Notre Dame passes Oregon in BCS
Alabama is locked in at No. 1, and if the Crimson Tide can keep winning it will play for its third championship in four years. The Wildcats (.9400), Fighting Irish (.9147) and Ducks (.9136) need to remain unbeaten, and keep an eye on each other.
The computers ratings are still holding the Ducks back because their strength of schedule lags behind the other contenders.
The Ducks are second in the Harris poll and USA Today coaches' poll, but ranked fifth by the computer ratings.
Kansas State is third in each poll and Notre Dame is fourth. But according to the computers, the Wildcats and Fighting Irish are tied for first.
Oregon's upcoming schedule could help solve the Ducks' problem. Oregon plays three opponents in the BCS top 25 (Southern California, Stanford and Oregon State) in its last four games, starting with the Trojans in Los Angeles on Saturday. The Pac-12 title game, if the Ducks get there, should give Oregon another quality opponent.
Notre Dame, with four games left, faces only one more team with a winning record (USC). Kansas State has three winning teams in its four remaining opponents, though only No. 25 Texas is in the BCS top 25.
Alabama is an overwhelming No. 1 in the Harris poll and USA Today coaches' polls, and comes in third behind Notre Dame and Kansas State in the computer ratings. The Tide's BCS average is .9759.
Alabama has what looks to be its toughest test of the season coming up this week, when it visits fifth-place LSU on Saturday in an SEC West showdown.
Down the list, it looks as if Boise State could make another run at the BCS, with help from the Big Ten.
The Broncos are 21st in the current standings. If they can get into the top 16 and be ahead of a champion from one of the automatic qualifying conferences, the Broncos would earn an automatic bid to the marquee bowls,
The highest ranked Big Ten team is Nebraska at 22nd.