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Campus winners and losers

Andrew Luck of the Stanford Cardinal runs for

Andrew Luck of the Stanford Cardinal runs for 5 yards against the Washington Huskies at Stanford Stadium. (Oct. 22, 2011) Credit: Getty

LSU and Alabama are clear winners just for being Nos. 1 and 2 in the latest BCS poll. Truth be told, any team in the top 5 of the BCS, including No.3 Oklahoma State, No.4 Boise State and fifth-ranked Clemson are winners.

Stanford is also in great position. Aside from the fact that the Cardinal is 7-0, they still have games against USC, Oregon and Notre Dame left on the schedule. Considering the fact that LSU and Alabama play each other and Oklahoma State still has a game against Oklahoma, Stanford could find itself in the national championship game.

Oklahoma is the biggest of all losers this week. Getting dropped, 41-38, at home by Texas Tech was an absolute killer. It all but dashed their hopes for a national championship.

Texas Tech: Although beating Oklahoma won’t bring the Red Raiders any closer to the Big 12 title, it does give them bragging rights and a slight advantage in the recruiting wars.

Penn State: Don’t look now, but after its win at Northwestern and Wisconsin’s crazy loss to Michigan State, Penn State is in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten Leaders’ division. But it won’t be easy for Joe Pa’s crew as home dates with Illinois and Nebraska and road contests against Ohio State and Wisconsin await them over the next five weeks.

Syracuse: It would be the ultimate parting shot if Syracuse, which crushed West Virginia, 49-23 on Friday, were to win the Big East title. With most of its tough games in the rear view mirror, the Orange can think big. But road games with Louisville and Connecticut over the next two weeks won’t be easy.

Cincinnati: The Bearcats have flown under the radar all season. After improving to 6-1 (2-0) with a win at South Florida, Cincy has sole possession of first place in the Big East. But games against West Virginia, Syracuse and Rutgers await the Bearcats over the next five weeks. There is also a road game against Pittsburgh on November 5.

Oklahoma: Losing at home to Texas Tech didn’t knock the Sooners out of the running for the Big 12 championship since they play at Kansas State next Saturday and still have Oklahoma State on the schedule, but it all but dashed any hopes of winning a national title.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers got hammered by Syracuse. They are still in the mix for the Big East title, but they looked so defeated in that game on Friday, you have to wonder if there is enough juice left in the tank to finish the season on a high note.

Georgia Tech, Illinois: Both teams took conference losses they couldn’t afford. Illinois is especially in trouble with Purdue, Wisconsin and Penn State ahead of it. Georgia Tech is still in second place behind Virginia Tech in the ACC Coastal Division. But the Yellow Jackets have a home game with Clemson next week. A loss in that game makes their showdown against Virginia Tech on November 10 moot.

Colorado: Wow, maybe we should’ve stayed in the Big 12. We can’t remember a worse home loss by Colorado, which was destroyed, 45-2, by No.10 Oregon. The Buffs (1-7) look clueless on and off the field. They’ve given up 37, 31, 48, 42 and 45 points over their last five games. It doesn’t get much uglier than that.

Maryland: That emotional win against Miami on Labor Day is now a distant memory. The Terrapins have lost five of their last six games. And that lone victory was against Towson.


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