Boise State had the stage to itself, and it took advantage. The Broncos blew out Fresno State 51-0 on Friday night, and voters took notice. Boise State increased its lead over idle TCU in the coaches poll to 41 points from 11. The Harris voters were even more generous. They now have the Broncos up 62 points after only eight last week.
Those movements helped Boise State cut another two-thirds off of TCU's lead in the overall BCS. A solid win over Nevada next week should allow the Broncos to pass TCU for good.
And "solid" is important. Boise learned two weeks ago that just getting by isn't good enough. Part of the reason the Broncos are in the position they are in is because TCU just got by San Diego State. That was a big negative for TCU in the polls. For Boise State to protect, or even expand, its poll position needs to be impressive against Nevada. Leave no doubt.
As for the computers, they will take care of themselves. Margin doesn't matter to them. Having Nevada on the schedule is enough.
Virginia Tech won again, beating Miami 31-17. The Hokies clinched a berth in the ACC title game with the win, which was their ninth in a row. Every one of those wins is helping push Boise State up as well, since that is the Broncos' signature win.
The Hokies keep creeping up the BCS ratings. This week, they are 16th.
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Their opponent in the ACC title game will either be North Carolina State or Florida State. The Wolfpack beat North Carolina 29-25 and control their own destiny in the division. If they falter, the Seminoles would advance to the title game. FSU knocked out Maryland 30-16.
The Big 12 race got a lot more interesting. Texas A&M upset Nebraska 9-6, and you can use any definition of "upset" you like. In terms of the conference race, it means Nebraska has to beat Colorado to win the division. A loss by Missouri to Kansas would work too, if you like those odds. The Tigers stayed in the race with a 14-0 win over Iowa State.
Oklahoma State still has a one-game lead in the South after beating Kansas 48-14. Oklahoma is still alive after solving its road woes with a 53-24 win at Baylor. The Aggies are still alive as well, and the race could end as a three-way tie. That's a problem for another column.
The Big Ten is still a three-car pileup after two tight games and a blowout. Wisconsin was the author of the blowout, running it down Michigan's throat in a 48-28 win. Ohio State needed a late touchdown from Boom Herron to beat Iowa 20-17 to stay tied at the top. Michigan State had to come from 15 down in the fourth quarter to beat Purdue 35-31.
In the BCS, Wisconsin is seventh, comfortably ahead of Ohio State at No. 8. Michigan State jumped Alabama for 10th, no doubt much to the chagrin of Gary Danielson. That is important because any tie for the title involving both Michigan State and Ohio State will go to the BCS standings. That puts Wisconsin in the driver's seat and Sparty on the ropes.
The SEC race is already decided, but there were two important games for teams hoping for BCS at-large berths. LSU escaped a scare from Mississippi 43-36 after trading touchdowns and the lead for the last 20 minutes of the game. Arkansas needed two overtimes to beat Mississippi State 38-31. If the SEC loses Auburn to the title game, those are the two leading contenders for the SEC's Sugar Bowl spot.