The top five in this week's BCS standings remains unchanged and the BCS National Championship Game race remains largely static since last week. That's not to say there's no drama: with the Big East and Big Ten looking to be headed to a BCS standings tiebreaker (and maybe even the Big 12 South), there are still races that will have compelling issues in this week's standings.
#1 Oregon Ducks
Oregon continues what looks to be a successful run at the BCS National Championship Game. The Ducks are two wins away from their first national title game berth.
Auburn is two games out, with next week's game against Alabama the toughest on paper. When was the last time the SEC Championship Game looked like a trap game? Win these games, and Auburn should have the top spot.
Apparently I overestimated the toll last week's results would have on TCU's place in the BCS standings. I still think Boise State passes the Horned Frogs with a win over Nevada this week. TCU has one game left, against a struggling 1-10 New Mexico team.
It will be interesting to see how much impact a win over Nevada will provide Boise State. This is almost as interesting as a related conundrum: will a loss to Boise State would eliminated Nevada from the BCS rankings?
Without Nevada on the schedule, I would be expecting LSU to pass Boise State with a win over Arkansas. The Nevada game gives me pause. This race will be close. We will have a much better picture of the actual BCS alternate seeding next week.
#5 LSU Tigers
If LSU were playing Arkansas and the SEC Championship Game they could overtake Boise State and TCU. I don't think Arkansas alone will do the trick. I guess they will have to settle on the Sugar Bowl.
That is the BCS National Championship Game picture. I will finish out the top 15 before looking at some of the conference races that might come down to the BCS standings. I discussed some rankings spots that might be particularly close and where significant gaps are likely to exist in last night's predictions.
#6 Stanford Cardinal
#7 Ohio St. Buckeyes
#8 Wisconsin Badgers
#9 Oklahoma St. Cowboys
#10 Alabama Crimson Tide
#11 Arkansas Razorbacks
#12 Michigan St. Spartans
#13 Oklahoma Sooners
#14 Missouri Tigers
#15 Virginia Tech Hokies
Most of the conferences are fairly concisely determined. I have given a complete outline on all these races last night. Here is a summary of the races that might fall to the BCS standings.
Ohio State looks to be the winner of the Big Ten race, barring a loss to Michigan next week, after jumping Wisconsin this week. A Michigan State loss could change things as well, giving the Badgers the outright Big Ten championship without a BCS standings tiebreaker.
The Big 12 South looks to be decided by the Oklahoma State-Oklahoma winner, as Oklahoma should win the BCS tiebreaker if both the Sooners and Texas A&M win next week.
Pittsburgh, then Connecticut, then West Virginia are the leaders in the Big East race. Syracuse has not yet been mathematically eliminated.