A week after possibly seeing their BCS bowl chances go down the tubes, the Stanford Cardinal find themselves back in the thick of BCS possibilities. Their national title hopes are just about finished (barring an insane miracle of losses), but they have an excellent shot of getting back to a BCS bowl for the second consecutive season.
When the Week 13 BCS rankings are released later today, Stanford could climb as high as No. 5, depending on how the computers shake out with all the big losses this weekend. Oregon remains ahead of Stanford in the Pac-12 North by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker. However, if Oregon were to lose to Oregon State in next weekend's Civil War, Stanford would clinch the Pac-12 North and a chance to play for a shot at the Rose Bowl.
Given the unlikely nature of an Oregon loss, Stanford's best shot might be at a berth in the Fiesta Bowl, likely against a team like Oklahoma State. The Big 12 generally seems to go to the Fiesta Bowl when they are not in the national title game. Oklahoma State blew that chance for now with their upset loss to Iowa State. Given all the other losses, Oklahoma State still has a shot if Alabama loses to Auburn, but otherwise the Cowboys are looking at one of the other BCS bowls.
Stanford could still end up out of the BCS loop given the desire to get teams that draw well, but Andrew Luck could bring sufficient TV ratings cache to get into the Fiesta Bowl. The Cardinal still have to beat Notre Dame next week, but things are shaping up for another BCS appearance.