And then there were four.
Well five, but everyone knows Houston doesn't count.
In a sport where the regular season is supposed to matter more than any other sport, Houston might as well be touring China and playing a series of exhibition games this fall.
Game of the Century Game of Field Goals concluded this weekend, the BCS picture has become a little clearer.
Or has it?
25. Baylor (5-3)
With wins over TCU, Stephen F. Austin, Rice, Iowa State, and Missouri?
This team wouldn't be here without RG3 getting some good press. No way a team with three losses---two of them by 27 & 35 points---should be here ahead of others.
24. Michigan (7-2)
Did you know Michigan only plays FOUR road games this season? The Wolverines are now 1-2 on the road after faltering at Iowa this past weekend.
What's the psyche of this fan base right now? They finish with a road game at Illinois before hosting Nebraska and Ohio State---would you bet Notre Dame ends up with a better record this year?
23. Cincinnati (7-1)
Look at Butch Jones turning around Cincy after struggling last year in the wake of Brian Kelly's departure.
This weekend's game against West Virginia might very well decide the Big East this year and it is in the Queen City to boot. Win this one and the Bearcats are probably going to cruise to a BCS appearance once again. They can even lose against the Mountaineers and beat Louisville (who just beat WVU----seriously Holgo?) and still win the conference.
By the way, South Florida is dead last in the Big East right now with four straight losses.
22. Southern Miss (8-1)
Raise your hand if you can both name a Southern Miss player and you've watched at least one quarter of Golden Eagle football.
This team is going 11-1 whether anyone cares or not.
21. Georgia Tech (7-2)
The Yellow Jackets are coming off a bye week since beating previously undefeated Clemson, and now they will have a game against Virginia Tech that will likely decide the Coastal division in the ACC.
If they win this weekend their BCS hopes are still alive (and they might have a rematch with Clemson---but would anyone watch), but if they lose this might be Notre Dame's opponent in the Champs Sports Bowl.
20. Auburn (6-3)
I can't really complain with 3-loss Auburn here---not when they've lost to the first, eighth, and ninth BCS rated teams as of right now. The Tigers still have Georgia and Alabama left, so I don't expect them to stay ranked much longer.
Beating the Dawgs this week could throw a wrench in the Eastern division race though.
19. Nebraska (7-2)
Losing at home to Northwestern? Really Nebraska? Come on you are better than that.
Sadly, it was a season defining loss too. The Corn could have controlled their own destiny atop their division and gone to the first Big Ten championship game. Now they've fallen back and have to visit the giant stadiums of Penn State and Michigan, as well as hosting to Iowa.
Hope is still alive, but it doesn't look good right now for Nebraska.
18. Wisconsin (7-2)
A few weeks ago it looked like Wisconsin might cruise into the BIG title game, but now they've got some work cut out for them to make it. Worse yet, they have to hope some other teams lose ahead of them.
I bet the season ending hosting of Penn State decided the champion of the Leader division. And yes, I think Wisconsin wins that game.
17. Michigan State (7-2)
Wisconsin's loss to Northwestern all but handed the Legends division to Michigan State, as the Spartans control their down destiny and face a non-threatening trio of Iowa, Indiana, and Northwestern to finish the season.
Iowa and Northwestern are on the road, but Michigan State has to be heavy favorites to enter the conference championship. Also, a BCS bowl is still very possible---especially if Penn State crawls in as their opponent.
16. Texas (6-2)
Boom, Texas out of nowhere!
Be honest, if you were trying to remember this ranking would you forget to put the Longhorns in here? Haven't they had a pretty quiet 6-2 season this year?
Alas, they have a brutal final stretch (@ Missouri, Kansas State, @ Texas A&M, @ Baylor) so their stay in these rankings won't last much longer. On the other hand, maybe the run the table on these teams?
15. Georgia (7-2)
As predicted, South Carolina dropped another conference game and let Georgia move into first in the Eastern division of the SEC. The Dawgs have now won 7 straight since losing their first two games to Boise State and the aforementioned Gamecocks.
Georgia still has their work cut out for them though with Auburn this weekend and a trip at Georgia Tech to finish the season. Right now, they are the odds on favorite to be the sacrifice before the Western division winner.
14. Kansas State (7-2)
Give K-State some credit as they hung in there with Oklahoma State this past weekend. Yet, it's still really weird to see the Wildcats this high after back-to-back losses---they've barely fallen in the rankings.
Do you think they can beat A&M and Texas too? Does the Cotton Bowl want Kansas State anyway?
13. South Carolina (7-2)
The Gamecocks need Georgia to lose, otherwise they will be stuck in second place in the East despite beating the Bulldogs earlier in the season. Actually, this might work better for South Carolina as they won't have to get demolished in the SEC title game, and might still be able to grab a BCS bowl at-large bid.
12. Penn State (8-1)
The good news is that Penn State has a two game lead in the Leaders division and controls its own destiny.
The bad news is the Sandusky news that broke this weekend, plus the Nittany Lions have to face Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin to finish the season---the latter two on the road.
With a two-game lead they have a good shot at the title game, but an 0-3 finish is probably just as likely. This team is not that good.
11. Houston (8-0)
Oh, hello Houston.
Will you beat SMU to stay undefeated? The season ending showdown against Tulsa sure will be a good one too. Stay undefeated for Keenum's 14th year of eligibility---he so deserves it.
10. Virginia Tech (8-1)
All the Hokies have to do is beat Georgia Tech on the road this Thursday and they will have pretty much locked up the Coastal division and go to their 15th straight (it feels that way) ACC title game.
How bad would Oregon beat Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, though?
9. Clemson (8-1)
Almost a lock for the ACC title game and a team I'd like to see make it to a BCS bowl.
Do you agree? Wouldn't that be oodles of fun?
8. Arkansas (8-1)
The Hogs needed that win over South Carolina to get back on track after sneaking past Ole Miss and Vanderbilt in prior weeks. The road home isn't any easier with games against Tennessee, Mississippi State, and a trip to Death Valley.
Speaking of which, Arkansas could be a top 5 team by the time they play (most definitely still No. 1) LSU to finish the season. Game of the Century Part II???
7. Oregon (8-1)
Oregon lost early and has remained in the top ten, quietly winning games and getting back into position for another title run. They will need some help but they are positioned well to be one of the 1-loss teams to make the BCS title game.
If they beat Stanford and USC the following week, Oregon should be a lock to end the year 12-1---they will destroy whatever team comes out of the South division (currently UCLA LOL).
6. Oklahoma (8-1)
OU has to be looking forward to Bedlam, but I hope they don't trip up against Baylor or Iowa State beforehand. You would think the Sooners are in a good spot here as a 1-loss team, but how much would they move up even with a win over Okie State and with no conference title game anymore?
Think about it.
5. Boise State (8-0)
Boise faces TCU and then San Diego State in the next two weeks---win these and they are undefeated once again during the regular season.
Sad as it is, I don't really see a scenario where they get in the title game. They will get leap frogged by a 1-loss team like Oregon or Oklahoma. Heck, it might even be an ACC team!
4. Stanford (9-0)
If Stanford beats Oregon, things could get really interesting.
How joyous would it be to beat an undefeated Stanford team looking to make the title game? On the other hand, how weird would it be to see the Cardinal in the title game?
Could we handle a Stanford national championship?
3. Alabama (8-1)
Really? Alabama couldn't fall behind Boise State or at least Stanford?
It's not like it really matters that much right now, the PR campaign has already begun to see a rematch with LSU.
Just remember, if that's something you want to see you are taking away the main argument people make for why we don't need a playoff. Clearly the regular season isn't that important if a team is going to lose this late in the season, not win their conference, and get into the title game anyway.
Do we really want that to happen?
2. Oklahoma State (9-0)
Win out and they are in the BCS title game? Is it that simple?
Will their win over Oklahoma be given enough respect?
How is it going to play out with the Cowboys sitting at No. 2 in the rankings with Stanford still undefeated and playing the Pac-12 title game while Oklahoma State sits at home and watches?
We're all in agreement that Alabama isn't leap-frogging undefeated Okie State or Stanford right? Boise State---fine, but not the other two.
1. LSU (9-0)
Best team in the land.