While upsets were few and far between in Week 11, Stanford's impressive win over Oregon on Thursday night has reshaped the national championship picture heading into mid-November.
Alabama and Florida State remain the teams to beat, but the Ducks' loss has opened the door for others.
|USA Today Coaches Poll - Week 12|
|Rank||Team (first place votes)||Record||Points||B/R Ranking|
|2||Florida State (4)||9-0||1485||2|
Twenty-one unanswered points from Alabama turned Saturday night's marquee showdown into a blowout. The Crimson Tide are 9-0 after routing rival LSU in Tuscaloosa, and now Nick Saban's club looks poised to run the table in 2013 and play for a third consecutive BCS title.
But even with LSU behind them, Saban and his team are taking it one game at a time, as he stated after the win per RollTide.com:
Last year when we won this game, we didn't play very well the next week, and I think our players have to have the 24-hour rule. You had a great win, you celebrate that win and then we have to focus on improving and on the next challenge that we have. We still have some very tough challenges, but I think our team showed a lot of character, especially in the second half in terms of the way they competed and the way they played.
Alabama will play at Mississippi State next week, host Chattanooga on Nov. 23 and conclude the regular season at Auburn on Nov. 30. It goes without saying that if the Tide win out, it'll be favored in the SEC Championship Game.
Following another blowout win over a lackluster ACC opponent, Florida State is 9-0 and loving life after Oregon's loss. Jameis Winston and the Seminoles will host Syracuse and Idaho over the next two weeks before finishing up the regular season at Florida. However, the Gators' offense has been sputtering this season, and the SEC powerhouse is currently in the midst of a four-game losing streak. Don't expect them to pose much of a threat to Jimbo Fisher's surging squad.
While the 'Noles seemingly control their own destiny after Oregon's slip-up at Stanford, the Ducks' stumble also benefits Ohio State and Baylor. While neither appears to be in the driver's seat in terms of earning a berth in the BCS National Championship Game, their odds of landing one of the top two spots have certainly improved.
But of the four unbeatens at the top, Baylor has by far the toughest schedule remaining. The Bears will host Texas Tech in Week 12 before finishing up at Oklahoma State, at TCU and vs. Texas.
The top one-loss team in the mix is Stanford. After knocking off Oregon for the second straight year, the Cardinal have new life and can finish with as many as 12 wins in 2013. Stanford will need some help in order to reenter the national title picture, but there's plenty of football left to be played.
As for Week 12's slate, there aren't a ton of marquee matchups on the horizon. Instead, all eyes will continue to be on the top teams this weekend as they each attempt to avoid major letdowns against inferior opposition.
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