Florida State reclaimed the No. 2 spot in the BCS standings Sunday, jumping over Oregon on the strength of Saturday's 41-14 victory over Miami.
But that's about where the good news ends for the Seminoles.
With no more opportunities to face ranked teams until perhaps the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game, it's now Oregon's turn to make up ground in the strength-of-schedule department with an extremely important game on Thursday at Stanford. A win against the Cardinal, ranked No. 5 in the BCS and No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports coaches poll, would sufficiently boost Oregon's computer numbers to likely reclaim the No. 2 position opposite No. 1 Alabama in the BCS championship game on Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif.
On the plus side for Florida State, victories against No. 7 Clemson and No. 11 Miami within the last month have helped them steadily close the gap with Oregon in the human polls. Though the Seminoles are ranked No. 1 in six of the seven computer rankings used by the BCS, they're third in both the coaches and Harris polls, which make up two-thirds of the final formula.
In Sunday's coaches poll, however, Florida State picked up three first-place votes and was just 39 points behind Oregon, down from 64 last week. The narrowing of that gap indicates voters are going to have a tough time separating the Ducks and Seminoles, assuming they keep winning, as the season winds to a close.
Florida State's problem is it has no more big games left in which to make an impression. The Seminoles close with Wake Forest, Syracuse, Idaho and struggling Florida while Oregon still has Stanford, Utah, Arizona and Oregon State before the Pac 12 championship game.
Meanwhile, Ohio State remains No. 4 in the BCS standings while 7-0 Baylor fell from fifth to sixth during its bye week. The Bears face their first significant test Thursday against Oklahoma, ranked 10th in the BCS.
Also of note: The Southeastern Conference landed six of the top 15 and Fresno State (8-0, No. 16 BCS) would automatically qualify for a BCS bowl if the season ended today by virtue of ranking in the top 16 and ahead of a champion in an automatic qualifying conference. Central Florida, the projected champion of the American Athletic Conference, which has an automatic bid, came in at No. 21.