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Sooners slide makes for interesting debate

It was darn nice of the new BCS Standings to throw a curve on its very first pitch. Miami sitting narrowly ahead of Oklahoma will get tongues wagging from South Beach to South Central, not far from the campus of No. 1 USC.

Still, I refuse to get worked up that the top two teams in both human poll are not the top two teams in the BCS Standings. There's too much time left to parse out the difference the slim margin that the Hurricanes, ranked second in the new standings, have over the Sooners.

The Fiesta Bowl would gain by getting Oklahoma, and would have to decide between Florida State's high ranking and West Virginia's ability to descend upon a bowl city with open wallets.

The most interesting wrinkle is Utah being only .0004 behind No. 6 Wisconsin. If the Utes finish in the top six, they will secure an automatic BCS bid. The Fiesta is a natural home for Utah, and, as things now stand, the team that would be left out would be Florida State.

The Seminoles are the highest-ranked team that doesn't lead a conference or qualify for an automatic bid. But the Rose Bowl would almost certainly take a 10-1, top-10 team from the University of California and the Pac-10 over Florida State, no matter how much time Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden reminds them that he would like to coach in the Rose Bowl.

There are seven undefeated teams remaining in Division I-A, five from the BCS conferences. The lowest-ranked of the five is Wisconsin from the Big Ten. Badgers coach Barry Alvarez refuses to perceive any slight.

"To me, so much can happen," Alvarez said Sunday evening. "I know this, we've had a motto all year of going 1-0. We're going to have our hands full this week. Last year, we went up there [to Northwestern] and got beat."

Alvarez also knows what the other coaches know. There may be seven undefeated teams now, but there haven't been more than two in one regular season in 11 years.

Ivan Maisel is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Send your question/comments to Ivan at ivan.maisel@espn3.com. Your e-mail could be answered in a future Maisel E-mails.