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Pac-12 Championship Game: Oregon Removes One More Potential Stanford Stumbling Block

The Oregon Ducks wrapped up their 2011 regular season with a victory over the UCLA Bruins in the inaugural 2011 Pac-12 Championship Game. The Bruins looked like they might hang around early in the game, but Oregon's high-flying offense was too much for UCLA to contain. Darron Thomas put together a solid game, but LaMichael James was the star of the game. James rushed for 219 yards and three touchdowns en route to a 49-31 Ducks win.

Oregon's victory earns them the 2011 Pac-12 championship and the accompanying bid in the 2012 Rose Bowl. Oregon will face the winner of Wisconsin and Michigan State who play in the Big Ten championship game on Saturday. UCLA will likely end up in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.

The Oregon win removes one more potential stumbling block if Stanford falls out of the top four in the new BCS rankings this Sunday. Stanford should remain in the top four, but if they fell behind Virginia Tech, they still have a shot at a BCS bowl as an at-large candidate. Had UCLA pulled the upset, Stanford would have found themselves competing with Oregon for an at-large bid. Given that Oregon travels better than Stanford and has the Nike empire behind them, that could made things a little more difficult.