It was an exciting weekend for college football fans, as Week 11 of the 2013 season offered up everything one could hope for. We saw stunning upsets, such as Virginia Tech's blowout victory over the then-No. 11 Miami Hurricanes, as well as a slate dotted with clashes between Top 25 teams, including Thursday night's showdown between a pair of the nation's best in Oregon and Stanford.
More importantly, this week's results have provided us with a much clearer picture of which teams are truly in contention to earn a spot in one of the year's BCS bowls.
Of course, Alabama and Florida State are the obvious favorites to vie for the national title in Pasadena, Calif., in January, but there are a handful of teams that aren't out of the running just yet. Both Ohio State and Baylor remain unbeaten, and Stanford's second consecutive victory over Oregon means it can't truly be counted out either.
In particular, Baylor's convincing win over Oklahoma definitely opened some eyes, but the Bears still have a pair of solid opponents, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, remaining on the schedule.
For Oregon, the Ducks' loss will all but end the team's hopes of getting back to the national title game for the first time since the 2010 season—or of even claiming the Pac-12 crown.
Now, heading into Week 12, here's a look at the latest batch of USA Today standings.
|USA Today Coaches Poll Week 12|
There are a handful of under-the-radar teams that have climbed in the rankings this week, including Fresno State.
Now sitting at No. 14, the Bulldogs have put together a very impressive 9-0 start, but with just a pair of games remaining against New Mexico and San Jose State, it's tough to envision Fresno State climbing into the Top 10.
But with a handful of heavyweights suffering losses this week, Derek Carr and company are suddenly among the nation's elite.
At the other end of the spectrum, Miami's last two weeks have put a serious dent in the storied program's hopes at returning to glory in 2013. The loss to Florida State wasn't exactly unexpected given how dominant the Seminoles have been this season, but the most recent defeat at the hands of Virginia Tech will likely prove to be a devastating blow.
For now, after a very convincing win over LSU, Nick Saban's boys are the unquestioned favorite, but be sure to keep watch for Florida State, Baylor and Ohio State in the weeks coming. Until one of the four teams loses, no national title game berth is safe.
And, after taking down Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks' vaunted offense, don't count Stanford out of that race just yet.