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BCS round up: The schedule the rest of the way

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With November upon us, it’s time for the speculation about the BCS standings to shift into full gear.

The latest rankings have Florida State moving into No. 2 behind Alabama, but that position seems pretty shaky at the moment.

That’s because it all depends on how the schedule shakes out. Here’s a look at the schedules for the prime BCS contenders the rest of the way:

No. 1 Alabama: No. 13 LSU (7-2), at Mississippi State (4-4), Chattanooga (FCS 7-2), at No. 9 Auburn (8-1), SEC title game (possibly).

The schedule will keep Alabama firmly in the No. 1 spot if it wins out. Even an absurd scheduling of an FCS team in week 13 of the season won’t matter much. Can the Tide rebound in time if it loses to LSU on Saturday? Possibly, but it would need Auburn to keep winning, then it would have to beat the Tigers and hope its foe in the SEC title game was an 11-1 Missouri team. A win in that game would be enough to save Alabama’s quest for a third title if there was only one other undefeated team left.

No. 2 Florida State: at Wake Forest (4-5), Syracuse (4-4), Idaho (1-8), at Florida (4-4), ACC title game (possibly).

The Seminoles may have reached their high water mark with their big win over then-No. 7 Miami. The combined win-loss record of their remaining foes is 13-17 and their likely matchup in the ACC title game with, say, Miami or Virginia Tech wouldn’t impress the computers or the pollsters that much. It looks like FSU needs Oregon to lose to get the BCS title game berth.

No. 3 Oregon: at No. 5 Stanford (7-1), Utah (4-4), at Arizona (6-2), Oregon State (6-3), Pac-12 title game (possibly).

Oregon’s remaining opponents have a combined record of 23-10 and then it would likely play a ranked UCLA or Arizona State team in the Pac-12 title game. Simply put, if the Ducks win out, they’ll finish either first or second in the BCS rankings and make it to the title game for the second time in their history. It’s unlikely that Oregon could rebound from a loss to Stanford in time to leapfrog other teams, unless a bunch of teams screw up — always a possibility in college football.

No. 4 Ohio State: at Illinois (3-5), Indiana (3-5), Michigan (6-2), Big Ten title game (possibly).

Ohio State is playing at a very high level, but its schedule continues to hold it back. It didn’t help that Michigan lost to Michigan State over the weekend and it’s possible the Wolverines could lose a couple more times before the big game against the Buckeyes. Because of the weakness of the Big Ten, OSU could very well win 25 in a row and not make it to the BCS title game. Of course, maybe the reason it could get to 25-straight is because the Big Ten is so weak.

No. 5 Stanford: No. 2 Oregon (8-0), at USC (6-3), California (1-8), No. 23 Notre Dame (7-2), Pac-12 title game (possibly).

It seems like an iffy proposition for Stanford to grind its way into the title game, but since it is the highest-ranked one-loss team, it makes sense to gauge the possibility. Obviously, the Cardinal would make a huge jump with a win over Oregon and beating an improving USC team and Notre Dame would also help. But it seems highly improbable that it would be able to jump an undefeated FSU, Ohio State or Baylor team with a win in the Pac-12 title game. The Cardinal needs all three of those teams to lose a game.

No. 6 Baylor: No. 10 Oklahoma (7-1), No. 25 Texas Tech (7-2), at No. 14 Oklahoma State (7-1), at TCU (3-6), Texas (6-2).

If Baylor is going to make a miracle run to the BCS title game, it will have earned it by getting through a really tough November gauntlet. Its next three opponents are all ranked and have a combined 21-4 record. A win against the suddenly-lifelike Longhorns would serve as a de facto conference championship game for a league that is at a bit of a BCS disadvantage by not having one. I think an undefeated Baylor would jump an undefeated Ohio State. I don’t think it would jump FSU and definitely not Oregon or Alabama. The Bears need some help if they are going to get to Pasadena.

No. 9 Auburn: at Tennessee (4-5), Georgia (5-3), No. 1 Alabama (8-0), SEC title game (possibly).

Auburn would need a slew of miracles to happen for it to get to the title game for the second time in four seasons. Obviously, it must win out. But it would also need Stanford to beat Oregon and for FSU to lose to Florida or in the ACC title game. Baylor and Ohio State would also have to lose. Sounds easy right?

If history has taught us one thing, it’s that college football and the BCS process is never predictable. This time next week, we’ll probably have a completely different calculus. For now, this is the best we’ve got.

Baker Mayfield confirms he’s returning to Oklahoma for senior season

NORMAN, OK - DECEMBER 3: Quarterback Baker Mayfield #6 of the Oklahoma Sooners looks to throw against the Oklahoma State Cowboys December 3, 2016 at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Oklahoma.  (Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images)
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It was a pretty damn good day all around for Oklahoma Saturday.

Not only did OU run away from Oklahoma State in their annual Bedlam rivalry game, the Sooners claimed an undisputed Big 12 championship.  It was Bob Stoops‘ 10th such title as OU’s head coach.

Shortly after the win, the Sooners received positive news on the personnel front as quarterback Baker Mayfield confirmed that, yes, he will be returning to Norman for his senior season next year.

It was thought that Mayfield was heavily leaning toward such a tack, but the confirmation will be welcome news for the football program.

Mayfield had a 2015 season that many thought made him worthy of being a Heisman finalist, although he came in just outside that rarefied air in finishing fourth in the voting. Many expect him to be one of the players invited to New York City this season as a finalist.

The past two seasons, Mayfield has thrown for 7,369 yards and 74 touchdowns. He’s added another 13 touchdowns on the ground.

The Sooners have gone 21-4 with Mayfield as the starter, won back-to-back conference championships and qualified for the 2015 College Football PLayoff.

Alabama having its way with hapless Florida

Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley (3) runs ahead of Florida defensive back Quincy Wilson (6) during the first half of the Southeastern Conference championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Atlanta.(AP Photo/John Bazemore)
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The SEC Championship was competitive… for about a drive.

Florida opened the game with a 10-play, 64-yard touchdown drive capped by a 5-yard strike from Austin Appleby to Antonio Callaway. Florida then forced 3-and-out. But the very next play was an Appleby interception, and the boulder started rolling downhill from there.

Alabama got on the board with an Adam Griffith field goal and, on the ensuing possession, Minkah Fitzpatrick snared an errant Appleby pass for a 44-yard pick-six to give the Tide the lead at the 5:06 mark of the first quarter.

Florida’s next possession ended in a punt — that was blocked and returned 27 yards by Joshua Jacobs for a touchdown. (The extra point was itself blocked and returned for two points by Florida.)

By that point, Alabama enjoyed a 16-9 lead without gaining a first down on offense.

Jalen Hurts and company took care of that, though, moving 88 yards in seven plays punctuated by a 6-yard Gehrig Dieter reception.

Florida ended its next possession with yet another disaster, this time a fake punt in their own territory that never had a chance of achieving a first down. Florida was spared when Adam Griffith‘s field goal missed, but Griffith converted a 25-yard field goal on his next try and the Tide’s following possession ended in a 6-yard Jacobs run — giving Alabama a 33-9 lead and the SEC Championship record for most points in a half.

Florida closed the half with a 92-yard touchdown drive capped by a 25-yard strike from Appleby to DeAndre Goolsby to pull within 33-16 at the break. Appleby closed the half completing 17-of-26 passes for 184 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions, while Hurts hit 8-of-16 passes for 112 yards and a score. Alabama has out-rushed Florida 52-7.

Alabama will receive to open the second half.

‘Canes might be front-runner for transferring Irish WR Corey Holmes

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 07:  A member of Notre Dame Fighting Irish holds up his helmet on the opening kickoff during the game against the Stanford Cardinal on October 7, 2006 at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
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For the second time this week, Notre Dame is losing a player to transfer.

On his Twitter account Saturday afternoon, Corey Holmes indicating that he would be leaving the Fighting Irish and would be continuing his collegiate playing career elsewhere.  ND officials subsequently confirmed that the wide receiver will transfer out after the spring semester.

Holmes’ decision was triggered by a desire for a better shot at playing time.

According to the South Bend Tribune, Miami is expected to be the front-runner for Holmes’ services. The receiver also stated that Arizona State, North Carolina and UCLA “are some schools I’d be considering.”

Like it was with Malik Zaire, the quarterback who announced his transfer late last month, there will be no restrictions placed on Holmes by the university.

As it stands now, Holmes plans to graduate next August, which means he would have two years of eligibility remaining and would be eligible immediately in 2017 i he moves on to another FBS school.

A four-star 2014 recruit, Holmes was rated as the No. 27 receiver in the country and the No. 26 player at any position in the state of Florida. After redshirting as a true freshman then not seeing any action in 2015, Holmes caught 11 passes for 96 yards this past season. He had a career-high four receptions in what turned out to be his final game at the school in the regular-season finale against USC.

No. 9 Oklahoma runs past No. 10 Oklahoma State, hands Bob Stoops his 10th Big 12 title

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) passes against Oklahoma State in the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 3, 2016, in Norman, Okla. (AP Photo/Alonzo Adams)
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Bob Stoops won’t be adding to his playoff resume this season, but yet another notch to his conference pedigree will be added.

Through the first two quarters of rain-drenched play, No. 9 Oklahoma and No. 9 Oklahoma State slogged their way to a dead-even tie in the 111th Bedlam matchup.  The second half was another matter entirely, however, as the Sooners literally ran past the Cowboy en route to a 38-20 Bedlam win in Norman.

In the first half, OU was held to just 40 yards on 19 carries.  They had 76 yards on the ground on their first drive of the second half as the Sooners pounded out a whopping 301 yards rushing the last two quarters, no doubt in part compensating for the loss of All-American wide receiver Dede Westbrook to a head injury in the first half.

Samaje Perine led all rushers with 239 yards on 37 carries.  It was a backfield stablemate, however, that delivered the backbreaker.

Trailing 31-20 early in the fourth quarter, OSU drove down inside the OU 25-yard line and had the opportunity to make it a one-score game with a field goal.  Senior Ben Grogan, though, missed from 38 yards out; on the very next play from scrimmage, Joe Mixon ripped of a 79-yard touchdown run that essentially sealed the win.

It was the longest run of his career for Mixon, who finished with 99 yards on the ground.

Baker Mayfield did work through the air, too, as the quarterback passed for 288 yards and three touchdowns.

With the win, OU staked is claim to an undisputed Big 12 title and finished unbeaten in conference play for the first time since 2004.  This is Stoops’ 10th career conference championship since coming to the Sooners in 1999; no other program has more than two titles since Stoops set up shop in Norman.

Stoops moved to within four of tying Bud Wilkinson‘s career record of 14 Big 8 championships. He needs three more to tie Nebraska’s Tom Osborne‘s 13 Big 8/12 titles, and two more to tie the dozen of another Sooner coaching legend, Barry Switzer.

The win also means that Oklahoma will play in the Sugar Bowl Jan. 2.  OU will, more than likely, face Florida in the game.  OSU, meanwhile, will probably meet Colorado at the Alamo Bowl.