The losses of ranked and undefeated teams like Missouri and Texas Tech didn’t really change the national championship picture and don’t create too much of a shake up in the higher regions of the BCS standings, as the usual suspects to go all the way – Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State didn’t really run into formidable opposition.
The only shift we might see in the top 4 is Oregon blowing past Florida State and making a 2-3 exchange. The two were already quite close after last week, and Oregon beating #12 UCLA might have been enough to get the computers on their sides, with the pollsters already liking them for number 2.
Oregon did face some opposition for one half against UCLA, but at some point, they turned on their defense as UCLA stopped gaining ground through their running game, while Marcus Mariota shifted into a much shorter passing scheme, giving his talented receivers a chance to pick up some yards after the catch. It ended in a 42-14, and getting rid of their second biggest hurdle en route to an undefeated season, with Stanford waiting in Palo Alto next week.
Florida State beat the team that ruined their undefeated season last year, North Carolina State. It wasn’t even remotely close this time, coming up with the 49-17 win and advancing quite confidently towards finally finishing the season with an undefeated record, as it doesn’t look like the Gators are good enough this year to stop their in-state rivals.
Alabama? Not that it’s any surprise, but they finished their 45-10 over Tennessee in the first quarter already, leading 21-0, and 35-0 after the end of the first half. The Crimson Tide have LSU (at home), Mississippi State (on the road), Chattanooga-Tennessee and then Auburn (on the road) before the SEC championship game. It doesn’t look like too much of a stretch to be quite confident about their undefeated season.
Ohio State are still waiting for someone to lose, meanwhile plowing through the rather weak Big Ten. Their latest victory came in record breaking fashion over Penn State on another impressive performance from Braxton Miller, showing his throwing chops.
Of the undefeated teams that fell we count Missouri, who were #5 before their game at home against South Carolina, and Texas Tech, #10, playing in Oklahoma. The SEC has turned into quite an unpredictable division this year: South Carolina aren’t as good as they thought they were, Georgia went through too many injuries and Florida were headed for a fall. The Tigers lost 27-24 despite holding a 17-0 lead going into the fourth quarter, and eventually dropping the ball in overtime.
For Texas Tech, having a high powered offense isn’t always enough, being unable to stop Blake Bell in the air and on the ground, as the Sooners improved to 7-1 with a 38-30 victory.
So we remain with 8 undefeated teams, as Alabama, Oregon, Florida State and Ohio State are joined by Miami, Freson State, Northern Illinois and Baylor, who picked up wins this weekend to remain hopeful about their BCS or maybe even national title chances.