With Alabama's tough loss, the consensus is that LSU, Stanford and Oklahoma State round out the top three.
If LSU navigates the schedule to an undefeated season, the No. 2 slot becomes all important.
It is essentially, the No. 1 spot because it ensures the title game.
However, who is the nations No. 2—is it Oklahoma State or Stanford?
ESPN would love it to be Stanford—an opportunity to market the game as the consensus, future No. 1 draft pick Andrew Luck vs. the best defense he has ever faced, but is Oklahoma State more deserving?
Let's delve into the numbers.
Oklahoma State has impressive wins: The team beat Texas A&M when the Aggies were ranked No. 8, at Texas when the Longhorns were ranked No. 22, at Missouri and just defeated No. 14 Kansas State.
They have an offense that is more explosive than Stanford's, averaging 50.1 points per game and 387 passing yards per game—both numbers good for second in the nation.
Stanford is third in points per game, averaging 48.2.
However, the only ranked team Stanford has played thus far is Arizona State, so the numbers have been racked up against inferior opponents to those that Oklahoma State has faced.
Defensively, neither of these teams will be hosting clinics although Stanford has fared a lot better.
The Cardinal give up an average of 16.6 a game, a stark contrast to the 28.6 Oklahoma State gives up.
However, Stanford again, has played the weaker schedule.
At this point, Oklahoma State has the more impressive resume and should be ranked ahead of Stanford, but all that can change in the coming weeks.
For starters, Stanford faces Oregon this weekend in what won't be an easy game. Oklahoma State goes on the road for two games before ending its season with a date with Oklahoma.
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