Eight teams still have at-large hopes

Southern California (No. 20 BCS, No. 24 AP), LSU (No. 15 BCS, No. 17 AP) and Miami (No. 17 BCS, No. 19 AP) are among eight teams that cannot earn an automatic BCS bid, but are still in contention for an at-large invite to a marquee bowl game.

BCS officials announced Tuesday that a total of 20 teams are still in the running for spots in the national championship game and the Rose, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange bowls.

Ten teams, including No. 1 Florida, No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Texas, are in position to earn an automatic BCS bid as a conference champion or an at-large pick.

Either No. 6 Boise State or No. 4 TCU could earn an automatic bid by winning its non-automatic qualifying conference and finishing in the top 12 on the final BCS standings. Both are eligible for an at-large selection if they don't get an automatic bid.

Joining USC, LSU and Miami as teams still in the mix solely for BCS at-large bids are Brigham Young (No. 19 BCS, No. 18 AP), Iowa (No. 11 BCS, No. 13 AP), Oklahoma State (No. 12 BCS, No. 11 AP), Penn State (No. 13 BCS, No. 12 AP) and No. 14 Virginia Tech.

Among the teams playing for automatic bids as conference winners over the next two weeks are Oregon (No. 8 BCS, No. 10 AP) and No. 16 Oregon State, which will meet Dec. 3 to decide the Pac-10 champion; No. 7 Georgia Tech and Clemson (No. 18 BCS, No. 15 AP), which will play in the ACC championship game on Dec. 5; Texas and Nebraska, which will play for the Big 12 title on Dec. 5; and Florida and Alabama, meeting in the SEC title game on Dec. 5.