Penn State players were cheering on Texas Tech as the Red Raiders pulled off a stunning upset of top-ranked Texas in the final seconds on Saturday.
Now they have no choice but to root against that same Texas Tech team.
Despite the Longhorns’ loss, Penn State remained stuck at No. 3 in the latest BCS standings, which were released Sunday evening. The Raiders used their 39-33 win over Texas to vault from No. 7 all the way up to No. 2, thanks predominately to a massive surge in the computer polls. Alabama moved up one spot to No. 1.
For the Lions to reach the BCS title game, they would more than likely have to win their last three games and hope either Alabama or Texas Tech loses a game.
The good news for Penn State is that the Raiders have a much tougher road to finishing unbeaten than Texas would have, improving their chances overall.
“I think there are four or five teams out there better than Penn State,” former Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer said on FOX’s BCS show. “I think there are four or five quarterbacks out there better than they have.
“But,” Switzer said, “I think they’re the only unbeaten team when it’s all said and done.”
Alabama sits first with a BCS average of .9747, followed by Texas Tech (.9372) and Penn State (.9286). They are the only three remaining unbeaten teams from BCS conferences. Texas (.8531) fell to No. 4, followed by Florida (.8268) at No. 5.
Oklahoma, USC, Utah, Oklahoma State and Boise State round out the top 10.
Though Penn State (9-0, 5-0 Big Ten) moved up a spot to second in both the coaches and Harris polls, they fell one rank in the computer average to fourth. Texas Tech is third in both human polls but tied with Alabama for first with the computers, enough to move the Raiders ahead of Penn State.
The Lions were idle this past weekend and return to action on Saturday against Iowa on the road. Penn State will close out the season at home against Indiana (Nov. 15) and No. 18 Michigan State (Nov. 22).
Alabama travels to No. 16 LSU Saturday and hosts Mississippi State and Auburn to close out the regular season. The Crimson Tide would then likely play the fifth-ranked Gators in the SEC title game.
Texas Tech hosts No. 9 Oklahoma State on Saturday before heading to No. 6 Oklahoma on Nov. 22, hosting Baylor on Nov. 29 and playing in the conference championship game -- likely against No. 14 Missouri -- in December.
Should all three unbeaten teams win out, Penn State would most likely head to the Rose Bowl to face the Pac-10 champion.
The national title game is Jan. 8 in Miami.