Cincinnati is a big winner after a crucial win over Pitt, while Arkansas gets the nod after jumping Oregon in the BCS standings. The Razorbacks have put themselves in position to potentially grab a BCS at-large berth. Alabama's loss to LSU may have knocked them out of the national championship race. Stanford, despite losing, 38-13, to Oregon State is a loser. The Cardinal can thank Arizona State for that after losing to UCLA.
Arkansas: The Razorbacks (8-1, 4-1) switched places with Oregon in the latest BCS standings and is No.7. It is a significant move because if Alabama loses in any of its last three games at Mississippi State, home against Georgia Southern and on the road against Auburn, and Arkansas runs the table, the Razorbacks could be the second SEC team to get a BCS Bowl bid. Granted we can’t see Alabama losing to Mississippi State or Georgia Southern, and should be favored against Auburn, but you never know.
Cincinnati: Most will agree that the Big East has been a jumble for most of the season. Someone has finally emerged among the chaos to take place at the top. Cincinnati (7-1, 3-0) edged Pitt, 26-23, on Saturday night. It might’ve been the Bearcats most important win of the season. The win gave Cincy a half-game over Louisville and 1 ½ game lead over West Virginia, who they host next Saturday at noon on ABC. Since the Bearcats beat Louisville earlier this season, they would hold any tiebreakers.
Houston: The Cougars (8-0, 5-0) just keep on winning. By virtue of moving up two places to 11th in the latest BCS rankings, Houston, if it wins the Conference USA championship and stays in the BCS top 12, it is guaranteed a BCS Bowl berth.
LSU: The Tigers (9-0, 6-0) are undefeated, just finished beating the No.2 team in the country and are No.1 in the BCS poll. There's nothing more to say.
Oklahoma State: Just jumping to the No.2 spot in the BCS standings makes the Cowboys a winner. And with no Big 12 title game, Oklahoma State (9-0, 6-0) controls its own destiny. To stay a winner, however, Oklahoma State must survive a three-game stretch that includes road games against Texas Tech and Iowa State and a home contest against Oklahoma.
Alabama: Sure, the Crimson Tide (8-1, 5-1) only fell to No.3 and could still finish among the top two if LSU slips up, but Oklahoma State, Stanford and Boise State are all undefeated. While there are some who have reported that Stanford couldn’t overtake Alabama if both squads run the table, Oklahoma State will almost certainly stay at No.2 if it finishes the season undefeated. Not having a Big 12 championship game actually helps the Cowboys in this scenario, because it eliminates any chance of them getting upset by an inferior opponent. That notwithstanding, an Oklahoma State loss could open the door again for the Crimson Tide.
South Carolina: Losing, 44-28, at Arkansas on Saturday have ended South Carolina’s national championship hopes. The Gamecocks (7-2, 5-2) could still make the SEC title game, however, if Georgia (7-2, 5-1) loses again.
Stanford: Stanford (9-0, 7-0) is a loser after drubbing Oregon State, 38-13? Yes. Arizona State losing to UCLA was the worst thing that could’ve happened to Stanford. Now the Cardinal, assuming it can beat Oregon, could end up playing an underwhelming UCLA team in the Pac-12 championship game, which does nothing to help its BCS championship game hopes.
West Virginia: The Mountaineers (6-3, 2-2) can forget about an at-large BCS Bowl berth. Can they salvage the Big East championship and gain an automatic bid? Yes, but only if they run the table and Cincinnati loses its next four conference games and Louisville, which topped the Mountaineers in dramatic fashion, 38-35, drops two of its final three. The chances of that happening are between zero and zilch.