The Stanford Cardinal are really capitalizing on a dominant victory over the formerly No. 15 Arizona Wildcats. After stagnating at the No. 13 spot in the rankings, the Cardinal were the biggest climbers in the Week 11 BCS standings. The newest rankings have Stanford climbing from No. 13 to No. 6 thanks to some key losses and some less than stellar victories ahead of them.
Losses by Alabama, Utah and Oklahoma were enough to move the Cardinal into the top ten. However, so-so wins by Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Ohio State allowed Stanford to leapfrog all three in the rankings. They now find themselves closing in on a potential berth in the Rose Bowl if Oregon ends up in the national title game.
The drawback at this point for Stanford is that there strength of schedule could take some hits over the final few weeks of the season due to weaker opposition. They’ll all present tough matchups, but that doesn’t make them any more impressive in the eyes of the computers and voters. The third ranked BCS team can earn an automatic berth, but after that any BCS berths are granted on an at-large status to non-conference winners.
One could argue that Stanford’s best chance at a BCS berth would likely involve Auburn losing to Alabama, then LSU losing in the SEC title game, which might get Stanford as high as fifth. However you crunch the numbers, Stanford just needs to keep winning games.
Here are the full BCS Rankings for this week:
4. Boise State
9. Ohio State
10. Oklahoma State
11. Michigan State
19. Mississippi State
20. Virginia Tech
23. South Carolina
24. Kansas State
25. Texas A&M