The Stanford Cardinal were due to take a hit in the week 12 BCS rankings courtesy of their loss to Oregon Saturday night. They dropped in the human polls and the computer ratings, but due to the strength of schedule boost from playing Oregon, the Cardinal did not drop nearly as they might otherwise have dropped in the computer ratings.
Stanford started the season with a weak non-conference schedule of games and opened with some of the weaker Pac-12 teams. However, leading up to and including the Oregon game, Stanford's schedule strength was quietly increasing. In losing to Oregon but not getting killed in the BCS computer ratings, Stanford remains ninth in the BCS.
No. 9 and out of the BCS National Championship Game is not where the Cardinal wanted to be at this point, but the upside is that they are still in the running for an at-large bid to a BCS bowl. If Stanford remains in the Top 14, their 9+ wins will qualify them for an at-large bid. Of course, the bowls will have several teams to consider in determining at-large candidates. Among others, that will include Alabama or Oklahoma State (if the Cowboys lose before the selection show), Stanford, Boise State, Houston and possibly South Carolina and the loser of Clemson/Virginia Tech.
For Stanford, their strength for selection is the national interest in Andrew Luck. While the Cardinal do not always travel well to bowl games, Andrew Luck is a national phenomenon and could boost television ratings. It is one of many factors that will be considered by the BCS selection committee.
The remainder of Stanford's schedule will likely not do much damage, if any, to their computer rating so long as the Cardinal win both games. They face a bowl-eligible Cal and a newly ranked Notre Dame.
The BCS formula combines human and computer rankings to devise the standings. The USA Today/Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll are voted on by humans each Sunday. The computer ratings include the Sagarin Ratings, Anderson & Hester, Billingsley Report, Colley Matrix, Massey Ratings, and Wolfe Ratings. Stanford rates as follows according to the computers: