Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE
The Oregon Ducks probably control their BCS national championship fate despite falling another spot in the latest BCS rankings.
The BCS rankings have been released, and the Oregon Ducks are 4th overall, dropping a spot to make the way for Kansas State. Oregon romped Arizona State in a matter of minutes, but it probably wasn't quite as much of a statement as the Wildcats going into Morgantown and shutting down Gino Smith and his West Virginia crew. While an undefeated SEC team almost certainly would get in, the fate of the second team is a bit more hazy.
Is this a bad sign for Oregon?
Maybe, but probably not.
Kansas State plays two more ranked opponents on their schedule in Texas Tech and Texas, and it's not clear how long either of them will stick around (both of them are hanging onto top 25 spots). Oregon gets Stanford at home, a road rivalry game with Oregon State, and potentially two games with the Trojans if they can get the championship rematch. Win all those games, and they will definitely get the edge over Kansas State in the human polls, which comprise two-thirds of the BCS vote.
The Wildcats also don't have the benefit of a conference championship game. The Ducks will. Having that 13th game could make all the difference in the final calculations, particularly if it's a rematch with a top 25 opponent like USC.
And (irony of ironies), Kansas State cancelled their appointment with Oregon in Autzen. Winning that matchup would have given either of those two teams the signature win they needed to be assured they'd be one of the final two BCS bids.
Could Notre Dame leap into the race and move past both of them? It's definitely worth looking into, but I'd guess Oregon holds the cards to their own fate, particularly if they beat Stanford and USC more impressively. It's something to watch out for, but I wouldn't be overtly concerned yet.