This week's ratings are out, and Alabama did in fact sneak ahead of Stanford for No. 3, but if both keep winning, that will eventually change. Stanford has a significant advantage in the polls, and will eventually get close enough to the Tide in the computers to move ahead overall.
As I said earlier though, this week's ratings don't necessarily have any bearing on what might happen a month from now if Oklahoma State and Stanford pick up a loss somewhere along the way.
Right now, voters are not voting for Alabama or Boise State or anyone but Oklahoma State and Stanford for No. 2. They are not lining up teams for what might happen later on. Voters not only have no short-term memory, they have no long-term vision. If it gets to the point where they have to make a decision among the teams piled up behind OSU and Stanford in the polls, then they'll consider that at the time, and votes could change.
Other things could have an impact then. What if Georgia wins out to the SEC title game and gives LSU a fight? Voters will be reminded that Boise spanked the Bulldogs in week one, and maybe that inspires them to give the Broncos a shot at the big prize. Maybe Oklahoma ends up winning the Big 12, and the voters, which have always shown a bias for conference champions (in the BCS era, the voters have never put a team in the top two of the final regular season poll that did not win its conference), will move the Sooners to the top of the list. Undefeated Boise State would be a conference champion as well.
Or maybe they'll go against what they have done before and create an LSU-Alabama (or LSU-Oregon?) rematch.
For now, the Cowboys are in the driver's seat for a matchup with LSU in the title game. Stanford, despite this week's ratings, needs just one of those two to lose. After that, we'll see.
Houston is up to No. 11 and would automatically qualify if the Cougars finish undefeated and someone beats Boise State.
Cincinnati is the highest-rated Big East team at No. 23. You get the feeling the Bearcats could win out and not crack the top 15.
It's a good thing for the Big Ten that there is still a month left. As it stands right now, Penn State is the only team ranked high enough to be in the BCS at-large pool. It would help if a couple of teams would step up and win out (I still have faith in Michigan, so you all can keep calling me crazy for at least another week). The Big Ten has put an at-large team in the BCS every year since 2004.