The fourth edition of the 2013 BCS rankings were released on Sunday, with the Alabama Crimson Tide still reigning supreme atop the Week 12 standings.
A lot of notable movement occurred at the top, though, altering the national championship picture and the college football landscape in the process.
Before recapping what happened, here is a look at the rankings as they stand:
|2||Florida State (9-0)||.962|
|3||Ohio State (9-0)||.893|
|10||South Carolina (7-2)||.558|
|11||Texas A&M (8-2)||.547|
|12||Oklahoma State (8-1)||.467|
|14||Fresno State (9-0)||.432|
|15||Northern Illinois (9-0)||.351|
|16||Michigan State (8-1)||.342|
|19||Arizona State (7-2)||.283|
|23||Miami (Fla.) (7-2)||.147|
Head coach Nick Saban's powerhouse Alabama program faced its toughest test since the second game of the season against the LSU Tigers, a team he used to lead.
After being tied 17-17 early in the third quarter, the Tide rolled in the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points to finish strong in Tuscaloosa.
RollTide.com's staff provided a statement from Saban following Alabama's victory against LSU:
This was a tremendous atmosphere for a college football game tonight. I was really proud of our players in the second half. I thought they did a fantastic job and probably played our best half of football. It wasn’t perfect, and we didn’t play great in the first half, but [there was] a lot of character out there in the second half to control the line of scrimmage the way we did on offense. [We] got some stops on defense, especially after the kickoff return that could have got them back in the game.
Who is likelier to beat Alabama?
Florida State would have likely been passed by Oregon for the second time this season in the No. 2 slot, but the Ducks got manhandled for the majority of a trip to Stanford. They lost their first game of the year to the Cardinal, 26-20.
It marked the second straight year Oregon's perfect season was ruined at the hands of its physical, hard-nosed Pac-12 rival.
Meanwhile, the Seminoles took care of business in a 59-3 blowout of Wake Forest in Winston-Salem. FSU's swarming defense forced five first-half turnovers from the Demon Deacons' hapless offense, including a pick-six.
The victory gave Jimbo Fisher's bunch the ACC Atlantic Division title and a guaranteed spot in the conference championship game. With four more wins, they will be on their way to Pasadena:
Noles officially clinch their spot in the ACC title game. Need 4 more wins to clinch their spot in Pasadena. #FSUvsWAKE— ESPN ACC (@ESPN_ACC) November 9, 2013
It seems the team, led by Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston at quarterback, is destined for a potential date with Alabama in a BCS national title clash, assuming both teams win out.
Stanford saw its stock bump up with the triumph over Oregon, which was led by a whopping 45 carries from workhorse running back Tyler Gaffney.
The Cardinal clearly have the best chance to sneak into the national title game despite having a loss on their resume, although it's an uphill climb since those in front of them have realistic paths to undefeated seasons.
The Ohio State Buckeyes had a bye week and thus moved up by default thanks to the Ducks' fall, but they don't play a ranked team for the remainder of the regular season. That will make leaping over Florida State just about impossible, barring a Seminoles loss.
There is a better opportunity for the Baylor Bears to move up in the BCS, and they justified their high status by blowing out Oklahoma at home, 41-12, in their toughest game to date. It's noteworthy, though, that Stanford remained ahead of the Bears in the rankings.
Still, Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty is building his own strong Heisman campaign after accounting for five total touchdowns against the Sooners.
Speaking of which, Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel, who won the award last year, is making a case to capture the hardware in back-to-back seasons. Manziel threw for 446 yards and five touchdowns in the Aggies' 51-41 win over SEC foe Mississippi State on Saturday.
Johnny Manziel has better numbers across the board this season than he did in his Heisman year. Check it out: pic.twitter.com/2iQLeC2irX— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 10, 2013
As for the other ranked teams, it was clear that the Miami Hurricanes were suffering a hangover from their prior loss to Florida State, as they dropped a home game 42-24 to the unranked Virginia Tech Hokies.
Missouri and Auburn, two of the SEC's more surprising, higher-ranked teams, each blew out their respective road opponents without much trouble to sustain their stances among college football's elite.
The regular-season finale pits Auburn and Alabama in a rivalry showdown. The Tigers have the best chance to topple the Tide's bid for a third consecutive national title even before the SEC Championship clash.
Alabama's biggest threat isn't LSU, but Auburn.— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) November 9, 2013
Should Missouri win out against Ole Miss and the Aggies, it will clinch a spot in the conference title contest to likely face either 'Bama or the or Auburn.
That could be a problem for the Tide, considering Mizzou's opportunistic defense:
Missouri leads the SEC in turnovers forced with 24. Also has streak a of 39 straight games with a takeaway, longest active streak in FBS.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) November 9, 2013
Potential BCS buster Fresno State kept its momentum going with an easy 48-10 win over Wyoming, while UCF struggled to get by Houston, managing a 19-14 triumph in Orlando.