BCS Rankings Week 14: Oklahoma State Drops as Penn State, Iowa Battle for Berth

B.Senior Analyst INovember 29, 2009

COLLEGE STATION, TX - NOVEMBER 26: Linebacker Roddrick Muckelroy #38 of the Texas Longhorns zeroes in against quarterback Jerrod Johnson #1 of the Texas A&M Aggies in the first half at Kyle Field on November 26, 2009 in College Station, Texas. The Longhorns defeated the Aggies 49-39. (Photo by Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images)
Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images

The top of the BCS food chain may not have changed much this week, but the middle of the pack saw a few teams jockey for position.

Florida, Alabama and Texas all won, and retained their respective positions from last week.

TCU, Boise State and Cincinnati all remained undefeated this week, staking their claim as legitimate BCS contenders. 

Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh and Oklahoma State all dropped in the rankings, though, after turning in dismal performances this week.

With a game left to play, Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh still have a chance at a BCS bowl.  But Oklahoma State's severe beating by Oklahoma in the Bedlam game deflated any hope the Cowboys had. 

That means, assuming Texas defeats Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game, the Fiesta Bowl is off the hook to select a Big 12 team. 

As a result, the Big Ten is sitting in great shape for its fifth consecutive year of two BCS berths.

The bowl committees want teams that will provide the biggest economic impact for their communities, something the Big Ten can be counted on for. 

Penn State and Iowa are both sitting great in the latest BCS rankings, and both promise large fan turnouts should they be selected.  That means higher ticket sales and more money spent in local stores, restaurants and hotels.

Iowa appears to have the advantage on Penn State in the debate over which team from the Big Ten should go to a BCS bowl game.

The Arizona win over Arizona State, combined with the Temple loss to Ohio, on top of the Oklahoma State debacle, helped to widen the gap between Iowa and Penn State in the latest rankings. 

The Hawkeyes also claim a victory over the Nittany Lions in the head-to-head match up, winning 21-10.

But the Penn State fan base is lobbying hard, using past BCS bowl game success and TV ratings in their sales pitch.

Regardless, it is hard to say one team has a clear winning argument over the other.  And that argument might all be pointless, considering the committee has no obligation to pick a Big Ten team.

Heading into the final stretch of college football, it is important to remember one thing:  when it comes to the BCS, nobody knows their head from a rock on the ground.

Assuming Texas doesn't stumble against Nebraska in the Big 12 championship game, the bowl scenario could be shaping up as follows...

National Championship: Florida/Alabama vs. Texas
Sugar Bowl: Florida/Alabama vs. Cincinnati/Pittsburgh
Fiesta Bowl: Iowa vs. Boise State
Orange Bowl: TCU vs. Georgia Tech/Clemson
Rose Bowl: Oregon/Oregon State vs. Ohio State

However, if Texas somehow implodes against Nebraska, the scenario could look different...

National Championship: Florida/Alabama vs. TCU
Sugar Bowl: Florida/Alabama vs. Cincinnati/Pittsburgh
Fiesta Bowl: Boise State or Iowa vs. Nebraska
Orange Bowl: Texas vs. Georgia Tech/Clemson
Rose Bowl: Oregon/Oregon State vs. Ohio State

Here's this week's entire BCS poll:

1. Florida
2. Alabama
3. Texas
4. TCU
5. Cincinnati
6. Boise State
7. Oregon
8. Ohio State
9. Iowa
10. Georgia Tech
11. Penn State
12. Virginia Tech
13. LSU
14. BYU
15. Pittsburgh
16. Oregon State
17. Miami
18. USC
19. California
20. Oklahoma State
21. Houston
22. Nebraska
23. West Virginia
24. Stanford
25. Utah