Projecting the BCS standings

Until somebody can knock them off, the Alabama Crimson Tide will be the nation's No. 1 team. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Saturday was a big day for the SEC.

Sure, a lot of national attention was given to a pair of top-10 matchups within that conference -- LSU at Florida and Georgia at South Carolina -- but the league's biggest moment of the day came courtesy of an ACC team not being able to handle its own moment of truth.

The blown lead and late loss by then-No. 3 Florida State (to North Carolina State) had far more significance to the national title race than most people realize, especially for teams in the SEC. Prior to Saturday, the Seminoles seemed to be the FBS team most likely to finish unbeaten, and even though they might have been low in the pecking order among the major-conference programs because of schedule weakness, they were still a lock to finish ahead of any one-loss team in the final BCS standings.

But with Florida State now registered in the loss column, the ACC appears to have removed itself from BCS championship contention. The Big Ten already had been out of the race for a couple of weeks before that, and the Big East -- let's be honest -- was never really in it. So, with the season having not quite reached its halfway point for most teams, it feels like the national title hunt is already down to just three conferences and Notre Dame.