As the Stanford Cardinal prepare to take on Arizona State this afternoon, fans are likely scoreboard watching to see how the rest of the BCS top ten handled their business today. Stanford has to take care of its own business in Arizona, but that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look at the scoreboard around the nation.
There haven’t been a lot of upsets today but there have been some close games that could benefit Stanford’s attempts to get into some kind of BCS bowl. Barring a stunning collapse by Oregon, Stanford won’t win the Pac-10, which means they have to rely on an at-large berth. However, the higher they can get their BCS ranking, the harder it will be for the BCS to deny them a bid.
Excluding Oregon and Nebraska (both about to kick off), all the teams around Stanford have won their games. However, two close games could benefit Stanford in the various rankings. Auburn and TCU both had close matchups today that they ended up pulling out.
While margin of victory is technically not factored into any rankings, the coaches poll and the Harris poll often reflect ugly wins. Even if Auburn and TCU remain second and third, they could very well lose some votes to Stanford. The computation of the coaches and Harris poll reflect the number of votes each team receives, which means Stanford could improve their BCS standing without improving their ranking in either of the polls.
Stanford could also benefit from changes in the computer rankings. Although TCU won, their strength of schedule took a bit hit today when Utah was easily handled by Notre Dame. TCU had to be hoping Utah would win the rest of their games, but this loss definitely hurts. Although this may not seem like a big issue for Stanford, every point counts. Of course, Stanford still has a game of their own to win tonight. If they can dispatch Arizona State handily, they should only benefit.