Penn State thought all it needed to happen for it to advance in the Bowl Championship Series standings was to have Texas or Alabama lose. Wrong.
Texas Tech knocked off previous No. 1 Texas, 39-33, Saturday, but when this week’s BCS standings were released Sunday night, Penn State remained No. 3.
Alabama, the previous No. 2, moved up to No. 1. But Texas Tech leapfrogged Penn State to land at No. 2 in the latest BCS standings.
The top two teams in the BCS final standings play for the national championship Jan. 8 in Miami.
Penn State remains third in this week’s AP Top 25 media poll, also having been jumped there by Texas Tech.
The Nittany Lions (9-0) had an open week.
Penn State moved up to No. 2 in this week’s USA Today coaches poll.
The USA Today and Harris Interactive polls, along with six computer polls, are used to calculate the BCS standings.
Joe Paterno has spent the past two weeks declining to get caught up in BCS speculation.
“I’m for a playoff,” he’d said prior to the Ohio State game. “That’s not going to happen. What we have, we have.”
The past week, Paterno had insisted, “I’m thinking about Iowa.”
Texas Tech faces a difficult challenge to remain unbeaten in coming weeks, playing a pair of top 10 teams — once-beaten Oklahoma State at home on Saturday and at once-beaten Oklahoma Nov. 22 — before ending the regular season against Baylor. Texas Tech also would play in the Big 12 championship game if it wins those three games.
Penn State plays at Iowa (5-4) Saturday and finishes with home games against Indiana (3-6) and Michigan State (8-2).
2. Texas Tech
3. Penn St.
7. Southern Cal
9. Oklahoma St.
10. Boise St.
1. Alabama (46) — 9-0
2. Texas Tech (12) — 9-0
3. Penn St. (6) — 9-0
4. Florida (1) — 7-1
5. Texas — 8-1
6. Oklahoma — 8-1
7. Southern Cal — 7-1
8. Oklahoma St. — 8-1
9. Boise St. — 8-0
10. Utah — 9-0
Note: With record and first-place votes.