The Stanford Cardinal find themselves in a tough position following their season finale win over Notre Dame as they await their bowl fate. Barring a UCLA upset of Oregon in the Pac-12 Title game, Stanford will be the No. 2 team in the Pac-12 when it comes to the bowl selection process. In the worst case scenario that would mean a trip to San Antonio for the Valero Alamo Bowl against the Big 12 No. 3 team.
Naturally, the Cardinal have their sites set on a slightly bigger bowl. Although Stanford was eliminated from Rose Bowl contention, they remain a strong contender for the Fiesta Bowl. The Cardinal are currently sixth in the BCS rankings with a chance to rise to No. 5 with Arkansas' loss this week. If Virginia Tech or Oklahoma State lose next week, Stanford would climb up to No. 4 and likely become an automatic qualifier.
The difference between the Alamo Bowl and a BCS bowl is huge. Winning a BCS bowl can result in a payout of upwards of $18 million. Winning the Alamo Bowl pays somewhere around $2 million. Even with some chunk of those payouts going to the team's conference, that is a fairly drastic difference.