Nebraska's embarrassing 70-31 loss to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship dropped the Cornhuskers from 13th in the coaches Top 25 to 21st, opened the door for Boise State and Northern Illinois to rise into the top 16 and could wind up costing Oklahoma, Nebraska's old rival, a spot in the Sugar Bowl.
From The Associated Press:
Northern Illinois moves up two spots in the USA Today coaches' poll to No. 16, a boost that could help the Huskies earn a BCS bid.
Boise State is also in the hunt to be a BCS buster again. BSU held at No. 15, but gained points, after winning a share of the Mountain West title on Saturday.
The Huskies (12-1) beat Kent State in the Mid-American Conference championship game on Friday to move into position to be a BCS buster for the first time.
The Huskies, who were 21st in the BCS standings last week, and Broncos (10-2), who were 20th, need to reach the top 16 to be eligible for an automatic BCS bid.
The higher ranked of the two would go to the Bowl Championship Series.
What this means: Northern Illinois would go to the Orange Bowl, Louisville slides into the Sugar (the Orange Bowl has the last pick for BCS at-large teams since it hosts the BCS title game this season) and Oklahoma would end up in Cotton Bowl, playing Georgia or LSU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. (Update: Austin American-Statesman quoted the Cotton Bowl's Tommy Bain on Saturday night saying LSU was "the favorite in the clubhouse" for the Cotton Bowl.)
Whether Northern Illinois or Boise State, two former TCU bowl rivals, get into the top 16 will be revealed when the BCS standings will be announced at 7:30 CST tonight on ESPN.
-- Vince Langford