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One-loss SEC teams battle Ohio State, history

Florida State and Ohio State are in position to play for the BCS national championship, though Auburn and Missouri are close enough in the BCS standings to put pressure on the Buckeyes.

FSU grabbed the top spot in the BCS standings released Sunday after Alabama relinquished it for the first time this season.

The Crimson Tide's loss at Auburn dropped Alabama to fourth. Ohio State is second and Auburn is third. Missouri is fifth. Auburn and Missouri, both with one loss, meet in the SEC title game Saturday, but the winner might not get enough of a boost to catch the unbeaten Buckeyes. Ohio State faces Michigan State in the Big Ten title game.

FSU is first in the coaches' poll and Harris poll, and rated No. 1 in the compilation of six computer rankings used in the BCS standings. The Seminoles' .9948 BCS average makes them a lock to get to the title game in Pasadena, Calif., on Jan. 6 if they win the ACC title game Saturday.

An unbeaten team from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC and Big East, now the American Athletic Conference) has never been shut out of the national championship game by a team with a loss.

Jerry Palm, who analyzes the BCS for cbssports.com, said there is no reason to expect the unprecedented to happen.

"I think the voters would have to abandon Ohio State, and that's never happened in the history of the BCS," he said Sunday.

But the SEC, which has won the past seven BCS championships, won't go quietly.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs started lobbying for the SEC's one-loss champion moments after the Tigers' 34-28 win Saturday over Alabama. He told reporters it would be "a disservice to college football" if a one-loss SEC champion did not play for the national title. "That has to happen," Jacobs said.

Auburn Gus Malzahn said he is just focused on Missouri this week but added: "Our league is the top league in college football."

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel: "Any one-loss team in the SEC (should be considered) just because of the strength of schedule. Hopefully that will be taken into consideration."

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was asked Sunday about what looks like another BCS controversy before a four-team playoff is implemented next season. He sidestepped a chance to promote the Buckeyes, saying: "I think America is ready for a playoff."

Meyer said running back Dontre Wilson and offensive lineman Marcus Hall, who were ejected from Saturday's win over Michigan for fighting, will not be suspended for the Big Ten title game, though the conference still could weigh in.

UCF, in line to win the American Conference and earn its first BCS bid, is ranked 16th and plays SMU on Saturday. A UCF loss could create a three-way tie for the AAC title with Cincinnati and Louisville that would be settled by the BCS standings. Louisville is 19th, and Cincinnati is unranked.

In the Associated Press poll, Alabama fell to No. 4 but its string of consecutive top-five rankings reached 47, breaking a tie for fourth with the early 1990s Miami teams. The record for consecutive AP top-five rankings is 55 by Miami from 2000-2003.

Iowa State: Offensive coordinator Courtney Messingham and running backs coach Kenith Pope were fired.

wyoming: Coach Dave Christensen reportedly was fired. In five seasons he was 27-35 with two bowl appearances. Christensen's buyout is $570,024.

Late Saturday

ARIZONA ST. 58, ARIZONA 21: D.J. Foster ran for 124 yards and two touchdowns, and the Sun Devils routed their rival to earn homefield advantage in this week's Pac-12 Championship Game against Stanford. Arizona State seeks its first Rose Bowl trip since a Jan. 1, 1997, loss to Ohio State.

One-loss SEC teams battle Ohio State, history 12/01/13 [Last modified: Sunday, December 1, 2013 10:57pm]

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