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Power Dozen: BCS Underdogs Running Out Of Time

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Can Stanford knock off Oregon again? If the answer is no, the BCS title game is looking more and more like a Ducks-Crimson Tide contrast. Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images.
Can Stanford knock off Oregon again? If the answer is no, the BCS title game is looking more and more like a Ducks-Crimson Tide contrast. Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images.

Sure, Missouri and Texas Tech lost, but let's be honest: There are four teams that matter entering November, and they all dominated.

Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State would be in position to enjoy a four-team playoff if the year was 2014, but alas, the curmudgeon BCS is going to cling to life in hospice for another few months.

Four of our Top 5 face a Power Dozen team in its next game. Those who already have slipped are running out of chances to make an impression, and the remaining survivors for the most part have one, maybe two tough games left in the regular season.

If there's going to be a move up top, now's the time. Simply put, No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Oregon are on a collision course. If they win out, they'll play in the last BCS championship. But each faces its toughest remaining game (and perhaps toughest game of the season) now. We have to wait until Nov. 7 (Oregon-Stanford) or even Nov. 9 (Alabama-LSU) to watch, but it's coming.

Meanwhile, Florida State and Baylor are desperate to make an impression that by some miracle will change the voters' minds if the Tide and Ducks don't lose. They'll get a shot against Miami and Oklahoma, respectively.

The Sooners seem to have the most upward mobility at No. 12. If they can knock off Texas Tech and Baylor in back-to-back games, then win at a ranked Oklahoma State to close the season, and the favorites dispatch the challengers, it's not hard to see them moving to at least No. 6 by bowl season.

Alabama alone could conceivably knock off No. 11 LSU, No. 9 Auburn and No. 11 Missouri. I wonder how elephants feel about Tigers?

Bottom line: After Nov. 9, it will get quite difficult to create a lot of movement at the top of anyone's rankings, and those on the outside will start to hope and pray for an upset from a lesser opponent during rivalry week or the conference championship game.

Rank Team Record Score Gap Next Prev. Rank
1 Alabama 8-0 4 vs. No. 11 LSU (Nov. 9) 1
2 Oregon 8-0 28 +24 at No. 7 Stanford (Nov. 7) 2
3 Florida State 7-0 44 +16 vs. No. 6 Miami 3
4 Ohio State 8-0 58 +14 at Purdue 4
5 Baylor 7-0 91 +33 vs. No. 12 Oklahoma (Nov. 7) 8
6 Miami 7-0 94 +3 at No. 3 Florida State 6
7 Stanford 7-1 96 +2 vs. No. 2 Oregon (Nov. 7) 7
8 Clemson 7-1 138 +44 at Virginia 9
9 Auburn 7-1 141 +3 at Arkansas 10
10 Missouri 7-1 162 +21 vs. Tennessee 5
11 LSU 7-2 167 +5 at No. 1 Alabama (Nov. 9) 12
12 Oklahoma 7-1 176 +9 at No. 5 Baylor (Nov. 7)

Less Than Max Score Of 225: Texas A&M (191), South Carolina (212), Louisville (217), Oklahoma State (218), Texas Tech (218), Fresno State (222).

Dropped Out: Texas Tech.

Power Dozen Scuttlebutt

Rank Team Buzz
1 Alabama All respect to Auburn/the SEC East, Bama's season rests on LSU game.
2 Oregon Time for revenge. If Ducks can get it, all but sew up BCS title game spot.
3 Florida State Seminoles overtake Oregon, Baylor in "buzz," still BCS odd man out.
4 Ohio State Buckeyes may go two seasons without a loss and still get shrugs.
5 Baylor Put up or shut up: Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Ok. State next.
6 Miami This week's nominee to plummet in the standings (at FSU).
7 Stanford Can prevent BCS catastrophe, claim best one-loss status.
8 Clemson Still likely to enter final week 10-1, Top 5 despite mid-season stall-out.
9 Auburn Need to figure out how to keep QB Nick Marshall healthy.
10 Missouri Seemed SEC East would gift-wrap division until SC's late dramatics.
11 LSU Tigers still can salvage season by ending Tide's reign of terror.
12 Oklahoma Beware, Sooners: Big 12 teams tend to play musical chairs here.

Comparing Rankings

Team Football.com BCS AP Coaches
Alabama 1 1 1 1
Oregon 2 2 2 2
Florida State 3 3 3 3
Ohio State 4 4 4 4
Baylor 5 6 5 5
Miami 6 7 7 6
Stanford 7 5 6 7
Clemson 8 8 9 8
Auburn 9 11 8 11
Missouri 10 9 10 10
LSU 11 13 11 11
Oklahoma 12 10 13 9

Football.com Range

The top four are set. Baylor, Miami and Stanford were interchangeable with the exception of one curious 13th-place slotting. If that voter had the Cardinal, say, seventh instead of outside his Power Dozen in the plus-one slot, Stanford, not Baylor, would be No. 5 in our rankings. Clemson had a vote at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, plus-one and unranked. Only two voters kept Missouri and LSU outside their plus-one and only one voter did so for Oklahoma. Outside of Texas A&M, there was close to a consensus as to which teams should be included at the bottom of the Power Dozen.

Team High Low
Alabama 1 2
Oregon 1 3
Florida State 2 4
Ohio State 3 4
Baylor 5 8
Miami 5 8
Stanford 5
Clemson 6
Auburn 6
Missouri 8
LSU 9
Oklahoma 8

Voters: Christopher Smith, David Seigerman, Joe Coughlin, Joe Jenkins, Dan Harralson, Chris Wuensch, Ken Pomponio, Matt Natali, Jon Coffey, Veair Green, Chris Stephens, Henry McKenna, Eric Russell.