Cal's BCS average stands at .8431, down from last week's .8504, while UT's average climbed to .8418, up from last week's .8301. That leaves the Horns a miniscule .0013 behind the Golden Bears.
Like the last two weeks, if the BCS selection were held today, Texas would be out, but even a slight dip in the computer polls next week could drop Cal below the Horns, and given the Bears' mid-level opponent Saturday, that's not an unrealistic possibility. If Texas overtakes Cal for the No. 4 spot and all else remains the same, the Horns would be guaranteed an at-large berth (the other going to No. 6 Utah, with No. 5 Cal shut out).
Georgia (9-2), after a narrow win over Georgia Tech, jumped Boise State (11-0) for the No. 7 spot, effectively eliminating the nightmare scenario of both the Utes and the now No. 8 Broncos earning at-large bids by finishing in the BCS top six.
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The top two teams in the final BCS rankings will play for the national title in the Orange Bowl. The champions of six leagues -- the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-10 and the SEC -- receive automatic berths in one of the four BCS bowls (Orange, Sugar, Rose and Fiesta). There are also two at-large berths available to non-league champion teams from BCS conferences, to independents and to teams from non-BCS leagues. Utah, of the non-BCS Mountain West, will earn one of those at-large berths if it finishes at or above No. 6. So, if the season ended today, the Trojans and Sooners would play for the title, with Auburn (SEC), Michigan (Big 10), Miami or Virginia Tech (ACC) and Pittsburgh (Big East) the other automatic conference champion berths. The two at-large berths, as things currently stand, would go to Cal and Utah.
Match-ups this week with top level BCS implications:
USC (1) at UCLA
Oklahoma (2) vs. Colorado in Big 12 Championship Game
Auburn (3) vs. Tennessee (15) in SEC Championship Game
Cal (4) at Southern Miss
Louisville (9) at Tulane
Miami (10) vs. Virginia Tech (12)