As Stanford sits and waits for the announcement of BCS bowl matchups, there are several matchups this weekend that could upset the current BCS standings and throw a bit of a monkey wrench into the situation. One such matchup is the 2010 version of the Civil War between Oregon and Oregon State, a series Oregon leads 57-46-10.
While Oregon State needs a win to gain bowl eligibility, Oregon has slightly higher goals in mind. If Oregon wins, they lock up one of the two spots in the 2010 BCS National Title Game and would likely face either Auburn or TCU in Arizona after the New Year. Although the Beavers are hosting this year’s iteration of the Civil War, the Ducks are 17 points favorites. The Ducks have been rolling over opponents left and right, with Arizona being just the latest victim. Cal was able to hang close with the Ducks but that’s been about it as far as opposition this year. Stanford looked like they were gonna beat the Ducks but Oregon blew them completely out of the water in the second half. This may be a rivalry game but I don’t see OSU hanging in it for very long.
This is an intriguing game for Stanford because of the way the BCS bowl selection works. If Oregon wins, they’re in the national title game. If Oregon loses, they could conceivably remain in the national title game because of the space between them and TCU. If that happens, then nothing changes. However, if Oregon were to drop behind TCU, Oregon would then claim the Rose Bowl slot as Pac-10 champion and Stanford would continue on towards another BCS Bowl.
Where it could get interesting would be a combination of Oregon AND Auburn losing. Conceivably Oregon and Auburn could then drop behind Stanford and TCU and suddenly the Cardinal are playing TCU for the national title. The odds of Oregon dropping behind Stanford seem slim, but it’s certainly at least a slim possibility.
The other potential issue is how an Oregon loss affects Stanford’s computer rankings. Stanford has some cushion over Wisconsin, but it may be possible (I can’t crunch the numbers) that an Oregon loss might hurt Stanford’s own BCS rating just enough to drop them to fifth. I don’t think it would happen, but you never know with the way these computer ratings operate.
To be safe, maybe Stanford should just root for Oregon to win. We’ll have plenty of updates through the weekend in our current stream. We’ll be back later with a look at Auburn’s SEC championship game against South Carolina.