People may have had issues with the BCS system throughout its life, but give it this: It always keeps each and every week not only exciting but also extremely important.
Such was the case once again in Week 12, as teams like Stanford, Miami, Georgia and Texas all fell. Meanwhile, Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State remain atop the standings, while undefeated Baylor joins the Top Four this week.
And of course, Auburn remains in contention for an SEC championship after a miraculous win on a fourth-quarter play that Bob Ley of ESPN accurately dubbed "The Immaculate Deflection" Sunday morning during SportsCenter.
Let's take a look at this week's BCS standings and analyze the weekend that was and the next key slate of games.
|2||Florida State (10-0)||10-0||.9661|
|3||Ohio State (10-0)||10-0||.8869|
|10||Oklahoma State (9-1)||9-1||.5890|
|11||South Carolina (8-2)||8-2||.5883|
|12||Texas A&M (8-2)||8-2||.5394|
|13||Michigan State (9-1)||9-1||.4646|
|15||Fresno State (9-0)||9-0||.4134|
|16||Northern Illinois (10-0)||10-0||.3729|
|17||Arizona State (8-2)||8-2||.3414|
|18||Central Florida (8-1)||8-1||.3033|
|23||Southern California (8-3)||8-3||.1070|
Coming into the week, it appeared the biggest games affecting this week's standings would be Auburn hosting Georgia, Texas hosting Oklahoma State and—at least for the Big Ten crowd—Nebraska hosting Michigan State.
But of course, there were surprises.
Ed Orgeron's surging USC team upset Stanford at home and ended the Cardinal's BCS championship hopes, winning 20-17 which opened the door for Baylor to move up the standings. Meanwhile, Stanford's loss gave Oregon the inside track to play in the Pac-12 title game and perhaps reach the Rose Bowl.
And how about Duke? The Blue Devils—normally an ACC doormat—are now 8-2 after upsetting Miami. It was the team's sixth win in a row and puts them in a position to reach the ACC title game against Florida State if it can win out.
Who saw that coming?
Beyond that, chalk held in the Top 25.
Alabama won a sloppy game in which it turned the ball over four times, while Florida State, Ohio State, Baylor and Oregon all rolled. Auburn won in improbable fashion—setting up a huge meeting with Alabama in two weeks with a spot in the SEC championship on the line—as did UCF over a poor Temple squad.
Michigan State is two wins away from the Big Ten title game after a big victory over Nebraska, though a matchup against Minnesota in two weeks won't be a cake walk.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma State warmed up for a huge showdown against Baylor next weekend with a win over inconsistent Texas.
So much is on the line in the next two weeks. Next week alone there are multiple games between ranked teams, while teams like Missouri (at Ole Miss), Wisconsin (at Minnesota) and Northern Illinois (at Toledo) will face major tests as the BCS picture continues to become more clear.