Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal managed to keep their BCS title hopes alive last week by pulling out a 56-48 triple overtime victory against the USC Trojans last week. As the season approaches its end, teams and analysts alike begin looking ahead to team finishes and bowl game implications. In his latest edition of the 2011 college football bowl projections, SB Nation's very own Bill Connelly predicts that Stanford will play Alabama for the BCS national title.
Connelly has the Cardinal remaining undefeated through the remainder of the season (13-0), including a victory in next week's big game against the Oregon Ducks. Stanford is projected to get by Oregon in a very tight game before running the table against the likes of Cal and Notre Dame.
Connelly projects that Alabama will defeat LSU this weekend and Oklahoma will defeat Oklahoma State in the final game of the season. The Cowboys pose the biggest threat to Stanford's title hopes right now. If both teams run the table and remain undefeated, Oklahoma State will likely take Stanford's spot in the title game.
The projections place Stanford as huge underdogs in the title game, giving Alabama a 93% chance of victory over the Cardinal. Those are overwhelming odds, but things rarely work out as scripted. Before Stanford can look ahead to the BCS title game, they will need to finish out the season with all wins. Stanford's biggest obstacle at this point appears to be next week's game against Oregon, the team that handed Stanford its lone loss of the season last year.
As bowl season approaches, check out the 2011 College Football Bowl Schedule.