The final season of the BCS is only two weeks into its weekly rankings releases, and already the top 3 has seen a major -- if expected -- shakeup.
As projected, Oregon's 42-14 win over UCLA gave the Ducks (and its previously lackluster schedule) a jolt in the BCS's computer rankings, erasing the narrow lead enjoyed by Florida State after last week's action and vaulting Mark Helfrich's team into the critical No. 2 spot in the standings. The Seminoles looked every bit as dominant in leading N.C. State 35-0 after one quarter en route to a 49-17 win, but it wasn't enough to make any real dent in Oregon's voting advantage in either the Harris or Coaches polls.
The full standings:
THE TOP 16
1. Alabama (.994): Under Nick Saban, Alabama is 7-0 against Tennessee with an average margin of victory of 25 points.
2. Oregon (.952): Though they've suffered three losses in that timespan, Oregon hasn't won a regular-season game by a single-digit margin since beating Cal 15-13 on Nov. 13, 2010, a span of 31 victories.
3. Florida State (.921): The Seminoles' first five drives vs. N.C. State covered 269 yards and ended in 35 points; the Wolfpack's first five drives covered 15 yards and ended in two more turnovers than points.
4. Ohio State (.884): Despite the frequent criticism of the Buckeyes' supposedly soft 2013 schedule, only one of the six BCS computers ranks Ohio State lower than fifth, and their CPU average ranking is No. 4, same as the polls.
5. Stanford (.792): Who says the SEC is the only conference that gets the benefit of the polling doubt? While the Cardinal do have several quality wins, the highest-ranked team among them in the BCS standings is at No. 19, and their lone loss came at the hands of a Utah team that's now 1-4 in the Pac-12. Yet they enjoy a commanding lead in the polls over any other one-loss team.
6. Baylor (.765): The Bears have a bye this week in preparation for their Thursday night showdown vs. Oklahoma, their third bye in an eight-week span.
8. Clemson (.669): After going 13-4 against the spread in ACC play in 2011 and 2012, Clemson is 2-3 in 2013 and has lost three straight.
9. Missouri (.610): If the Tigers don't make the SEC Championship Game, will any team have ever come closer to winning its division and still fallen short than Missouri will have after their collapse vs. South Carolina?
10. Oklahoma (.606): Sooners delighted with AP's decision to leave the BCS polling to the Harris and Coaches; they rank 13th in the AP, but 10th and 9th in the polls that matter.
11. Auburn (.603): The computers don't care when you play your cupcakes, but some Tiger fans might nonetheless wish FAU had landed on the schedule a week other than this one. Despite pounding the Owls, Auburn slipped from No. 7 in the computer average to almost No. 10.
12. Texas A&M (.481): Aggies allowed Vanderbilt only 95 rushing yards on 44 attempts, improving their miserable rank in FBS rushing yards allowed per-carry all the way to ... 116th, one spot shy of Georgia State.
13. LSU (.463): Which matters more? That thanks in part to a Zach Mettenberger pick-six, the Tigers only led Furman 20-16 at halftime? Or that they nonetheless outgained the Paladins 672-198?
14. South Carolina (.449): The polls see a clear difference in the SEC's three-loss contenders, with the Harris voting the Gamecocks No. 17 (with LSU 12th and A&M 13th) and the Coaches slotting them at No. 16 (two spots behind the Aggies). The computers disagree, though, sliding all three teams between No. 15 and No. 17.
15. Texas Tech (.375): Speaking of computer disagreements, Tech ranks about three spots lower in the computers than in the BCS standings, but that's nothing compared to Oklahoma State; the computers have the 6-1 Cowboys ranked in the 30's.
16. Fresno State (.367): The Bulldogs remained on course for a BCS-busting automatic bid, but not much about their overtime escape at San Diego State suggested they're 2006 Boise State as opposed to 2007 Hawaii or 2012 Northern Illinois.
"Non-AQ" teams must reach the BCS top 16 and outrank one "AQ" champion to be eligible for an automatic BCS berth.
THE WAITING LIST
17. Northern Illinois
18. Oklahoma State
22. Michigan State
25. Notre Dame