NEW YORK – With its toughest test yet just days away, Boston College moved into second-place behind Ohio State in the BCS standings Sunday.
Don’t look back BC, third-place LSU gained ground this week and two Pac-10 teams are primed to pounce if the teams ahead of them falter.
With Boston College playing at Virginia Tech, which is eighth in the standings, on Thursday night, the Eagles stay at No. 2 could be as short as South Florida’s.
The Hokies are the highest ranked team BC has faced this season.
The Buckeyes (8-0), who are No. 1 in the Harris and coaches’ polls, lead the Bowl Championship Series standings for the second consecutive week with an average of .976 out of a possible 1.000.
Ohio State is also No. 1 in the AP Top 25.
Boston College (7-0), which is tops in the computer ratings, took advantage of South Florida’s loss last Thursday night at Rutgers and moved up one spot. The Eagles have a BCS average of .950. LSU (.911 average) also moved up a spot and closed in on the Eagles.
Unbeaten Arizona State (7-0) moved up four spots to fourth-place with a .763 average, just ahead of Pac-10 rival Oregon (.762).
The top two teams in the final standings will play in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 7 in New Orleans.
The Boston College-Virginia Tech game will start a big weekend of college football that could reshape the Bowl Championship Series standings and the national title race.
Seven of the top 12 teams in the BCS play ranked opponents.
The Buckeyes also face their toughest game so far, playing Penn State on Saturday night in Happy Valley.
Damion Fletcher ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns to lead Southern Mississippi to a 33-24 victory over Marshall at Huntington, W.Va.
Southern Miss (4-3, 3-1 Conference USA) jumped ahead 20-0 and withstood a second-half rally by Marshall (0-7, 0-3) to move into a tie for first place with East Carolina in the East Division.
The Thundering Herd are on pace for their worst season since going 1-10 in 1979. Marshall hasn’t had a winless season since 1968.