Florida State took firm hold of second place in Sunday’s BCS standings behind top-ranked Alabama and grabbed the inside track to the national championship game.
The Seminoles were in second last week, but seemed likely to get passed by Oregon if the Ducks could have remained unbeaten. Stanford, however, handed Oregon its first loss of the season Thursday and Florida State benefited.
The Seminoles (.9619) are a solid second in the USA Today coaches’ poll and Harris poll, and second in the computer rankings that make up the final third of a BCS average.
Ohio State (.8926) is third in the polls but fourth in the computers. The Buckeyes are closer to fourth-place Stanford (.8689) than Florida State.
Unbeaten Baylor (.8618) is fifth, not far behind the Cardinal.
In the AP poll, Florida State is No. 2, the Seminoles’ best ranking since 2000.
Alabama remained No. 1 and received 56 first-place votes from the media panel. Florida State got the other three first-place votes.
Ohio State is No. 3, followed closely by Baylor. Stanford is fifth. Oregon dropped to No. 6.
Notre Dame and Texas Tech dropped out of the rankings after losses and No. 23 Texas and No. 25 Georgia moved back in.
The Top 25 had 59 voters instead of its usual 60 because one of the voters was on a mandatory one-week furlough by his media outlet.
Jack of all trades
Late Saturday night in Tuscon, Ariz., freshman linebacker Myles Jack played offense, too, rushing for 120 yards on his first six carries of the season, including a 66-yard touchdown run to help now-No. 13 UCLA beat Arizona, 31-26.
On defense, Jack had eight tackles and recovered Ka’Deem Carey’s fumble in the UCLA end zone as the Bruins won in Tucson for the first time since 2003.
Brett Hundley passed for two touchdowns and ran for another as UCLA (7-2, 4-2 Pac-10) stayed a game behind first-place Arizona State in the Pac-12 South. Carey rushed for 149 yards on 28 carries for the Wildcats (6-3, 3-3), running his school-record string of consecutive 100-yard rushing games to 12.
The Bruins were without starting running back Jordon James, who aggravated a right ankle injury a week earlier against Colorado, and they turned to the 18-year-old Jack to fill in at crucial times.
Also Saturday night Derek Carr threw for 366 yards and four touchdowns, and Josh Quezada rushed for 105 yards and a score as now-No. 16 Fresno State defeated host Wyoming, 48-10, in Laramie.
Fresno State (9-0, 6-0 Mountain West) is one of six Top 25 teams that remain undefeated.
Wyoming (4-5, 2-3) is 0-15 against ranked teams under fifth-year coach Dave Christensen and hasn’t beaten a Top 25 team since 2002, when it defeated No. 24 Air Force.
Texas loses RB Gray, DT Whaley
Texas (7-2, 6-0 Big 12) announced running back Johnathan Gray and defensive tackle Chris Whaley each suffered season-ending injuries in Saturday’s 47-40 overtime win over West Virginia. Gray, third in the Big 12 in rushing with 780 yards and four touchdowns, tore his Achilles’. Whaley, who has 25 tackles and two sacks, suffered a knee injury . . . Valparaiso coach Dale Carlson was fired, a day after the Crusaders lost, 72-12, to Butler. Carlson was in his fourth season leading the program and departs with a 3-40 record. Assistant head coach Mike Gravier will serve as interim coach for the Crusaders (1-9).