The Alabama Crimson Tide affirmed their place atop the BCS rankings with a 21-point blowout win over rival LSU. The loss sent LSU reeling outside of the Top 15. Barring a loss in the Iron Bowl or the SEC Championship Game, the Tide are on track to get a chance to defend their national championship. Here's a look at the BCS standings after Week 11.
|Week 12 BCS Standings|
The biggest news of the week took place on Thursday when the then-No. 3 Oregon Ducks forgot about the then-No.5 Stanford Cardinal. Oregon ran into a buzz saw, and the Cardinal defense completely shut the Ducks down in the first half.
Withstanding a second-half comeback attempt, the Cardinal held on for a 26-20 win. The loss was a crushing blow for Oregon. After losing head-to-head against Stanford, the Ducks aren't even the highest rated one-loss team.
Elsewhere in the top five, Baylor proved its mettle by manhandling Oklahoma 41-12 in Waco, Texas. Many around the college football world were questioning if the explosive Bears would be as effective against a legitimate defense. The Bears offense passed the test with flying colors.
Bryce Petty and Co. didn't turn the ball over once en route to 459 total yards of offense. Baylor's defense also proved to be noteworthy as well. It held Oklahoma to just 237 total yards and a season-low 12 points. The Bears must be taken seriously. That said, their tough road to perfection has just begun.
Baylor has Texas Tech on Saturday and No. 12 Oklahoma State the following week.
Seminoles Sitting Pretty
No. 2-ranked Florida State has to like its current position. Not only did Jameis Winston and Co. smash Wake Forest 59-3 on Saturday, but the Seminoles don't have a ranked team left on their schedule. Their opponent in the ACC Championship Game doesn't figure to be a hugely difficult matchup—at least on paper. If the season ended today, the Noles would take on unranked Georgia Tech.
When you look at their schedule, the Noles look to have the easiest path to the BCS title game.
Ohio State Waiting in the Wings
The Ohio State Buckeyes still haven't lost a game under Urban Meyer, but the team has yet to ascend to the top spot in the polls. In 2012, they were ineligible; this season, a relatively soft schedule has prevented the Bucks from rising above the top teams.
If either Bama or Florida State slips up, the Buckeyes will likely seize a spot in the BCS title game. The team could get a stiff test from No. 16 Michigan State in the Big Ten Championship Game if things hold as they are now. But Ohio State looks like a safe bet to finish the season undefeated for the second year in a row.
One-Loss Teams With a Shot At Playing for a National Championship
No. 4 Stanford, No. 7 Auburn, No. 8 Clemson and No. 9 Missouri have some hopes of playing for a national championship despite having one loss. Obviously, they all need some help.
Stanford would need at least two of the top three teams to lose, but the Cardinal would obviously be the first one-loss team into the BCS title game if things really broke down. Clemson's chances were hurt by Stanford's win on Thursday, but if absolute mayhem ensues, the Tigers could possibly get in.
Two of the most interesting cases are Missouri and Auburn. If both teams can maintain their current position, both will likely have a shot at Alabama. Auburn will definitely get its rivals in the Iron Bowl, and Missouri is on target to take on the Tide in the SEC title game.
If either team hands Bama its first loss, it could vault them ahead of Stanford among the one-loss teams. It is going to be an exciting final four weeks of the college football season as the BCS title picture comes into focus.