TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- It shouldn't come as a shock that Alabama remains in the driver's seat as college football's No. 1 team in the updated BCS standings. A nationally televised 44-13 beat down at Tennessee on Saturday night only furthered the Crimson Tide's championship resume. But what happened behind UA might come as a surprise.
SEC foe Florida held serve at No. 2, but the third team in the standings changed, as Oregon slipped to No. 4 and Kansas State climbed up a spot to No. 3 after beating No. 19 West Virginia handily in Morgantown, W.Va. Notre Dame rounded out the top five.
The Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0) remain at No. 1 despite facing only one team ranked in the top 25 of the BCS. The first BCS rankings last week did not include Michigan, but a last-minute victory over Michigan State on Saturday vaulted the Wolverines to No. 22.
The Crimson Tide are No. 1 in the Harris Interactive College Football Poll and USA Today coaches' poll, which are the other two pieces of the BCS standings formula.
The computer rankings place Alabama at No. 4, trailing Florida and Notre Dame. Part of the reason could be a lackluster strength of schedule. UA has the 35th-most-difficult schedule in college football when factoring in past and future opposition.
Alabama's resume includes three solid victories away from Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa:
A 41-14 win versus No. 22 Michigan
A 52-0 win at Arkansas
A 44-13 win at Tennessee
Alabama still has regular-season games remaining against three more teams in the top 20 of the BCS standings:
vs. No. 11 Misssissippi State on Saturday
at No. 6 LSU on Nov. 3
vs. No. 20 Texas A&M on Nov. 10
Alabama can secure the SEC West crown by going undefeated in the next three contests, as the LSU Tigers already have one loss on the season. A head-to-head tiebreaker would give LSU the title if Alabama lost in Baton Rouge and both teams were to end the regular season with identical records. Texas A&M, Arkansas and Ole Miss each have two conference losses this season.
Alabama also has games against Western Kentucky and Auburn remaining.
If Alabama were to make it to the SEC Championship Game, it likely would face either No. 2 Florida or No. 10 Georgia. The Bulldogs and Gators will face one another in Jacksonville, Fla., this weekend.