BCS projections: Battle for No. 3 is close

This week's BCS projections show a very clear No. 1 and No. 2, as you might expect, but the battle right behind them will be interesting this week and as we move forward.

The coaches' poll came out Sunday morning showing Ohio State in third, 25 points ahead of Baylor.  Sunday afternoon, the Harris poll was released with Ohio State having a 69 point lead over Baylor.  Those are not huge margins, but should be good enough to keep the Buckeyes third in the BCS overall. 

Baylor's lead over fifth-rated Stanford is 69 points in the coaches poll, which is what you would expect when you are talking about a major, undefeated team and one with a loss.  The Harris voters were not as generous with the Bears though.  The Cardinal is within 64 points in that poll, which has 105 voters.  Baylor is actually closer to Stanford in that poll than it is to Ohio State.   Despite the lead in the polls, Baylor's wretched schedule to this point may still give Stanford an opportunity to be ahead in the BCS, at least for now.  The Bears' schedule gets better as the season goes on and if that poll margin stands, Stanford will not be able to hold Baylor off long-term.  However, Baylor also is unlikely to catch Ohio State without going by the Buckeyes in the polls.

It appeas that we may have established a pecking order behind Florida State at No. 2, which would be Ohio State, Baylor and then Stanford, as the top-rated one-loss team.

CBS Sports Senior Writer

Jerry Palm started writing about sports on the Internet right after Al Gore invented it. He was the first to bring RPI out in the open and is one of the pioneers of predicting the March Madness bracket.... Full Bio

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