Andrew Luck and the Stanford Cardinal face their biggest test of the season against the Oregon Ducks this weekend. A win would boost the Cardinal's BCS hopes and move them up the rankings. The more subtle side-effect of a Stanford win, however, is a primetime TV match-up against the Cal Golden Bears the following week.
The winner of Saturday's Stanford-Oregon game will receive the primetime game on ABC the week after, according to USC Athletics. Should Stanford win, the Cardinal will receive the more favorable TV slot (starting at 2:00 PT). Should Oregon win, the Ducks will take on USC during that same time.
The loser of Saturday's game will play in ESPN's late game that night. A Stanford win would push Oregon-USC to a 4:15 PT kickoff on ESPN while an Oregon win would do the same for the kickoff of Stanford-Cal.
Luck and the Cardinal now have an added incentive for Saturday's game: defeat their biggest opponent of the year and also guarantee increased national coverage heading into the season's final two games. The latter is a big plus for a team like Stanford that has found itself stuck behind LSU, Alabama and Oklahoma State in BCS discussion this year.
That prospect should excite Stanford and Cal fans alike for this year's version of the Big Game, though Luck and the other Cardinal will be focused on a much larger picture during Saturday's game.