The bottom line is that Clemson still has an outside shot at the Sugar Bowl.
After that, the postseason is a muddle beyond the clear-cut either/or at the top.
College football's playoff doesn't begin until 2014; but in fact, this week's Alabama-Georgia SEC championship game will serve as a semifinal, with the winner facing Notre Dame.
The loser will likely fall out of this season's BCS scenario altogether.
BCS rules prevent any conference from claiming more than two of the 10 available BCS bowl spots. That takes a big bite out of the SEC, which has six of the nation's top 10-ranked teams, and precludes BCS bowls for No. 7 LSU, No. 9 Texas A&M and No. 10 South Carolina.
Florida, meanwhile, is sitting pretty to grab the SEC's spot in the Sugar Bowl ahead of the Alabama-Georgia loser.
Clemson sits at No. 14 in the BCS Standings, and ranks 10th among teams still with a shot at BCS spots. The Tigers' main competition for an at-large bid is Oklahoma, which is ranked three positions ahead of Clemson.
For a team from a BCS conference to be eligible for an at-large bid, it must be ranked in the top 14 of the NCS Standings and have won at least nine games.
The rules are different for teams from non-Automatic Qualifying conferences. Three contending teams - No. 17 Kent State, No. 20 Boise State and No. 21 Northern Illinois - can automatically claim one of the at-large spots by finishing in the top 16 of the BCS Standings.
Kent State (.2512 BCS rating), which is tucked in behind Oregon State (.3790) and UCLA (.3340), has the best shot at the top 16, but is still a long shot, mathematically. Should one of the non-AQ conference teams make the top 16, it would likely end up in either the Sugar Bowl or the Orange Bowl.
Clemson stands on solid ground in 14th place (.4570), but is still well behind Oklahoma (.6129), which plays at TCU on Saturday.
Upcoming games can still have a significant effect on the BCS bowl lineup. Kent State plays Northern Illinois for the MAC title this week, while Nebraska plays Wisconsin for the Big Ten's Rose Bowl spot, and UCLA faces Stanford for the Pac-12's berth. The Florida State-Georgia Tech winner will represent the ACC in the Orange Bowl, while the Louisville-Rutgers winner will claim an at-large spot as Big East champion.
Kansas State can claim the Big 12 championship by beating Texas. The Big 12 champion will play in the Fiesta Bowl, almost certainly against Oregon.
At this point, Clemson's most likely bowl destination appears to be the Chick-fil-A Bowl in Atlanta, against either LSU or Texas A&M - by far the most attractive match-up available for an ACC team this bowl season (though without the BCS payday).