Pollin' It: The Title Picture Narrows

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Two plays have Ohio State in prime position for a spot in the title game.

AP Poll

Rank Team Record Votes Previous
1 Florida State (58) 12-0 1,498 2
2 Ohio State 12-0 1,418 3
3 Auburn (2) 11-1 1,387 4
4 Alabama 11-1 1,294 1
5 Missouri 11-1 1,281 5
6 Oklahoma State 10-1 1,197 7
7 Stanford 10-2 1,067 8
8 South Carolina 10-2 1,066 10
9 Baylor 10-1 1,020 9
10 Michigan State 11-1 1,002 11
11 Arizona State 10-2 843 13
12 Oregon 10-2 815 12
13 Clemson 10-2 813 6
14 LSU 9-3 690 15
15 UCF 10-1 621 17
16 Northern Illinois 12-0 596 18
17 UCLA 9-3 510 22
18 Oklahoma 9-2 503 20
19 Louisville 10-1 482 21
20 Duke 10-2 348 24
21 Wisconsin 9-3 299 14
22 Texas A&M 8-4 186 19
23 Texas 8-3 156 NR
24 Fresno State 10-1 124 16
25 Georgia 8-4 111 NR
Others Receiving Votes: Cincinnati 45, USC 28, Miami (FL) 26, Notre Dame 26, Iowa 23, Vanderbilt 16, Washington 6, Minnesota 2, North Dakota State 1

Coaches Poll

Rank Team Record Votes Previous
1 Florida State (58) 12-0 1,546 2
2 Ohio State (4) 12-0 1,462 3
3 Auburn 11-1 1,437 5
4 Alabama 11-1 1,333 1
5 Missouri 11-1 1,315 6
6 Oklahoma State 10-1 1,248 7
7 South Carolina 10-2 1,100 9
7 Baylor 10-1 1,100 8
9 Michigan State 11-1 1,037 11
10 Stanford 10-2 1,034 10
11 Clemson 10-2 853 4
12 Oregon 10-2 843 12
13 Arizona State 10-2 765 18
14 LSU 9-3 720 15
15 Oklahoma 9-2 660 17
16 Louisville 10-1 625 16
17 UCF 10-1 572 19
18 Northern Illinois 12-0 547 20
19 UCLA 9-3 473 22
20 Duke 10-2 402 24
21 Wisconsin 9-3 266 14
22 Fresno State 10-1 215 13
23 Cincinnati 9-2 167 25
24 Texas 8-3 149 NR
25 Texas A&M 8-4 121 21
Others Receiving Votes: Miami (FL) 47, Georgia 41, Vanderbilt 18, Iowa 13, Marshall 13, USC 10, Washington 6, Virginia Tech 4, Minnesota 4, Notre Dame 3, Ball State 1

So, that happened.

Michigan came within a two-point conversion of upsetting then number three Ohio State at home and removing the Buckeyes from the national championship game discussion.  Shortly thereafter, Auburn pulled off the upset thanks to one of the best special teams plays of the year.

Now, barring anything crazy, Ohio State is one of two representatives in the BCS title game.

The other, as it stands now is Florida State, which has been leveling opposing teams and just has to take down Duke in the ACC Championship game to secure a chance to play for the title.

Now, to the craziness.  First, Ohio State doesn't have its ticket punched just yet.  The Buckeyes will have to face a very dangerous Michigan State team in Indy this weekend.  A loss would knock Ohio State out of Pasadena twice, once for the national title game and a second by barring any chance the Buckeyes have at the Rose Bowl proper.  Ohio State probably still sneaks into an at large bid.

However, even a win against MSU might not be enough, as a pair of one-loss SEC teams face off in the SEC Championship game.  Auburn could use a convincing win over Missouri to catapult itself into the title game over OSU if the BCS computers and polls cooperate (right now Auburn is narrowly number three in both human polls, only one of which counts).  Don't count out SEC hegemony just yet.

And of course, there is always a chance that Ohio State and Auburn both lose and it comes down to a decision between one loss SEC champ Missouri and one loss Alabama.  Oklahoma State looms in the background as well.

So, plenty of drama next weekend.

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