The Stanford Cardinal head down to LA to face the USC Trojans Saturday evening in a game with significant implications for the Cardinal computer ratings. As Stanford looks to move up in the BCS rankings, the one obstacle thus far has been a poor schedule profile. Last week's win over Washington helped, but this week against USC, Stanford has a chance to boost their profile even further. While USC is not eligible for the coaches poll and the BCS, they still impact the computer ratings. A win at USC would give Stanford a bit of a boost.
At the same time, we can still do some scoreboard watching as several week nine games will impact Stanford in some way. Oklahoma State-Baylor and Clemson-Georgia Tech are the two obvious games because Stanford is behind them in the overall BCS rankings. An Oklahoma State loss would be bigger, but a Clemson loss would do nicely as well.
Beyond those two games, however, teams below Stanford in the BCS rankings can impact Stanford's computer ratings. Stanford trails a variety of lower ranked schools in some of the six computer ratings, and losses by those schools could boost Stanford in some of the rankings.
As it currently stands, Stanford's computer ratings are as follows:
The following games include teams ahead of Stanford in a given computer rating, but behind Stanford in the overall rankings (bolded team being that team):
Arkansas @ Vanderbilt
Virginia Tech @ Duke
Oklahoma @ Kansas State
Washington State @ Oregon
Ole Miss @ Auburn
Missouri @ Texas A&M
We'll have updates on these games as they wrap up and break down how they might impact Stanford when the BCS rankings come out on Sunday. This of course is assuming Stanford holds up their end of the bargain and beats USC Saturday night.