BCS Rankings Week 11: Winners and Losers from Latest Poll

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 7, 2011

BCS Rankings Week 11: Winners and Losers from Latest Poll

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    The Week 11 edition of the BCS rankings have been released. The Top 5 has shuffled, and the bottom half was also shaken-up.

    Alabama's loss to LSU in Week 10 made a Top 5 shuffling inevitable. After the Tide's loss, they fell to No. 3. This allowed Oklahoma State to move to No. 2.

    Stanford and Boise State were both left behind in a way. Despite Alabama's loss, the Cardinal stuck at No. 4 and Boise State continues to get overlooked at No.5.

    It wouldn't be college football if the BCS didn't cause complete chaos down the final stretch of the season.

    This season isn't shaping up to be any different.

    Here are the winners and losers from this week's BCS poll:

Loser: Nebraska

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    Nebraska had a chance to jump into the Top 10 by beating Northwestern in Week 10. The Cornhuskers could not get the job done and find themselves at No. 19 in Week 11.

    A slip up this late in the season can be deadly to BCS hopes. However, the Big Ten is down this season and the Cornhuskers are alive in the Legends division leaderboard.

    The Cornhuskers travel to Beaver Stadium in Week 11 to face the No. 12 Penn State Nittany Lions. This is a pivotal game for Penn State, and Nebraska must avoid two consecutive losses.

    They had one chance to crack the Top 10 and they missed it. That doesn't bode well for a team late in the season.

Winner: Southern Miss

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    The Southern Miss Golden Eagles climbed to No. 22 in this week's edition of the BCS rankings. The Golden Eagles are currently 8-1 out of the Conference USA.

    The Golden Eagles do not have a major challenge left on their schedule. They should finish the season with one loss.

    For a subpar program, this is a victory anytime. The Golden Eagles modest rise in the rankings is encouraging.

    If the Golden Eagles can win out, they will be a Top 20 team.

Loser: Michigan

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    Michigan has lost two of their last three games after starting the season 6-0. In Week 10 the Wolverines were defeated by Iowa.

    The Wolverines are currently No. 24 in the BCS rankings. One more loss, and the Wolverines season could be a disappointment. Illinois, Ohio State and Nebraska will do their best to make that a reality in the final three weeks of the season.

    Michigan has struggled lately, but they are still fighting for position at the top of the Legends division of the Big Ten.

    If they can right the ship soon, they will be happy with the results.

Winner: South Carolina

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    The South Carolina Gamecocks lost to Arkansas in Week 10. However, they still come in at No. 13 in the BCS rankings.

    The Gamecocks have had some unfortunate situations this season. Marcus Lattimore's season-ending injury and Stephen Garcia's dismissal have been major obstacles for the Gamecocks to overcome.

    In Week 10's loss, quarterback Connor Shaw got his bell rung. Leaving another uncertain situation.

    Despite all of that, the Gamecocks are 7-2. They are still battling with Georgia for the top spot in the SEC East. They still have an outside shot at a BCS berth.

    That sounds like a winner to me, despite a loss in Week 10.

Loser: Stanford

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    The Stanford Cardinal took care of business in Week 10 by defeating Oregon State. The Cardinal are 9-0 and No. 4 in the BCS rankings.

    Alabama lost to LSU in Week 10. However, the Tide are ranked one spot ahead of Stanford at No. 3. It's not that the Cardinal are the better team, but based on the current situation the Cardinal should be sitting in the third spot.

    Stanford will need to beat Oregon and win the Pac-12 championship if they want a shot at the national title. If both of those things happen, it would be hard to deny the Cardinal their shot.

    For this week, the Cardinal should be disappointed. No. 3 should have belonged to them this week.

Winner: Oklahoma State

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    Oklahoma State would play in the national championship game if the season ended today. After their Week 10 victory over Kansas State, the Cowboys climbed to No. 2 in the BCS rankings.

    The Cowboys must still get by Oklahoma at the end of the season. It is a major rival, and the Sooners will be looking for an at-large BCS bid. The Cowboys will need to play their best game of the season.

    Oklahoma State's passing attack is dynamic. It gives them a chance to beat anyone.

    If the Cowboys can get past their rival in the season's final week, that passing attack will face its biggest challenge against LSU in the BCS National Championship game.

Loser: Oregon

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    Oregon's only loss came at the hands of LSU in Week 1. The Ducks are currently 8-1, and No. 7 in the BCS rankings.

    The Ducks are still in prime position for a Rose Bowl bid, and have an outside shot at a title berth. Considering the timing of their one loss and the strength of LSU, the Ducks are a good-looking one loss team.

    Oregon must get past Stanford in Week 11. If they do, that will be a major boost to their BCS resume.

    The argument could be made to slot the Ducks at No. 6 ahead of Oklahoma. The Sooners lost to Texas Tech, and it was a recent loss.

Winner: Penn State

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    Penn State has found their way to eight victories and a No. 12 BCS ranking despite an abysmal offense.

    The Nittany Lions only loss is at the hands of current No.3 Alabama in Week 2. Other than that, Silas Redd's ground game and the Penn State defense have found their way to victories.

    Penn State's final three games are tough. Nebraska comes to Beaver Stadium in Week 11. The Nittany Lions then hit the road to face Ohio State and Wisconsin.

    The Nittany Lions are fortunate to be where they are considering their quarterback play. If Penn State finds their way to the Big Ten Championship game it would be a feat.

Loser: Boise State

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    The Boise State Broncos continue to win games. Still, the Broncos find themselves treading water at the No. 5 spot in the Week 11 edition of the BCS rankings.

    Boise State has not played a worthy opponent since their Week 1 victory over Georgia. However, they are undefeated and started the season as an upper-echelon team.

    The Broncos won in Week 10 over UNLV. Despite Alabama's loss to LSU in Week 10 the Tide currently sit two spots ahead of Boise in the rankings.

    Their schedule will always create an argument. Either way, Boise continues to get overlooked in the polls year after year.

    The perennial loser.

Winner: LSU

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    LSU is the ultimate winner after Week 10. The Tigers cleared their largest hurdle, defeating Alabama 9-6 in Tuscaloosa.

    From here, LSU must still get by a tough Arkansas team in the final week of the season. The Razorbacks are currently No. 8 in the BCS poll. The Tigers cannot overlook them before the SEC Championship game.

    The SEC Championship game could be against Georgia or South Carolina. Neither team is as talented as LSU, but both will present a challenge to their potentially perfect season.

    LSU didn't move in the polls, but they made the biggest statement by holding onto the top spot.