November is the month where dream seasons are made or broken, and Week 13 helped clear up the picture leading into the home stretch of the year. As ESPN’s Brent Musberger said during Baylor’s loss to Oklahoma State on Saturday, it’s not worth worrying, because the BCS has a way of taking care of itself.
As we wait for the BCS standings to drop Sunday evening, the AP Poll should give a general sense of where teams are. Ohio State fans are likely happy, as their path to the championship opens up a bit, and now it would appear the Buckeyes just need a loss from Alabama or Florida State to move into the top two. Baylor dropped six spots following the loss to the Cowboys, while Oklahoma State jumped up to No. 7 in the win. Oregon fell to No. 12 from No. 5 after getting blown out by Arizona, and Arizona State climbed six spots to No. 13 after its win over UCLA.
The complete AP Poll (with first-place votes in parentheses) is below:
1. Alabama (56)
2. Florida State (4)
3. Ohio State
7. Oklahoma State
10. South Carolina
11. Michigan State
13. Arizona State
16. Fresno State
18. Northern Illinois
19. Texas A&M
25. Notre Dame
Here are a few thoughts from this week’s results:
• Wisconsin finally seems to be getting the respect it deserves. The Badgers beat a scrappy Minnesota team on the road on Saturday and is in prime position to steal a BCS at-large bid if they finish the season out with a win over Penn State. Their two losses were by a combined nine points, and the loss to the Sun Devils was a bit controversial to begin with. The Gary Andersen era has started off quite nicely.
• There are now three SEC teams in the top five and four in the top ten in all. Although the league seems to be down as opposed to other years, with injuries ravaging much of the conference, there’s still a lot of strength there. Alabama has been at the top spot all year, and the sudden ascension of Auburn and Missouri has to be a welcome sight with teams like Florida, LSU and Georgia having tough years. • Stanford has to be playing the ‘what if?’ game a lot this year. The USC and Utah losses in a vacuum might not seem so bad, but with championship hopes coming into the year and a bevy of strong wins on the Cardinal’s schedule, even a one-loss Stanford team could make the BCS picture murky. But it will likely be staring at the teams above it and focusing on a difficult task at hand in having to beat Arizona State again to win the Pac-12. The Sun Devils have been playing really good football as of late.