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EUGENE, OR - NOVEMBER 6: Running back LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks looks for some running room as he is surrounded by defensive end Kalani Aldrich #50 and linebacker Victor Aiyewa #41 of the Washington Huskies in the second quarter of the game at Autzen Stadium on November 6, 2010 in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks won the game 53-16. (Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)
The Oregon Ducks and the Auburn Tigers retained their hold on the top two spots of the current BCS rankings, but there are couple of Cinerellas waiting in the wings and any wrong-footed steps by the favorites could lead to a crashing of the bowl season's ball.
Third ranked TCU put some space between themselves and fourth ranked Boise State by pasting the previously unbeaten, sixth-ranked Utah 47-7 on Saturday. The Horned Frogs gained some ground on Oregon and Auburn as well with the win.
"The bottom line is that they put themselves on a different plateau," said TCU coach Gary Patterson after beating the Utes in Salt Lake City. "They have to finish the season and we can only control what we can control. But I thought they mad a statement. Everybody else in the country, when they go into someone else's house in a big game, they usually end up getting beat."
To get into the BCS title game, TCU or Boise State will need one of the programs in front of them to lose. Oregon faces a 5-4 Cal, squad, then, following a bye, close out with No. 18 Arizona and Oregon State.
Auburn, fresh off destroying Chattanooga 62-24, still has several big tests ahead. Georgia and No. 11 Alabama stand in the way of the Tigers before they can get into the SEC title game, though a win against either will secure their spot. Should Auburn hold on, they would play either No. 22 South Carolina or No. 24 Florida for the right to go to a BCS game.
But the Broncos of Boise State are not completely out of the picture, either. They crushed Hawaii but their toughest remaining test comes on November 12 against No. 21 Nevada. Given their somewhat weak schedule strength, there's little way for Boise to move up outside of several upsets for the teams ahead of them.
One team that saw its dream of returning to the BCS for a second straight year dashed was Alabama, who suffered their second loss of the season to LSU, 24-21. The Tigers are the highest one loss team in the rankings, are are followed by Wisconsin, Stanford, Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State to round out the top 10.