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Are planets aligned for BCS?

The planets seem to be aligned and everything appears to be ready to drop into place for the Bowl Championship Series, where the system can produce a title game in the Rose Bowl between the only unbeaten teams in the nation.

So can the BCS officials smile these days?

"It ain't over yet," BCS expert Jerry Palm said. "You will have to wait until Sunday to see if they're still smiling." There's still a final week left, and Palm said if they're not worried "they should be."

That's because at least three games could still rock the BCS bowl picture.

Southern Cal and Texas have been No. 1 and 2 all season in the BCS rankings, but USC (11-0) still has to beat UCLA (9-1) on Saturday at the L.A. Coliseum, and Texas (11-0) meets Colorado (7-4), a team it destroyed 42-17 earlier this season, for the Big 12 title in Houston.

Two years ago, No. 1 Oklahoma fell to Kansas State in the Big 12 title game, but the Sooners had such a big lead in the BCS rankings they still qualified for the BCS title game, which they lost to LSU.

That probably wouldn't happen if USC falls this weekend, because the polls make up two-thirds of the BCS rankings now after having made up one-fourth of the BCS rankings then. With a loss USC would take a bigger hit in the polls.

"If they vote the way they traditionally do, USC would fall all the way to fourth or fifth," Palm said. "There's another reason USC would fall further than Oklahoma did. When Oklahoma lost there was no other undefeated team, and only two other one-loss teams. This year the next three teams after Texas — Penn State (10-1), LSU (10-1) and Virginia Tech (10-1) — all have one loss, and UCLA has one loss."

The odds are with the BCS, though.

Since its inception eight years ago, only one No. 1 team has lost its final game (and Oklahoma still played for the title) and only two No. 2's have fallen in the final weekend.

UCLA was No. 2 in 1998 when the Miami Hurricanes ruined the Bruins' season by beating them 49-45, and Tennessee was No. 2 in 2001 when LSU knocked off the Vols 31-20 in the SEC title game.

The final BCS rankings come out Sunday, and that's when the bowls will announce where teams are going.

The BCS officials are also holding their breath over the Florida State-Virginia Tech ACC title game. After losing to Florida 34-7, FSU fell out of the BCS top 25. But the Seminoles (7-4) can get to the Orange Bowl if they beat the fifth-ranked Hokies (10-1).

"If they upset Virginia Tech it's a disaster for the BCS, because Florida State clearly doesn't belong in a BCS bowl," Palm said.

Barring upsets this weekend, the BCS bowl picture is pretty clear. USC and Texas would meet in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 4 for the title, and the Orange Bowl would have No. 3 Penn State against No. 5 Virginia Tech. The SEC champ (likely No. 4 LSU) will meet Big East champ West Virginia in the Sugar Bowl.

The Fiesta Bowl gets the first at-large pick and is expected to take Notre Dame, and then take Ohio State (9-2) with its other at-large pick.