Welcome to BCS Periscope No. 4, in which we take a look at the middle of the pack. There were no changes at all to the top 10 teams from last week's standings, although #4 Boise State drew closer to overtaking #3 Texas Christian. All of these squads have been previously seen at much loftier positions, but key losses mean they now are highly unlikely to compete for the top two positions in the BCS standings. Many of them, however, will still be seen playing on New Year's Day or thereabouts.
11. Alabama: The Crimson Tide are a prime example of a team which has been seen at a much higher place in the standings, having been as high as #6 in the BCS, and the #1 team for much of the beginning of the year in the Associated Press poll. Having already lost twice this season, the Tide's primary hope at this point is to play spoiler; they have the biggest game of the late season coming up when they host BCS #2 Auburn in the Iron Bowl. The Capital One Bowl appears to be their likely destination, with the Sugar Bowl still a possibility too.
12. Michigan State: Exhibit No. 2 are the Spartans, who made their BCS debut this season at #5; their loss to Iowa has proven to be their downfall for the moment. Sparty is still in the running for the Big Ten title, currently tied with one-loss Wisconsin (against whom they own the tiebreaker) and Ohio State (whom they do not play). Projections are mixed for Michigan State, anywhere from the Rose Bowl to the Capital One Bowl to the Outback Bowl.
13. Arkansas: The Razorbacks are another two-loss SEC squad who had loftier ambitions at the beginning of the season, before dropping games to Alabama and Auburn. The Hogs still have a pair of important SEC clashes to come, at Mississippi State and home against LSU. When all is said and done, Arkansas fans may have a pair of probable bowl destinations, either the Cotton Bowl or the Outback Bowl.
14. Oklahoma: How the mighty have fallen. The Sooners were ranked #1 in the first BCS standings of the season, then ran into a determined Missouri squad, who handed them their first loss. A subsequent loss to Texas A&M further damaged Sooner BCS aspirations; sending them to destinations ranging from Dallas (the Cotton Bowl) to San Antonio (Alamo Bowl) to Arizona (Insight Bowl or even the Fiesta Bowl). They'll need to get past Baylor and state rival Oklahoma State in order to get a prime postseason trip.
15. Missouri: The Tigers were ranked as high as sixth in the second week of the BCS, before back-to-back losses to Nebraska and Texas A&M sent them tumbling. Mizzou still has a slim chance to get to the Big 12 Championship, but they will need to win out over Iowa State on the road and Kansas at home, plus get some help. Expect to see the Tigers at the Insight Bowl, the Alamo Bowl, or possibly even the Cotton Bowl.