Stanford Ranked Fourth In the BCS, All But Assured Of An At-Large Bid

After Stanford took care of Oregon State and received help from Nevada and Arkansas this weekend, we provide predictions for the BCS standings, as well as a look at all the polls as they're unveiled.

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5 Total Updates since November 28, 2010
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Stanford Cardinal Ranked #4 In the Week 14 BCS Rankings, On Verge Of Automatic Qualifier Bid

Jim Harbaugh has his Stanford Cardinal in the driver's seat after an astonishing 11-1 season. The new BCS rankings have been released, and they've held off Wisconsin for that all-important fourth spot that could send them to one of the big money bowls. Click HERE for the new BCS rankings..

TeamBCS Average
1 Auburn .9779
2 Oregon .9777
3 TCU .9167
4 Stanford .8413
5 Wisconsin .8185
6 Ohio State .7632
7 Arkansas .7189
8 Michigan State .6980
9 Oklahoma .6780
10 LSU .6067
11 Boise State .5805
12 Missouri .5148
13 Nebraska .5071
14 Oklahoma State .4630
15 Virginia Tech .4396
16 Alabama .4201
17 Nevada .4043
18 Texas A&M .3910
19 South Carolina .3817
20 Utah .2254
21 Florida State .2125
22 Mississippi State .1630
23 Arizona .0713
24 West Virginia .0542
25 Northern Illinois .0482

 

With Stanford, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Arkansas and Michigan State's seasons all but concluded, it's hard to imagine the Cardinal will be any lower than fourth in the final BCS rankings. Thus, this little-known rule will come into effect:

The fifth rule states that If any of the 10 slots remain open after application of provisions 1 through 4, and an at-large team from a conference with an annual automatic berth for its champion is ranked No. 3 in the final BCS Standings, that team will become an automatic qualifier, provided that no at-large team from the same conference qualifies for the national championship game.

The sixth rule states that if any of the 10 slots remain open after application of provisions 1 through 5, and if no team qualifies under paragraph No. 5 and an at-large team from a conference with an annual automatic berth for its champion is ranked No. 4 in the final BCS Standings, that team will become an automatic qualifier provided that no at-large team from the same conference qualifies for the national championship game.

Thus after the TCU Horned Frogs get picked as the non-automatic qualifier school, the Cardinal will be next in line and will have to be picked due to the sixth rule. Stanford will be an automatic qualifier, and will head to a BCS bowl regardless of whether any bowls want to take them (due to the serious concerns of attendance issues by the Cardinal fans). At this moment, a few bowls are looking likelier than others...but more on that in a bit.

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College Football Rankings, Week 14: BCS Component Harris Poll Mirrors USA Today/Coaches Poll Top Ten

Earlier today we saw the USA Today/Coaches Poll move the Stanford Cardinal up to No. 5 in the nation, just behind the Big Ten champion Wisconsin Badgers. The second component of the BCS standings, the Harris Interactive College Football Poll, was just released and reflects this rise in its own rankings (PDF). The rankings bumped Wisconsin up a spot to fourth, but Stanford gained even more ground in moving fifth and will only benefit when the BCS standings are released later this afternoon.

These two developments have me all the more convinced that Stanford will be in that pivotal fourth spot in the BCS rankings. As we've mentioned before, if Stanford finishes third or fourth in the BCS and the Oregon Ducks go to the national title game, the Cardinal are guaranteed a spot in a BCS bowl. At this current pace, the Cardinal seem to be a lock to be ranked fourth this week. And with seasons complete for Wisconsin, Stanford and Ohio State, that should lock in Stanford to no worse than fourth.

Full poll is as follows:

  1. Oregon
  2. Auburn
  3. TCU
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Stanford
  6. Ohio State
  7. Michigan State
  8. Arkansas
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Boise State
  11. LSU
  12. Virginia Tech
  13. Nebraska
  14. Missouri
  15. Nevada
  16. Oklahoma State
  17. South Carolina
  18. Alabama
  19. Texas A&M
  20. Florida State
  21. Utah
  22. Mississippi State
  23. West Virginia
  24. Northern Illinois
  25. Arizona
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College Football Rankings, Week 14: Stanford Climbs To No. 5 In USA Today Coaches Poll, Should Boost BCS Standings

The first college football rankings related to the new BCS standings was released as the USA Today/Coaches Poll made some changes in week 14. Stanford was the biggest beneficiary this week as they climbed from No. 8 to No. 5 courtesy of Boise State and LSU both getting upset this weekend. More importantly for the Cardinal is the fact that Wisconsin climbed only one spot to No. 4 and Stanford leapt Ohio State, pushing them back to No. 6.

In the BCS rankings, Stanford was ranked ahead of both Wisconsin and Ohio State. By gaining more ground than both of those schools it should only boost their BCS rating this week. Wisconsin did gain some points due to the Boise State and LSU losses, but Stanford made a bigger game and should benefit accordingly.

There is only one week left in the 2010 regular season but it would require some decent upsets for there to be much change in the Coaches Poll next week. Oregon travels to Oregon State for the annual Civil War while Auburn hosts South Carolina in the SEC championship game. Oregon is unlikely to lose to Oregon State, although a rivalry game could bring out a crazy upset. The more likely upset would be South Carolina dropping Auburn. The Tigers struggled immensely this weekend against Alabama and the Ol' Ball Coach could surprise them. An Oregon upset would hurt Stanford's BCS chances since Oregon dropping out of the national title game would move them into the Rose Bowl. However, an Auburn loss would actually improve Stanford's chances of reaching the Rose Bowl since TCU would likely move into the national title game.

Full poll is as follows:

  1. Oregon
  2. Auburn
  3. TCU
  4. Wisconsin
  5. Stanford
  6. Ohio State
  7. Michigan State
  8. Arkansas
  9. Oklahoma
  10. Boise State
  11. Virginia Tech
  12. LSU
  13. Nebraska
  14. Missouri
  15. Oklahoma State
  16. South Carolina
  17. Nevada
  18. Texas A&M
  19. Alabama
  20. Florida State
  21. Utah
  22. Mississippi State
  23. Northern Illinois
  24. West Virginia
  25. Central Florida
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