Oregon and Florida State's battle for the No. 2 spot in the BCS standings -- and the berth in the BCS Championship Game that goes with it -- has taken another turn, with the Seminoles riding their big win over previously undefeated Miami back to No. 2 in the third week of the 2013 standings.
The Ducks slipped to No. 3, but only by the narrowest of margins -- leaving the door open for Mark Helfrich's team to potentially leapfrog the Seminoles a second time with a win over No. 5 Stanford in the teams' showdown this Thursday. Florida State opened at No. 2 in the BCS's initial standings before sliding back to No. 3 in Week 2.
The Hurricanes slipped from No. 7 to No. 11 after their 41-14 loss in Tallahassee. There was little other movement in the top 16 of the standings, with Texas Tech the only team dropping out, in favor of the Oklahoma State team that defeated them in Lubbock.
The full standings:
THE TOP 16
1. Alabama [.980]: The Crimson Tide lost a handful of first-place votes in the Coaches Poll after their bye week and the Seminoles' big win ... and still own a commanding lead at No. 1, one that will be only more commanding if they win this Saturday's home clash with LSU.
2. Florida State [.953]: The Seminoles have taken on two undefeated, top-10 teams in three weeks, and defeated both by an average of 32 points.
3. Oregon [.944]: Even at No. 3, finishing with the Cardinal, Utah, Arizona and Oregon State -- while Florida State finishes with Wake Forest, Syracuse, Idaho and Florida -- means that pollsters would have to throw vastly more support behind the 'Noles to make this week's flip-flop a long-term decision.
4. Ohio State [.872]: The Buckeyes have finally looked like a worthy national-title contender each of the last two weeks (even if their record has argued the same for weeks). But it hasn't been soon enough to prevent their slipping from No. 2 to No. 4, and now it's impossible to see them making up any BCS ground without a loss from one of the teams above them.
5. Stanford [.793]: The Cardinal are currently listed as 10-point underdog as they prepare to host the Ducks.
7. Clemson [.728]: No one was rooting harder for the Hurricanes Saturday than the Tigers, who now need the Seminoles to lose to both Wake Forest and Syracuse if they're to claim the Atlantic division. Is it possible ot go 11-1 at Clemson and still feel like the season is a disappointment?
8. Missouri [.689]: Tigers host Kentucky and then get a week off before their season-defining two-week closing stretch at Ole Miss and vs. Texas A&M.
9. Auburn [.669]: All those of you who thought the Tigers would be 8-1, No. 9 in the BCS, and two wins from setting up a winner-take-all Iron Bowl for the SEC West title one season after going 3-9 and winless in the SEC, raise your hands.
10. Oklahoma [.608]: Does any team have more to gain this week than the Sooners? Win, and they thrust themselves into the thick of both the Big 12 and maybe even national title race; lose, and they seem destined for third or fourth in the league and top-20 at best.
11. Miami [.525]: Given that their highest-profile victim of the season (Florida) is now 4-4, that despite a spirited first half they still lost to FSU by 27, and that they're still the team that needed last-minute escapes from North Carolina and Wake Forest, 11th isn't such a bad landing.
12. South Carolina [.511]: With a pair of nonconference games to finish their schedule and a bye on tap this week, the Gamecocks have just one league contest remaining -- at home against reeling Florida Nov. 16.
13. LSU [.453]: Like Alabama, like Oregon, like Stanford, like Baylor, like Oklahoma, the Tigers had Saturday off in preparation for the game of their season this week.
14. Oklahoma State [.440]: Cowboys still have to be kicking themselves over loss at West Virginia.
15. Texas A&M [.437]: The computers are less impressed with the two-loss Tigers and Aggies than the pollsters are; LSU ranks approximately 8th, A&M 17th.
16. Fresno State [.368]: Given the rigorous schedules of the teams above them -- which should allow for further movement up the polls -- and the sizable gap between the Bulldogs and representatives from the AAC, it seems all but a lock that Fresno will bust the BCS if they win out ... and NIU doesn't overtake them down the stretch.
"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. Michigan State
18. Northern Illinois
22. Arizona State
23. Notre Dame
25. Texas Tech