No luck for Big 12 in the new BCS rankings

Kansas State needed a whole parade of dominoes to fall to get back in the national title race after a loss to Baylor last week.

It didn't get any of them. Every team ahead of the Wildcats in the BCS rankings held serve this week, and there won't be any BCS title drama on the final weekend of the season for the Big 12. Notre Dame will play the winner of the SEC title game.

Still, there's another story that should scare Big 12 folks near the bottom of the poll. Per BCS rules, Kent State, who lost to Kentucky by 33 earlier this season, could conceivably knock Oklahoma out of the BCS. The Big 12 really caught no breaks in this week's BCS rankings.

Rule 3 of the BCS states:

The champion of Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt Conference, or the Western Athletic Conference will earn an automatic berth in a BCS bowl game if either:

  • A. Such team is ranked in the top 12 of the final BCS Standings, or,

  • B. Such team is ranked in the top 16 of the final BCS standings and its ranking in the final BCS standings is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the BCS bowls.

That could mean there's one less at-large bid left, and Kent State is sitting at No. 17 in this week's poll. The Golden Flashes, who lost to Kentucky by 33 this year, face No. 21 Northern Illinois in this week's MAC title game. If Kent State wins that game, the BCS might await, and Oklahoma may have to pay the price, even if it beats TCU this week.

Rough week for the Big 12 in the BCS. There's no guarantee Oklahoma would be the team that got booted, but for now, the No. 11 Sooners are near the bottom of the BCS at-large barrel, but wouldn't have an automatic bid. A Kansas State loss might kick the Wildcats out of the BCS picture altogether, and a Sooners win would give OU the Big 12's automatic bid.

There won't be any BCS title drama for the Big 12 this year, but there will be a lot of nervousness for the league's efforts to get two teams into the BCS for the first time since 2008.