BCS Standings Unchanged With Auburn No. 3
Auburn needs an upset. The Tigers are still stuck behind first-place Southern California and second-place Oklahoma in the Bowl Championship Series standings, heading into the final weekend before the national title game is decided.
Third-place Auburn needs to beat Tennessee in the Southeastern Conference title game Saturday and hope for USC to lose at UCLA or Oklahoma to fall in the Big 12 title game against Colorado to earn a spot in the Orange Bowl and play for the BCS championship.
USC improved its BCS grade in the standings released Monday to .9834, and padded its lead over the Sooners (.9611). The Tigers have a grade of .9342.
While Oklahoma and Auburn were idle last week, the Trojans beat Notre Dame 41-10 to regain some support in The Associated Press Top 25 and coaches poll.
The polls each count for a third of a team’s BCS grade. A compilation of six computer rankings are used to determine the other third.
USC holds a big lead in both polls, ahead of No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 3 Auburn. The Sooners and Tigers are separated by a total of only 17 points in the two polls, but the BCS computers have pegged Oklahoma as the No. 1 team in the country with USC second and Auburn third.
California (.8431) barely held on to the fourth spot, ahead of Texas (.8418), after the Longhorns ended the season with a 26-13 victory over Texas A&M last week.
The Golden Bears will lock up a spot in the BCS by beating Southern Mississippi on Saturday. The Bears would play in the Rose Bowl for the first time in 45 years if USC ends up in the Orange Bowl.
Texas is again on the verge of being left out of the BCS, despite being ranked among the top teams.
Sixth-place Utah (.8224) is guaranteed an at-large bid as a team from a non-BCS conference with a top-six finish in the BCS standings. The Utes (11-0), from the Mountain West Conference, finished their season two weeks ago and are sure to become the first team from a mid-major conference to play in the BCS.
Last season, Texas was bumped from an at-large BCS bid when Kansas State upset Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game to give the Wildcats an automatic berth and make the Sooners an at-large team.
Boise State (.6510) dropped from seventh to eighth in the BCS standings behind Georgia (.6948). The Broncos (11-0) from the Western Athletic Conference were trying to join Utah in the top six and grab a spot in one of the four bowl games worth more than $14 million.