By Ralph D. Russo/The Associated Press
Alabama was No. 2 behind LSU and ahead of Oklahoma State in the latest Associated Press college football poll.
The Cowboys cut deeply into the Crimson Tide’s lead after beating Oklahoma 44-10 to earn the Big 12 title while Alabama was idle.
Last week the Tide received every second-place vote and 1,440 points, while Oklahoma State received 1,286 points.
This week, the Tide received 38 second-place votes and 1,418 points and the Cowboys got 22 second-place votes and 1,400 points. Two voters had Oklahoma State fourth.
The final BCS standings will come out later Sunday. The AP poll is not used in the BCS standings. The Harris and coaches’ polls are.
In the USA Today coaches’ poll, Alabama was No. 2, ahead of No. 3 Oklahoma by 22 points. The Harris poll was due out later.
LSU was guaranteed to hold the top spot in the standings, but whether Alabama or Oklahoma State will be second is in question.
LSU (13-0) for the fourth straight was a unanimous No. 1 in the AP poll.
The Pac-12 has teams 4-6 with Stanford, Southern California and Oregon. Arkansas is No. 7, followed by Boise State, Big Ten champion Wisconsin and South Carolina.
Previously unbeaten Houston dropped from No. 7 to No. 20 after losing to Southern Mississippi
Kansas State is No. 11, followed by Michigan State, which lost the Big Ten championship game to Wisconsin.
No. 13 is Michigan and ACC champion Clemson is 14th.
Baylor moved up four spots to No. 15.
TCU is No. 16, followed by Virginia Tech, which lost the ACC title game 38-10 to Clemson, Georgia, which was beaten 42-10 in the SEC championship game and Oklahoma at No. 19.
After Houston at No. 20, the final five are Nebraska, Southern Miss, West Virginia, Penn State and Florida State.