change even with this upset win.
Assuming Alabama stays No. 1, which team will finish the year at No. 2?
As a result, the order of the human polls should not change much unless there are more crazy results on Saturday. This means that the voters will likely keep Alabama at No. 1, followed in order by Florida State, Ohio State, Baylor and then Stanford.
Additionally, the Bears will get a nice boost in the computer polls as well after facing Oklahoma. They were previously ranked ninth behind a handful of one-loss teams, but this should change.
Therefore, the Big 12 squad has a strong chance of jumping Stanford in the BCS and moving to No. 4.
The only thing that will alter this would be an upset on Saturday or if the voters have a change in heart. Moving Ohio State down the polls could lead to Baylor ending up anywhere from No. 3 to No. 5 in the BCS rankings.
Either way, the good news is that there is still a lot of football left to be played in order to decide the two spots in the national championship game.
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