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Florida State takes firm hold of 2nd in BCS standings

Florida State took firm hold of second place in the BCS football standings behind top-ranked Alabama and grabbed the inside track to the national championship game.

The Seminoles were second last week, but seemed likely to get passed by Oregon if the Ducks could have remained unbeaten. Stanford, however, handed Oregon its first loss of the season Thursday night and Florida State benefited.

The Seminoles (.9619) are a solid second in the USA Today coaches’ poll and Harris poll, and second in the computer rankings that make up the final third of a BCS average.

Ohio State (.8926) is third in the polls but fourth in the computers. The Buckeyes are closer to fourth-place Stanford (.8689) than Florida State.

Unbeaten Baylor (.8618) is fifth, not far behind the Cardinal (.8689).

But Florida State and Alabama appear headed for a BCS championship game matchup if they can avoid being upset.

Florida State’s 51-14 victory against Clemson in the middle of October sent the Seminoles surging past Ohio State in the polls. The Buckeyes haven’t had a chance to change the momentum because they haven’t played ranked opponents since beating Wisconsin and Northwestern in back-to-back weeks in late September and early October.

Unbeaten Fresno State of the Mountain West moved up to No. 14. The Bulldogs need a top-12 finish to secure the so-called BCS buster bid as an automatic qualifier from a non-AQ conference. They also need to be the highest-rated non-AQ champion.

Undefeated Northern Illinois of the Mid-American Conference is 15th.

Neither team can afford a loss, but Palm said attrition should get Fresno State and NIU into final top-12 if they can win out.

HarrisUSA TodayComputer BCS
1. Alabama (9-0)126251.000011546.99741.990.99581
2. Flor. St. (9-0)22514.957721485.95812.970.96192
3. Ohio St. (9-0)32373.904031401.90394.870.89264
4. Stanford (8-1) 52240.853351307.84323.910.86895
5. Baylor (8-0) 42304.877741376.88775.820.86186
6. Oregon (8-1) 61968.749771162.74976.800.76653
7. Auburn (9-1) 91843.702191069.68977.770.72069
8. Clemson (8-1) 71940.739061164.75109.670.72007
9. Missouri (9-1) 81855.706781083.69878.730.71188
10. S. Carol. (7-2)121417.539812830.535510.600.558412
11. TexA&M (8-2) 101582.602711898.579413.460.547315
12. Okla. St. (8-1)111545.588610965.622622.190.467114
13. UCLA (7-2) 161026.390915641.413511.560.454819
14. Fres. St. (9-0)131124.428214646.4168t14.450.431716
15. N. Ill. (9-0)18825.314321445.2871t14.450.350518
16. Mich. St. (8-1)151090.415216620.400021.210.341717
17. UCF (7-1) 19791.301319468.301916.420.341121
18. Okla. (7-2) 20732.278917510.329017.270.292610
19. Ariz. St. (7-2)22475.181022262.169012.500.283322
20. L’ville (8-1) 141104.420613653.421328.000.280620
21. LSU (7-3) 17919.350118476.307124.170.275713
22. Wisc. (7-2) 21674.256820460.296818.230.261224
23. Miami (7-2) 23457.174123228.1471t25.120.147111
24. Texas (7-2)24247.094124176.1135t25.120.1092NR
25. Georgia(6-3) 25102.03892644.028422.190.0857NR