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College Football Rankings: USA Today Coaches Poll Bumps Stanford To No. 9

The Stanford Cardinal football team’s bid to climb in the BCS standings has begun with a nice jump in the USA Today/Coaches Poll. After hovering in the middle of the Top 25 for the last month, Stanford climbed from 12th to 9th, surpassing Alabama, Utah and Oklahoma.

Stanford’s remaining schedule doesn’t provide much in the way of rankings boosters, but they’re all important games nonetheless. Stanford travels to Arizona State next weekend and then to Cal for The Big Game the following weekend, before wrapping up the season versus Oregon State. It’s safe to say a victory knocking Stanford out of a potential BCS bowl would make up for what has been an ugly season at Cal.

As for the teams ahead of Stanford, there remain some potential upsets that could move them up a few spots. No. 7 Ohio State travels to Iowa, No. 6 LSU travels to #18 Arkansas, and No. 2 Auburn has to travel to Alabama in the always tough Iron Bowl. Another option would see LSU winning out, Auburn losing to Alabama, and then LSU losing in the SEC title game.

Every potential loss helps the Cardinal as they need to make up some ground in the rankings if they want to get into a BCS bowl. The Pac-10 will likely have Oregon in the national title game, so Stanford needs to get as high as possible if they want to get the Pac-10 a second BCS berth.

Here’s the full USA Today / Coaches poll this week:

1. Oregon
2. Auburn
3. TCU
4. Boise State
5. Wisconsin
6. LSU
7. Ohio State
8. Nebraska
9. Stanford
10. Michigan State
11. Oklahoma State
12. Alabama
13. Iowa
14. Arkansas
15. Utah
16. Oklahoma
17. Virginia Tech
18. Mississippi State
19. Arizona
20. Missouri
21. Nevada
22. South Carolina
23. Central Florida
24. Florida
25. Texas A&M