1. Of the four presumed national title contenders to go down this past week--USC, Florida, Georgia, Wisconsin--which team has the best chance to get back in the race by the end of the year?It has to be USC. The mainstream media is absolutely in love with Pete Carroll and his group of inmates. USC is #9 in the polls and has less ground to make up than the others listed. Also, USC has had 2 bye weeks already and has only played 3 games. If they march through their remaining 9 opponents they should be sitting at #2 or even #1. The fact that the PAC-10 has no championship game helps USC.
2. But what does this mean for Ohio State? Are they back in?
I think the voters in the polls know what they are doing. So, no- I don't think that they are back in it just yet. The voter would love to keep OSU out of the race, but they may have no choice if other top 10 teams keep slipping up. OSU isn't out of it, but they still have a slippery slope to climb.
3. Did the week that was open the door for any of the undefeateds out of some of the non-BCS conferences like the Mountain West or the Big East? (Yup, that's a cheap shot. Thanks, Virginia Tech for not allowing me to make it about the ACC.)
I think we may be jumping the gun a little early here. BYU is ranked #7 in the Coaches poll, but we will have still have to see how the computers shake that ranking up when the BCS rankings come out. There will definitely be a BCS "buster" this year, but they may not be allowed to play for the big prize just yet. That is a shame too. I would put the MWC from top to bottom, up against the PAC-10, The Big East, and the ACC. That is a very powerful conference that will do very well in the bowl season.