Just when hope seemed lost for the Stanford Cardinal, the BCS imploded in week 12 as three of the top five teams lost Friday and Saturday in some pretty wild upsets. Friday saw the Oklahoma State Cowboys lost to 27--point underdog Iowa State in overtime. Saturday saw the Oregon Ducks lose to USC 38-35 after missing a potential game-tying field goal as time expired and the Oklahoma Sooners lose to the Baylor Bears on a 34-yard touchdown pass with eight seconds left.
With those three losses, the BCS was turned on its head with regards to the various non-national championship game bowls. The BCS national title game will be looking at an LSU-Alabama rematch, but with Alabama facing Auburn and LSU having to defeat Arkansas and then win in the SEC title game, anything is possible.
For Stanford, the big picture has come down to the Rose Bowl. If Oregon loses to Oregon State next week, the Cardinal would clinch the Pac-12 North division. If Oregon defeats Oregon State, the Ducks clinch the Pac-12 North. Whichever team clinches will advance to the inaugural Pac-12 title game, with the winner likely moving on to the Rose Bowl.
Stanford could conceivably climb as high as fifth in this week's BCS standings, but I have to think they stay behind Oregon in most of the polls. They'll stay behind Oregon in the human polls, but who knows what the computers will do following Oregon's loss and Stanford's win.
With Saturday in the books, here is my projection of the top ten in the BCS:
3. Oklahoma State
5. Virginia Tech
9. Boise State
For more on Stanford, check out Rule of Tree.