The epic ending to the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama provided a fitting end to a game that lived up to its immense hype. When Chris Davis returned a last-second field goal 109 yards for a touchdown to give Auburn a 34-28 victory, he also gave the top of the BCS standings a major shakeup.
Here's a look at the updated BCS rankings for Week 15 and some key storylines heading into the conference championship weekend.
Florida State, Ohio State Have Inside Track for BCS Championship
Leading Heisman Trophy candidate Jameis Winston has guided Florida State (12-0) to the doorstep of the BCS championship game. Only a victory against No. 20 Duke in the ACC title game on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ABC) stands between the Seminoles and their first national title game appearance since the 2000 season.
While the other top teams in the country dealt with high-profile opponents, Winston guided FSU to a 37-7 victory over the reeling Florida Gators. For the season, the freshman has 3,490 passing yards, 35 touchdowns and eight interceptions with a 68.8 completion percentage.
Meanwhile, the Ohio State Buckeyes (12-0) needed a last-minute stop on a two-point conversion to claim a 42-41 win over their longtime rival Michigan. As the Buckeyes gathered on the bus after their game, they watched Davis' touchdown return and erupted as the Auburn victory helped push Ohio State past Alabama for the No. 2 spot in the rankings.
OSU receiver Frank Epitropoulos shared this video of the team going crazy in the bus:
The Buckeyes have advanced to the Big Ten title game, where they're set to face No. 10 Michigan State (11-1) on Saturday (8:17 p.m. ET, FOX). The Spartans will provide a stiff test for unbeaten Ohio State, but Urban Meyer's team is the favorite by six points, according to VegasInsider.com. With a victory, a trip to the BCS title game would provide a great bounce back for a program that was banned from the postseason last year.
FSU and OSU would also provide a star-studded matchup in the BCS championship, pitting two top quarterbacks against each other, as Braxton Miller is among Winston's main competition for the Heisman.
Auburn, Missouri Clinging on to BCS Title Game Hopes
Florida State and Ohio State are the top undefeated teams in the country, but there's still a chance either of those two teams could lose in their respective conference title games.
With a loss by either of the top two teams, No. 3 Auburn (11-1) and No. 5 Missouri (11-1) could vault into the BCS championship with a win in Saturday's SEC title game (4 p.m. ET, CBS). The SEC has sent a school to the national title game in each of the past seven seasons, but that streak looks to be in serious jeopardy.
Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs made his opinion known on the subject, via Bruce Feldman of CBS Sports:
Auburn AD going on national TV saying it's "un-American" if a one-loss SEC team doesn't make BCS title game is ridiculous.— Bruce Feldman (@BFeldmanCBS) December 1, 2013
A blowout victory for either team could push it past Ohio State in the rankings if the Buckeyes win ugly, but that looks unlikely in this matchup of Top Five teams. For now, the best chance for Auburn and Missouri is to win and root for Michigan State.
South Carolina Moves Up, But Likely Shut Out of BCS Bowls
Steve Spurrier's South Carolina squad jumped up two spots to No. 8 in the recent rankings with a 31-17 victory over in-state rival Clemson, dropping the Tigers from sixth to No. 13.
In the end, Clemson (10-2) may still make a BCS bowl out of the ACC, and could face Alabama in the Orange Bowl despite losing to South Carolina (10-2) last week. Ralph D. Russo of the Associated Press shared his thoughts on the situation:
Still think Clemson will get to the Orange Bowl. ACC loyalty. Then could take Alabama. That'd work well.— Ralph D. Russo (@ralphDrussoAP) December 1, 2013
But if the SEC schools are shut out of the national championship, there will be a domino effect that will hurt South Carolina and keep it out of the BCS bowl picture. With the SEC champion likely headed to the Sugar Bowl and Alabama poised to make an at-large bid, it might leave South Carolina in the Chick Fil-A Bowl.