Taking advantage of Boston College's first loss of the season, the Tigers moved into second place in the Bowl Championship Series standings released Sunday.
Undefeated Ohio State (10-0) is still in first, and could lock up a second straight appearance in the BCS national championship game on Jan. 7 with victories against Illinois and Michigan in its last two games.
LSU (8-1) has at least three games left and probably four with the Southeastern Conference title game on Dec. 1. Winning out could get the Tigers a spot in the title game at the Superdome in New Orleans.
That's no lock.
Third-place Oregon (8-1) and fourth-place Kansas (9-0) are close enough to at least have a shot at passing the Tigers, even if LSU doesn't drop a game.
The BCS could be heading for a repeat of last season, when Ohio State locked up the top spot the week before Thanksgiving and several teams jostled for the other spot over the next two weeks.
It came down to Florida and Michigan and the Gators got the votes they needed to pass the Wolverines in the final BCS standings. The outcome didn't sit well with Michigan and showed the glaring flaws in the Bowl Championship Series.
The system hasn't changed and the problem of trying to chose between several worthy contenders to play in the title game could come up again in the coming weeks.
LSU has a BCS average of .941. The Tigers are second in both the Harris and coaches' poll, which makes up two-third of a BCS average, and are No. 2 in the computer ratings.
[to top of second column]
Oregon's BCS average is .918 and Kansas is at .843. The surprising Jayhawks still have a big game against sixth-place Missouri left on the schedule and a possible Big 12 championship game. Winning both would give Kansas' numbers a substantial boost.
Oklahoma's average is .839. Missouri, West Virginia, Boston College, Arizona State and Georgia round out the top 10.
In the AP Top 25, the first five teams are Ohio State, LSU, Oregon, Oklahoma and Kansas.
LSU, which has been living on the edge for the past month, won another close game Saturday. The Tigers came from behind to beat Alabama 41-34.
Oregon didn't have nearly as tough a time against Arizona State. The Ducks beat the previously undefeated Sun Devils 35-23 behind Dennis Dixon's four touchdown passes.
Kansas routed Nebraska 76-39 and Oklahoma pounded Texas A&M 42-14.
If all these teams keep winning, how impressively they go about their business could determine which gets a shot at the title.
Hawaii is in 16th place this week, still four places short of where the Warriors need to finish to earn an automatic bid to a big-money bowl game.
[Associated Press; By RALPH D. RUSSO]
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This
material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or