Five teams in the "Also Receiving Votes" category of the AP and Coaches' Polls have better-than-even chances of cracking (or, in some cases, rejoining) the ranks of the 2010 BCS Standings. Included in the waiting room are teams from the Big Ten, ACC, Big East, Pac-10 and one luckless mid-major.
Where They're At: 6-2, second to Pitt in the Big East and coming off two straight road wins that ruined the homecoming weekends of West Virginia and Cincinnati. Second team waiting in the AP Poll and third in the Coaches'.
What Went Wrong: They're Syracuse? Nobody's used to factoring them into the equation, and even in a season as topsy-turvy in 2010, navigating the icebergs of conventional wisdom takes time. Losses to middling Washington and Pitt teams didn't help their case.
What's Next:Another Big East win that should be considerably easier to obtain: Louisville pays a call in Week 10.
Where They're At: 6-2, behind Florida State in the Atlantic Division of the ACC. Fourth on the AP Poll waiting list; fifth unranked team in the Coaches' Poll.
What Went Wrong: The Terps' two losses have been decisive ones at the hands of teams that aren't having great seasons themselves (West Virginia and Clemson)
What's Next: Either a real trap or a lofty stepping stone -- even at 5-3, Week 10 opponent Miami still commands respect from absent-minded poll voters.
• Oregon State
Where They're At: 4-3, third team waiting in the AP Poll; no votes in the Coaches' Poll.
What Went Wrong: On the contrary, the Beavers are enjoying a nice run of luck to even be getting that many votes as a three-loss team.
What's Next: What should be a couple of layups, although we're beginning to suspect UCLA's inconsistency should be feared. The Bruins and Washington State serve as warmups for a nasty final three weeks that will bring the Beavers face to face with USC, Stanford and Oregon.
Where They're At: 6-2, mired in the two-loss Big Ten scrum that rides directly behind the one-loss morass. Just three votes garnered in the AP Poll; second unranked team in the Coaches' Poll.
What Went Wrong: Back-to-back losses in Weeks 6 and 8, one unacceptable (Purdue) and one entirely understandable (Michigan State). To make matters worse, the 'Cats barely got past conference runt Indiana in Week 9.
What's Next: A good chance for a leg up with a quality win over Penn State; style points will be essential with Iowa looming the week after.
Where They're At: 7-2, first team waiting in both the AP and Coaches' Polls. Technically leading the WAC, ahead of ranked teams Boise State and Nevada, thanks to having a late bye week and no conference losses.
What Went Wrong: Two early-season losses to USC (well, all right) and Colorado (huh?!) dragged the Warriors down. That, and we suspect there are only so many mid-major teams voters are willing to slot in.
What's Next: The single game that will vault them into the polls or send them away forever: The Warriors travel to Boise in Week 10.