College Football Rankings: Stanford Football Stumbles Down After Fiesta Bowl Loss

We break down all the scores, news and polls as the week 15 BCS rankings are determined. For more on Stanford, check out Rule of Tree.

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College Football Rankings: Stanford Football Finishes No. 7 In AP, Coaches Poll

The Stanford Cardinal are finishing the season on a rough note. After climbing up as high as number three in the polls this year, a small loss to Oklahoma State has knocked them down the totem pole a few notches. The Cardinal finished seventh in both the AP and Coaches Poll.

Stanford was displaced by Oregon (winners of the Rose Bowl, and of course winners of their head-to-head matchup), Arkansas (Cotton Bowl champions), and USC (idle due to bowl sanctions) in the AP Poll. It's unclear exactly why the Cardinal dropped behind a team they beat head-to-head, but so it goes. USC isn't eligible for the Coaches Poll because of their bowl probation, so it was Boise State who ended up leapfrogging Stanford after their demolition of hapless ASU in the Maaco Las Vegas Bowl. Kind of feels like Stanford dropped a spot too many in each poll, doesn't it?

To discuss Stanford football, go to Rule of Tree.

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BCS Rankings, Week 15: Stanford Set To Battle Oklahoma State In 'Third Place' Game

The final BCS rankings of the 2011 college football regular season are out and the national championship is set between LSU and Alabama. Oklahoma State did all they could, but their beatdown of Oklahoma was not enough to get them past Alabama in the Week 15 BCS Rankings. They finished .0086 behind Alabama in the final rankings.

Stanford secured the fourth spot in the BCS rankings as they had no chance of moving up without an Oklahoma State loss. Fittingly enough, the fourth ranked Cardinal will face the third ranked Cowboys in the 2012 Fiesta Bowl. It acts as a sort of third place game, although the winner of the game is likely going to finish the season second in the BCS.

Stanford wrapped up a strong season that will still leave them wondering what could have been. They didn't lose a squeaker to Oregon, but it is still frustrating to come up just short of the national championship game. Nonetheless, the Fiesta Bowl is a fine game and with a win Stanford will finish with their highest BCS ranking in school history.

Here is the top ten in the Week 15 BCS Rankings:

1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma State
4. Stanford
5. Oregon
6. Arkansas
7. Boise State
8. Kansas State
9. South Carolina
10. Wisconsin

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College Football Rankings: Stanford Gets Handfull of No. 3 Votes in AP Poll

According to CBSSports.com's Bryan Fischer, there were a few voters in the AP Poll this week that felt that Oklahoma State was not fitting of the No. 3 spot this week, instead giving their vote to the Stanford Cardinal as the third best program in the nation this year. 

Bill Cole (Winston-Salem Journal) and Jeremy Sampson (WLIX East Lansing) both voted Stanford 3rd, Oklahoma St 4th. Only ones to put OSU 4th.
Dec 04 via TweetDeckFavoriteRetweetReply

 

The folks over at Pollstalker created this data to show the differential between the AP voters and where they placed Alabama and Oklahoma State on their respective ballots,  which Cole and Sampson were indeed the only ones to place them in the fourth slot this week, and were the only two to vote them both No.3 and No. 4.

If the Card could have made it to that No. 3 spot, it could have bolstered their chances at one of the top BCS Bowls, though their likely landing spot, the Fiesta Bowl, is nothing to complain about. Nevertheless, some voters placed Stanford as low as No. 8 on their ballots, further showing the wide margin of opinion between the voters.  

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College Football Rankings, Week 15: AP Poll Leaves Stanford Locked In At Fourth

The close of the 2011 college football season has brought a little bit of drama as we wait to see if Oklahoma State passes Alabama in the BCS rankings. Although Bama was inactive, Oklahoma State drilled Oklahoma and there was a chance it was enough to get them past the Tide.

The Week 15 AP Poll has been released and while it is not a part of the BCS rankings, it often mirrors the Harris Poll which is a part of the BCS rankings. If the Harris Poll reflects the AP Poll, Oklahoma State might come up just short. The Cowboys gained a lot of ground, but remain 18 votes behind the Tide. It will likely come down to whether the BCS computers give them enough of a bump.

Stanford actually lost two votes this week, but remained firmly in place at number four and is just about locked in at the number four spot in the BCS rankings. If Oklahoma State remains third, Stanford's fourth rankings will guarantee them a bid in a BCS bowl. They are a strong at-large candidate, but getting an automatic bid removes the drama.

Here are the top ten in the Week 15 AP Poll:

1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma State
4. Stanford
5. USC
6. Oregon
7. Arkansas
8. Boise State
9. Wisconsin
10. South Carolina

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College Football Rankings, Week 15: USA Today/Coaches Poll Have Oklahoma State Leapfrogging Stanford

The college football regular season (minus Army/Navy) came to a close on Saturday with conference championship weekend providing a host of ugly beatdowns. The close of the week means we get the final polls leading up to Sunday evening's final BCS rankings.

The Week 15 USA Today/Coaches Poll was released and Oklahoma State has started to make their move as they hope to leap Alabama in the BCS rankings. The Cowboys climbed from No. 5 to No. 3, leapfrogging Stanford and getting another spot thanks to Virginia Tech's loss. The big question is whether it will be enough to climb past Alabama, and right now it is looking like Oklahoma State will come up just shy.

If Oklahoma State comes up short, Stanford secures an automatic bid to a BCS bowl because of their fourth-place ranking and Oklahoma State's potential third place ranking. Stanford will not move in the BCS rankings later this afternoon, so they are looking more and more likely to be headed to the 2012 Fiesta Bowl, where they likely will face Oklahoma State. That should make for quite the matchup. Bet the over.

Here are the top ten according to the Week 15 USA Today/Coaches Poll:

1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma State
4. Stanford
5. Oregon
6. Boise State
7. Arkansas
8. Wisconsin
9. South Carolina
10. Kansas State

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BCS Rankings Predictions, Week 15: Stanford Locked In At No. 4

The 2011 college football season is just about wrapped up and the Stanford Cardinal appear to be locked in at no better than the fourth position. Virginia Tech's loss to the Clemson Tigers means nobody will jump ahead of Stanford. Additionally, Oklahoma State's victory over Oklahoma means nobody will fall behind Stanford.

The ability to finish fourth in the BCS rankings is likely to guarantee Stanford a shot in a BCS bowl, with the Fiesta Bowl being their likely destination. Oklahoma State's beatdown of the Oklahoma Sooners opens the door for a possible change in the BCS, but it is hard to tell if a 44-10 victory is enough to leap the Cowboys over the Alabama Crimson Tide. My personal guess is it was not enough, but if the voters feel some overwhelming urge to have an LSU-Oklahoma State national title game, who am I to argue?

As it currently stands in my mind, we are looking at a Stanford-Oklahoma State Fiesta Bowl. LSU will likely face Alabama in the national title game and Oregon will face Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Clemson and West Virginia won their respective conferences and we could potentially see TCU get into the mix as well. It should make for an intriguing Sunday afternoon.

Here are my projected top ten in the BCS:

1. LSU
2. Alabama
3. Oklahoma State
4. Stanford
5. Boise State
6. Oregon
7. Arkansas
8. Kansas State
9. South Carolina
10. Wisconsin

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Oklahoma State Vs. Oklahoma: Could Cowboys Victory Screw Stanford?

The Oklahoma State Cowboys ran roughshod over the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday evening, winning their annual Bedlam game and snapping an eight-game losing streak. The Cowboys entered the game ranked third in the BCS with most folks figuring Alabama would be locked in to the number two position and the accompanying bid in the national title game. However, the Cowboys put together a very impressive win as they throttled the Sooners 44-10.

The question now is if that win was enough to convince the voters to move them past Alabama in the BCS rankings. The BCS computers do not factor in strength of schedule, but the USA Today/Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll are voted on by human beings that sometimes cannot help but be impressed by a beatdown of a supposedly strong opponent.

Those two human polls comprise two-thirds of the BCS rating. Oklahoma State was fifth in both polls and will climb at least one spot due to Virginia Tech's loss. The question is whether they will also climb past Stanford and Alabama with the victory. If they climb to number two in both human polls, there is an excellent chance they would climb ahead of Alabama in the BCS. Let the conspiracy theories begin!

For the Stanford Cardinal, such a scenario raises a whole other set of questions. With Virginia Tech losing, Stanford is guaranteed no worse than a fourth place finish in the BCS. If Oklahoma State remains third, Stanford is guaranteed a BCS bowl bid. Since they did not win they are unlikely to move ahead of anybody. If Oklahoma State climbs into the number two position, Alabama drops to third and takes Stanford's automatic BCS bid. Stanford is still an extremely strong candidate as an at-large and likely gets a BCS bid. Nonetheless, with no guarantees, it leaves Stanford sitting on the edge of their seat until the BCS selection show Sunday evening.

For more on Stanford football and their BCS possibilities, head over to Rule of Tree.

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2011 Bowl Projections: Virginia Tech Loss Solidifies Stanford BCS Bowl Chances

The BCS No. 4 Stanford Cardinal took a solid step towards solidifying a BCS bowl bid Saturday evening thanks to the Clemson Tigers. The Tigers defeated the BCS No. 5 Virginia Tech Hokies with relative ease and assured Stanford that Tech would not climb past them in the BCS rankings. If Oklahoma State remains third in the BCS, a fourth place BCS ranking for Stanford automatically qualifies them for a BCS Bowl bid.

Had Virginia Tech won, there was still a chance they might move ahead of Stanford if the computer ratings fell the right way. Instead, both BCS No. 5 Virginia Tech and No. 6 Houston lost. While crazy things could still happen with the BCS computers, it is safe to say Stanford will remain fourth.

The big question mark now is if Oklahoma State will be able to do enough against Oklahoma to convince voters to move them ahead of Alabama. It is unlikely, but possible that Oklahoma State could climb past Alabama into the number two spot. If that happens, Stanford would lose their automatic qualifying status as Alabama would grab that at No. 3 (see the BCS selection procedures).

If Oklahoma State remains third, Stanford would be looking at a spot in the Fiesta Bowl facing Oklahoma State. The Fiesta Bowl usually takes the Big 12 champ and an at-large candidate. Given Stanford's west coast location, it would make sense to get them there. At the same time, Stanford went east to the Orange Bowl last year, so it remains to be seen where exactly they will end up. Even if they lose that automatic qualifying status, they should still end up with one of the at-large bids.

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Pac-12 Championship Game: Oregon Removes One More Potential Stanford Stumbling Block

The Oregon Ducks wrapped up their 2011 regular season with a victory over the UCLA Bruins in the inaugural 2011 Pac-12 Championship Game. The Bruins looked like they might hang around early in the game, but Oregon's high-flying offense was too much for UCLA to contain. Darron Thomas put together a solid game, but LaMichael James was the star of the game. James rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 49-31 Ducks win.

Oregon's victory earns them the 2011 Pac-12 championship and the accompanying bid in the 2012 Rose Bowl. Oregon will face the winner of Wisconsin and Michigan State who play in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday. UCLA will likely end up in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.

The Oregon win removes one more potential stumbling block if Stanford falls out of the top four in the new BCS rankings this Sunday. Stanford should remain in the top four, but if they fell behind Virginia Tech, they still have a shot at a BCS bowl as an at-large candidate. Had UCLA pulled the upset, Stanford would have found themselves competing with Oregon for an at-large bid. Given that Oregon travels better than Stanford and has the Nike empire behind them, that could made things a little more difficult.

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Week 14 College Football Schedule: Pac-12, ACC Championship Games Could Impact Stanford Bowl Scenario

We break down all the scores, news and polls as the week 15 BCS rankings are determined. For more on Stanford, check out Rule of Tree.

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