The Big Ten and the BCS standings

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The newest BCS standings are out, and Penn State paid a price for its loss to unranked Iowa. The Nittany Lions slipped from No. 3 to No. 8 after suffering their first setback of the season. Their computer numbers are struggling (tied for 10th), and the voters have slotted them outside the elite group of national championship contenders.

None of this is a surprise. Penn State players and coaches all but acknowledged their hopes for a national championship disappeared at Kinnick Stadium.

Ohio State remained at No. 11 in the standings despite a 35-point road win at previously ranked Northwestern. Michigan State moved up three spots to No. 15 after improving to 9-2. And that's it for the Big Ten.

Assuming that Penn State wins its final two games and the Big Ten's BCS tiebreaker that goes with it, Ohio State's position will be interesting to watch if the Buckeyes win out. The final BCS at-large spot could come down to Ohio State and a second non-BCS team (Utah or Boise State). The powers-that-be from the big bowls would have a hard time not choosing the Buckeyes, who boast a sizable fan base and a roster filled with future NFL players.

So despite Penn State's loss, the Big Ten remains in good shape to get two teams into BCS bowls.