The No. 1 Oregon Ducks used a strong second half to blow out the Arizona Wildcats 48-29, solidifying their own spot in the BCS standings and avoiding unnecessary damage to the Stanford Cardinal bid for a BCS bowl bid. The Ducks trailed most of the first half and went into halftime down 19-14. However, as most likely expected, the Oregon offense caught fire and blew past Arizona in the second half.
Although Oregon’s win does not change the BCS rankings, it probably benefits the Stanford Cardinal as much as any win could. Oregon’s win will keep them in the No. 1 spot in the BCS standings and in line for the BCS National Title game. If Oregon had lost to Arizona there would have been absolute chaos in the BCS. I bring all this up because Oregon still has to win the Civil War next week against Oregon State, and thus this could all still happen.
An Oregon loss to Arizona (and now Oregon State next week) would have dropped the Ducks out of first place in the BCS, but the question is how far they’d drop. Anti-BCS folks would love to see a 1-loss team end up ahead of Boise State and TCU because that would go to show the little guys can’t get into the title game. If Oregon held on to the No. 2 position, Stanford would be no worse for wear. However, if Oregon were to lose and drop out of the top two positions, they would automatically slot into the Rose Bowl because of their Pac-10 championship. If that happened, it would be all the more difficult for the Cardinal to land an at large bid in one of the other BCS bowls, thus sending Stanford to the Alamo Bowl.
It’s fairly unlikely Oregon loses next week, but it’s something worth considering given some of the crazy upsets this week in college football. In the meantime, No. 4 Boise State is currently up 10-0 at No. 19 Nevada. The Broncos have one more game next week but this is their last real challenge of the regular season. A win could be enough to move them past TCU into the No. 3 spot in the BCS standings. If that happens, they would then slot into the Rose Bowl.