25 October 2008

Nothing, and Everything, Has Changed

(From BCS Guru)

Upset Saturday it was not, with nary a higher ranked team losing. But while everything seemed to have gone status quo, nothing's the same anymore.

Penn State's 13-6 knockdown of Ohio State in Columbus put the Nittany Lions perilously close to the BCS title game. At 9-0, Penn State has just three games remaining, all against very mortal opponents - Iowa, Indiana and Michigan State. The Lions' biggest task just might be scoreboard watching, as they'll need either Texas or Alabama to lose at least one more game.

The Longhorns are through 3/4 of their four-game gauntlet after a taut 28-24 affair against Oklahoma State. Next week, they'll try to finish off the quartet with a showdown against also unbeaten Texas Tech. A win in Lubbock should put Texas on the fast track to Miami for the BCS title game.

With that being the outlook, things all of a sudden are looking grim for all the one-loss teams. The top three teams will not get jumped if they stay undefeated. The rest of the field - Oklahoma, USC, Georgia, Florida and perhaps Oklahoma State - likely will be playing only for a BCS bowl berth.

The other fallout from the Penn State victory is that Ohio State most likely will still stay eligible for a BCS bowl berth by finishing in the top 14. That means should the Nittany Lions end up going to Miami, the Buckeyes will get an invitation for Pasadena. That also means that there will be just one BCS bowl berth left to be fought out by the remaining undefeated non-BCS teams - Utah, Boise State and maybe even Tulsa and Ball State.

The Guru's projected BCS standings for Week 9:

1. Texas, 2. Alabama, 3. Penn State, 4. Oklahoma, 5. USC, 6. Georgia, 7. Texas Tech, 8. Florida, 9. Utah, 10. Oklahoma State, 11. Boise State, 12. Ohio State, 13. Texas Christian, 14. Missouri, 15. Tulsa.

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