Thanks to Ralph Russo over at the Associated Press, I’ve now learned my one new thing for the day: the only other time one conference occupied the top three spots in the AP poll in its 75-year history for college football was in in 1971 when the Big 8 had Nebraska, Oklahoma and Colorado finish the season first through third.
The SEC just did one better with the West division holding down the top three spots in the latest AP poll with LSU, Alabama and Arkansas, respectively. After a day of BCS madness, the Razorbacks have the opportunity to wreak more havoc next weekend if they can upend the Tigers on the road. No easy task, but if the Hogs didn’t feel like they had the chance before, Iowa State, Baylor and USC just gave them three more reasons why they should now.
Theoretically, Arkansas could miss the SEC championship and still make it to the national title. Stanford, just a week after losing to Oregon, is in the same boat in the Pac-12 at No. 4. The Cardinal and No. 5 Oklahoma State — yep, those guys — aren’t out of the BCS title race yet. Neither is No. 6 Virginia Tech. The Hokies have had one of the easiest roads to a BCS appearance and show that if you keep winning, you keep moving up.
I may have spoken a bit prematurely yesterday when I said No. 7 Boise State’s BCS dreams were kaput. The Broncos will not receive an automatic bid to a spot to the BCS because of their loss to TCU, but their at-large hopes are still holding on by a thread. How the next few weeks sort out will have the greatest impact to Boise’s BCS chances, but really, it comes down to Houston losing a game.
Speaking of the Cougars, they come in at No. 8 with a win-and-they’re-in game plan for one of the BCS spots. Oregon slips to No. 9 after falling to No. 10 USC 38-35. Wait, shouldn’t that be the other way around?
Michigan State moves up to No. 11 and secured a spot in the Big Ten title game and Oklahoma drops to No. 12 after losing to Baylor. The Sooners’ BCS chances likely hinge on beating Oklahoma State next week. Georgia comes in at No. 13 as they head to the SEC title game — another chance to shake things up in the BCS standings.
No. 18 Clemson’s chances at a BCS game are done unless the Tigers can win the ACC title. TCU stays at No. 19 after securing at least a share of the Mountain West crown. Penn State and Baylor move up to No. 21 and No. 22 after wins over Ohio State and Oklahoma, and Nebraska falls to No. 23 following a loss to No. 17 Michigan. No. 24 Virginia has a chance to represent the ACC Coastal with a win over Va Tech next week. Dropping out of the rankings was Southern Miss after an embarrassing loss to UAB on Thursday.