1. Alabama (.984): Since allowing 42 points in their win over Texas A&M, the Tide defense has allowed a total of 16 in their past five games.
2. Florida State (.935): While the win over Clemson helped vault Florida State to No. 2, their margin over Oregon is incredibly slim. So strange as it may feel, Seminoles must root for Florida to recover and give their team another shot at a high-profile late-season win.
3. Oregon (.932): While they’re No.2 in both major polls, the Ducks find themselves third in the rankings that truly matter. After disposing of Washington State the Ducks don’t have a gimme on the rest of their slate, which reads vs. UCLA, at Stanford, vs. Utah, at Arizona, vs. Oregon State. Combined record: 25-8, with five of those losses coming to another team in that group.
4. Ohio State (.855): Buckeyes in real danger of starting the season at No. 2 in the polls, going undefeated, and somehow still being left out of the national title picture.
5. Missouri (.822): The Tigers’ rankings the last four weeks in the AP poll: unranked, No. 25, No. 14, No. 5. The BCS’s computers (which rank them second on average) say it’s about time you puny hu-mans caught on.
6. Stanford (.741): With pretty poll position and a marquee game against Oregon on the docket, the Cardinal are easily the current one-loss team best-prepared to make a charge at the BCS title game should the ‘Noles and Buckeyes falter.
7. Miami (.720): ’Canes happy the top-10 carnage let them waltz up the polls even after the narrowest of escapes at North Carolina.
8. Baylor (.712): With the Bears fourth in Jeff Sagarin’s margin-based “predictor” ratings and 18th in his margin-free formula for the BCS, no one is angrier that the BCS’s computers aren’t allowed to consider margin-of-victory.
9. Clemson (.625): To make the ACC Championship Game (and have any real shot at getting back in the national title race), Tigers need FSU to lose two of their last four ACC games, which include Miami … and 0-3 ACC N.C. State, 2-2 Wake Forest, and 1-2 Syracuse.
10. Texas Tech (.622): How much faith does Vegas have in the undefeated Red Raiders? They’ve opened as eight-point underdogs at struggling Oklahoma.