The first two months of the 2011 college football season were relatively tame with results going mostly according to chalk. Over the last month though, the 2011 BCS rankings have been turned upside down. This week was no different as multiple teams in the top five have fallen victim to the upset bug. It started Friday with Oklahoma State getting stunned by Iowa State, and has carried over to Saturday with Oregon losing a thriller to USC.
For Stanford, only the Oregon game mattered. Oklahoma State will drop with their loss, but with Stanford more or less out of the national title picture, they find themselves battling for a shot at the Pac-12 title. Oregon lost a thriller Saturday evening, missing a field goal as time expired to lose 38-35.
The Ducks actually trailed 38-14 at one point but staged a furious comeback. Oregon cut the lead to 38-35 and somehow forced and recovered a Marc Tyler fumble with 3:13 to go. The Ducks drove from their own 14 down to USC's 20-yard line before things got crazy. Oregon was called for a false start to move the field goal attempt to 42 yards out, which would have been a career long for Alejandro Maldonado. USC then proceeded to get called for encroachment, turning it into a 37-yarder, which was within in his career-long distance of 40. However, Maldonado pulled it left and USC escaped with the victory.
Stanford is currently dealing with Cal in the Big game. They lead 14-13 and are in a first half dogfight, so there is plenty of work to be done. However, if Stanford can hold on and win, they would find themselves still alive in the Rose Bowl picture. If Oregon were to lose the Civil War to Oregon State next week, Stanford would win the Pac-12 North and get a bid in the conference title game. Oregon State is a bad team this year, but rivalry games always leave the door open for an upset. Stanford will be hoping and praying.