College Football Rankings Preview: LSU Takes Inside Track, Oklahoma State Survives

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05: Head coach Les Miles of the LSU Tigers celebrates with his team after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 9-6 in overtime at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

LSU won the "Game of the Century," but it was another matchup -- Oklahoma State and Kansas State -- that nearly turned the rankings upside-down.

For a moment, it looked like the top of this week's college football rankings would experience a major shake-up, beyond the loser of the matchup between No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama falling. Moments after LSU nailed a field goal in overtime to win what was billed as the "Game of the Century," the attention turned to Stillwater, where Oklahoma State was locked in a battle with Kansas State. And boy did the Cowboys make things interesting.

In the end, Oklahoma State survived, keeping Kansas State, who had driven to the five, out of the end zone as time expired. The Cowboys defense may be non-existent for the most part, but the offense is simply spectacular to watch.

On Sunday, the Cowboys will likely be rewarded with a top-two ranking, with Stanford, Boise State and the rest of the usual suspects hanging around. LSU is the unquestioned No. 1 with Saturday's win, and easily has the inside track to the BCS Championship.

Here's a look at the games that mattered for the rankings this week.

No. 1 LSU 9, No. 2 Alabama 6 OT. It may not have been pretty, but it sure was painful. Both defenses brought the big hits and physical play, but it was the field goal unit that proved to be the Crimson Tide's downfall.

No. 3 Oklahoma State 52, No. 14 Kansas State 45. Still amazing that these two games were going on at the same time. For entertainment value, and short attention spans, this game was second-to-none. Oh, and there was an earthquake after the game, giving us the photo of the day.

No. 4 Stanford 38, Oregon State 13. The Beavers hung around for the half, only to see Stanford pull away in the second. The Cardinal host Oregon next week, but head into the matchup banged up. Chris Owusu is hurt and two of Stanford's three tight ends are banged up, making the task even more difficult.

No. 5 Boise State 48, UNLV 21. The Rebs hung around, but Boise State kept rolling, and should be lurking near the top of the rankings again this week.

No. 6 Oklahoma 41, Texas A&M 25. Again, injuries were the story here. Ryan Broyles tore his ACL, putting a huge damper on the Sooners' win. Just an awful injury for a great player.

No. 7 Arkansas 44, No. 9 South Carolina 28. While the attention was on LSU and Alabama, the other SEC matchup had plenty of rankings implications, as well. Look for Arkansas to vault up in the rankings, if anyone was paying attention.

No. 8 Oregon 34, Washington 17. And the Ducks keep winning. Next week should be a heck of a matchup.

Northwestern 28, No. 10 Nebraska 25. The battle for NU goes to Nebraska. The Wildcats pulled off an early surprise, and Nebraska will fall as a result.

No. 13 Houston 56, UAB 13. Houston may not move up high enough to get into a BCS bowl by the end of the year, but damned if the Cougars aren't fun to watch.

Iowa 24, No. 15 Michigan 16. It just wasn't a good day for favored or ranked Big Ten teams.

No. 17 Michigan State 31, Minnesota 24. The Gophers had Michigan State on the ropes before the Spartans ripped off 10 points in the fourth to come back and win it.

No. 18 Georgia 63, New Mexico State 16. An easy win for the Bulldogs

UCLA 29, No. 19 Arizona State 28. Almost everyone counted Rick Neuheisel out and left him for dead. Now, after an embarrassing loss to Arizona, the Bruins are tied for the lead in the Pac-12 South. This is all too confusing.

No. 20 Wisconsin 62, Purdue 17. No Hail Mary loss here. The Badgers finally bounced back.

No. 21 Texas 52, Texas Tech 20. Where in the world is the Texas Tech team that beat Oklahoma?

Louisville 38, No. 22 West Virginia 35. Another upset! And West Virginia's defense and special teams leave something to be desired.

No. 25 Southern Mississippi 48, East Carolina 28. I'll be honest: I had no idea Southern Miss was still hanging around at the bottom of the rankings. Neat!

Here's a look at last week's BCS Rankings. The latest will be released at 8:15 p.m. EST on Sunday.

1 LSU 8-0
2 Alabama 8-0
3 Oklahoma State 8-0
4 Stanford 8-0
5 Boise State 7-0
6 Oklahoma 7-1
7 Arkansas 7-1
8 Oregon 7-1
9 South Carolina 7-1
10 Nebraska 7-1
11 Clemson 8-1
12 Virginia Tech 8-1
13 Houston 8-0
14 Kansas State 7-1
15 Michigan 7-1
16 Penn State 8-1
17 Michigan State 6-2
18 Georgia 6-2
19 Arizona State 6-2
20 Wisconsin 6-2
21 Texas 5-2
22 Auburn 6-3
23 Georgia Tech 7-2
24 West Virginia 6-2
25 Southern Miss 7-1

Here's last week's AP Poll. The latest will be out on Sunday morning.

1 LSU (47) 8-0 1439
2 Alabama (10) 8-0 1401
3 Oklahoma State 8-0 1305
4 Stanford 8-0 1278
5 Boise State (1) 7-0 1241
6 Oregon 7-1 1148
7 Oklahoma 7-1 1096
8 Arkansas 7-1 1035
9 Nebraska 7-1 976
10 South Carolina 7-1 861
11 Clemson 8-1 851
12 Virginia Tech 8-1 755
13 Michigan 7-1 718
14 Houston 8-0 611
15 Michigan State 6-2 586
16 Penn State 8-1 553
17 Kansas State 7-1 536
18 Georgia 6-2 446
19 Wisconsin 6-2 420
20 Arizona State 6-2 384
21 USC 6-2 323
22 Georgia Tech 7-2 230
23 Cincinnati 6-1 128
24 West Virginia 6-2 111
25 Auburn 6-3 107

Here's last week's USA Today Coaches Poll. The latest will be also out on Sunday morning.

1 LSU (41) 8-0 1457
2 Alabama (18) 8-0 1434
3 Stanford 8-0 1323
4 Oklahoma State 8-0 1314
5 Boise State 7-0 1237
6 Oregon 7-1 1175
7 Oklahoma 7-1 1117
8 Arkansas 7-1 1046
9 Nebraska 7-1 973
10 South Carolina 7-1 919
11 Virginia Tech 8-1 871
12 Clemson 8-1 779
13 Michigan 7-1 734
14 Houston 8-0 679
15 Penn State 8-1 646
16 Michigan State 6-2 528
17 Wisconsin 6-2 463
18 Arizona State 6-2 445
19 Kansas State 7-1 440
20 Georgia 6-2 410
21 West Virginia 6-2 270
22 Cincinnati 6-1 232
23 Georgia Tech 7-2 193
24 Southern Miss 7-1 160
25 Texas 5-2 122
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