The Alabama Crimson Tide did everything in their power in the first quarter of the 2010 Iron Bowl to help the Stanford Cardinal get into the Rose Bowl, but came up short in a tough 28-27 loss to the Auburn Tigers. Alabama took a 24-0 lead early in the second quarter but squandered numerous scoring opportunities and blew the game late.
While the Auburn win didn’t deal a huge blow to Stanford’s Rose Bowl chances, it certainly did not help them. In a nutshell, the BCS bowl rules based on the current BCS standings would require the Rose Bowl take either Boise State or TCU to face the Big Ten champion. Stanford could get another at-large bid but the odds are not great on that front. Had Auburn lost, Boise State or TCU would have potentially moved into the No. 2 spot and the national title game. If Boise or TCU is in the national title game, the Rose Bowl would not be required to take the other one, and they could go with a traditional Pac-10/Big Ten matchup.
This is all of course assuming Stanford wins tomorrow when they host Oregon State at Stanford Stadium. The Beavers are coming off a beat down of the USC Trojans and will look to get an even bigger notch in their belt tomorrow in Palo Alto.
There are two big games remaining this afternoon and this evening. The No. 1 Oregon Ducks host the No. 21 Arizona Wildcats, while the No. 4 Boise State Broncos travel to No. 19 Nevada. Stanford might actually prefer an Oregon win at this point. If Oregon were to lose to Arizona, they’d likely drop out of the national title game. However, they’d get the Rose Bowl bid no matter what else happens. Stanford could still get an at-large bid, but the odds would likely be even smaller if Oregon is in the Rose Bowl. I doubt Oregon loses this afternoon, but it’s something to keep in mind.