The best part of the college football polls every week is the discussion they bring. With that in mind, a rundown of the winners and losers from this week's rankings.
Oregon, Auburn, TCU, and maybe Stanford are the only teams left with chances at the BCS National Championship Game, and that's partly thanks to the polls ranking them all, sanely, in the top five.
Stanford alone is also a big winner, as its proximity to Wisconsin in the human polls has helped the Cardinal rise to fourth in the BCS rankings, likely securing an automatic BCS bid.
Congratulations are due to Northern Illinois, which is ranked for the first time this year. The Huskies have been excellent of late, ripping off nine straight wins and scoring a staggering 195 points in their last three games. They deserve the ranking they get in both the USA Today and AP polls, and deserve commendation for maintaining the illusion that coach Jerry Kill's name is real.
Boise State, your one chance to finish third in the final BCS rankings and shock the world before being underestimated in a BCS bowl evaporated with your loss to Nevada on Friday. While I feel for you and for Kyle Brotzman, you deserved to fall. (P.S.: Enjoy the TCU-free Mountain West.)
Anyone cackling at the Big East should be somewhat quieted by West Virginia's return to the polls this week. I mean, it's still likely that the 'Eers don't even earn the conference's BCS berth, but they're ranked. That counts for something on message boards, I'm sure.
Also, the coaches get their typical brickbat for refusing to believe that Nevada a) is good at football or b) accomplished anything by beating Boise State. The Wolf Pack rose just two spots in the USA Today poll after toppling Boise State, and are ranked behind South Carolina, a three-loss team.