The weekend turned out great for the Bowl Championship Series poo-bahs. Oklahoma lost, Miami rolled and Ohio State escaped, leaving only two undefeated teams, the perfect scenario for the BCS and its complicated formula.
Somewhere, BCS architect Roy Kramer is smiling.
If Miami, which yesterday became a unanimous No. 1 in both major polls, and Ohio State win their remaining games, there won't be any controversy regarding which teams belong in the Fiesta Bowl championship game.
Miami has a week off before closing with Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Virginia Tech. Ohio State finishes with Saturday's game at Illinois and a Nov. 23 game against rival Michigan. Win those games and the Buckeyes can sit back for two weeks and wait to learn their opponent in the desert.
It sounds simple enough.
But if this season has proven anything, it's that the expected often doesn't happen. And should the Hurricanes or Buckeyes slip, the jockeying already is underway, with Washington State and Texas the likely benefactors.
The Cougars, off their 32-21 victory over Oregon, jumped Texas to move up to No. 3 in the Associated Press media poll and could hold the same position when updated BCS standings are released tonight. Texas is No. 4 in both polls (though it shares the ranking with Oklahoma in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll).
Oklahoma, Texas and Washington State will round out the top five in the BCS ratings, but in what order won't be known until tonight. And that might leave the Longhorns in position to claim a spot in the Fiesta Bowl without playing in their own conference championship game.
Kyle Boller threw five touchdown passes as California beat then-No. 25 Arizona State, 55-38, the Golden Bears' third road victory against a ranked opponent this season. . . . Carson Palmer had four touchdown passes, leading No. 8 Southern California to a 49-17 rout of Stanford. Palmer, who has 13 touchdown passes in the Trojans' past three games, had 61 in his career, breaking the school record of 58 set by Rob Johnson. . . . No. 12 Michigan scored 24 consecutive points during a seven-minute span in the second half and beat Minnesota, 41-24. . . . Freshman Tyler Ebell became the second player in school history to rush for at least 100 yards in six consecutive games in UCLA's 37-7 victory over Arizona. Ebell had 124 yards and two touchdowns as the Bruins won their third in a row. . . . Bobby Walker intercepted two passes in a span of three plays from scrimmage and returned both for touchdowns in No. 11 Kansas State's 58-7 thrashing of Iowa State.
Coaching Moves Pay
Perhaps one of the season's best -- and most difficult -- coaching moves happened off the field. In late September, after a 13-3 home loss to No. 13 Virginia Tech, Texas A&M Coach R.C. Slocum took the offensive coordinator position away from quarterbacks coach Dino Babers and gave the job to wide receivers coach Kevin Sumlin. The switch appears to have been a good one.
Texas A&M has not scored fewer than 23 points since and the Aggies rallied to beat then-No. 1 Oklahoma, 30-26, on Saturday. In seven games with Sumlin as offensive coordinator, Texas A&M is averaging 35.7 points and has moved from 106th to 42nd in total offense among Division I-A teams.
Lost amid Michigan State's implosion is the fact that wide receiver Charles Rogers might be the nation's best player. Rogers caught two touchdown passes Saturday, giving him a school-record 25 for his career in the Spartans' 56-21 victory over Indiana. . . .
If not for a 36-29 overtime loss to Cincinnati on Sept. 2, in which the Bearcats scored 14 points in the final six minutes of regulation, No. 25 Texas Christian might be in the hunt for a BCS bid. The Horned Frogs have won eight in a row since that season-opening collapse, including Saturday's 17-10 victory over Tulane. . . . John Edwards passed for 282 yards and three touchdowns, leading Montana to a 31-24 victory over Sacramento State, the Grizzlies' 24th consecutive victory, tying the NCAA Division I-AA record for longest winning streak.