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BCS Rankings: Penn State Remains Tops In Region, But Not By Much

The weekly look at the BCS standings and local power rankings finds Penn State on top again, but the lead is slipping.

For the first time in BCS history, the Top Ten teams did not move from their rankings last week. Seriously. Boise State jumped TCU in both human polls, but barring a meltdown in Eugene or eastern Alabama, the BCS title game will feature the Oregon Ducks and the Auburn Tigers (Cam Newton's eligibility notwithstanding).

Similarly, nothing changed in the SBN Pittsburgh local power rankings. Despite a 38-14 loss to Ohio State, Penn State remains on top. A West Virginia win coupled with another disappointing Pitt loss shakes up both our local rankings and the Big East title race.

The Polls/Computer Rankings

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As expected, no local team is in the BCS rankings, though the appearance of both Penn State and West Virginia in the "Receiving Votes" category of the Harris Poll is somewhat surprising. Penn State only fell 2.5 points in the computers, while Pitt's loss to UConn cost them 11 spots with the computers. West Virginia's win helped them move the most, jumping 15.75 points from last week's rankings.

The conference power rankings became muddied a bit, with the SEC dropping a team from last week and the Big 12 gaining a ranked team. Unfortunately for the Big East, they are once again without a BCS ranked team. Mathematically, there is a possibility of a 7-5 Big East champion playing in a BCS bowl. Add in the possibility of an undefeated Boise State or TCU not making the BCS Championship Game, and a college football playoff may be gaining more and more support.

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SBN Power Rankings

Local Teams

  1. Penn State - Two very impressive halves played by this team over the past two games; unfortunately, they were the second half against Northwestern and the first half at Ohio State
  2. West Virginia - Bounced back nicely from consecutive losses to stay alive in the Big East title race and setting up an increasingly interesting Backyard Brawl
  3. Pitt - Despite controlling their own destiny in the Big East, the loss to UConn could not have come at a worse time, with two road games and the Backyard Brawl left to play

National Conferences

  1. SEC
  2. Big Ten
  3. Big Twelve
  4. Pac 10
  5. Non-AQ
  6. ACC
  7. Big East

Looking Ahead

West Virginia - @ Louisville (Saturday, noon, ESPN3.com)
Pitt - @ South Florida (Saturday, noon, ESPN2)
Penn State - vs. Indiana @ FedEx Field in Washington DC (Saturday, noon, Big Ten Network)

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.