Kansas State moves to top of BCS rankings; Tigers remain at No. 7

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU head coach Les Miles celebrates the win after the second half of an SEC football game. LSU won 37-17.
Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- LSU head coach Les Miles celebrates the win after the second half of an SEC football game. LSU won 37-17.

Kansas State and Oregon are now on course to play for the BCS national championship.

After Alabama was upset by Texas A&M, the new BCS standings have the Wildcats (.9674) first and the Ducks (.9497) second.

Notre Dame (.9396) is third, not too far behind, but most likely in need of a loss by Oregon or Kansas State to reach the title game on Jan. 7 in Miami.

“These teams are in their order and the only way that order changes is if somebody gets beat,” said Jerry Palm, of CBS Sports and collegebcs.com.

LSU, which rebounded from its heartbreaking Nov. 3 loss to Alabama with a 37-17 win against Mississippi State, remained at No. 7 in the standings, behind Southeastern Conference rivals Georgia (No. 6) and Florida (No. 7).

As for Alabama’s run at three championships in four seasons, and the SEC’s string of six straight BCS titles, both are in peril.

Five SEC teams follow Alabama in the standings: Georgia, Florida, LSU, Texas A&M and South Carolina. But it will take a couple of upsets to give the SEC champion a shot to reach the BCS title game.

Kansas State is second in both BCS polls — the coaches’ and Harris — and in the computer rankings. The Wildcats have two games left, at Baylor on Saturday and home against Texas on Dec. 1, the day of most of the conference championship games.

Oregon is first in the both polls and fourth in the computer ratings. The Ducks have two more regular-season games left, against Stanford on Saturday and the next week at Oregon State. They can clinch the Pac-12 North and a spot in the conference title game with a win against Stanford. If they get there, the Ducks would play either UCLA or USC in the league title game.

If the Ducks and Wildcats can avoid the type of upset that dropped Alabama — and there are plenty of good teams left on their schedules — they will play for the national title.

The Fighting Irish are third in the polls and first in the computer ratings.

“Notre Dame is not going to jump (Oregon and Kansas State) without their help,” Palm said. “They’re way too far behind in the polls. The voters are not on board with Notre Dame.”

The Irish play Wake Forest on Saturday and are at USC two days after Thanksgiving.

Alabama (or Georgia or Florida, which could also both win the SEC with just one loss) needs two of the top three to lose to get to the title game no matter how it finishes.


BCS RANKINGS

1. Kansas State
2. Oregon
3. Notre Dame
4. Alabama
5. Georgia
6. Florida
7. LSU
8. Texas A&M
9. South Carolina
10. Florida State
11. Clemson
12. Oklahoma
13. Stanford
14. Nebraska
15. Texas
16. Oregon State
17. UCLA
18. USC
19. Louisville
20. Louisiana Tech
21. Michigan
22. Rutgers
23. Texas Tech
24. Oklahoma State
25. Washington