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2011 Bowl Projections: Virginia Tech Loss Solidifies Stanford BCS Bowl Chances

The BCS No. 4 Stanford Cardinal took a solid step towards solidifying a BCS bowl bid Saturday evening thanks to the Clemson Tigers. The Tigers defeated the BCS No. 5 Virginia Tech Hokies with relative ease and assured Stanford that Tech would not climb past them in the BCS rankings. If Oklahoma State remains third in the BCS, a fourth place BCS ranking for Stanford automatically qualifies them for a BCS Bowl bid.

Had Virginia Tech won, there was still a chance they might move ahead of Stanford if the computer ratings fell the right way. Instead, both BCS No. 5 Virginia Tech and No. 6 Houston lost. While crazy things could still happen with the BCS computers, it is safe to say Stanford will remain fourth.

The big question mark now is if Oklahoma State will be able to do enough against Oklahoma to convince voters to move them ahead of Alabama. It is unlikely, but possible that Oklahoma State could climb past Alabama into the number two spot. If that happens, Stanford would lose their automatic qualifying status as Alabama would grab that at No. 3 (see the BCS selection procedures).

If Oklahoma State remains third, Stanford would be looking at a spot in the Fiesta Bowl facing Oklahoma State. The Fiesta Bowl usually takes the Big 12 champ and an at-large candidate. Given Stanford's west coast location, it would make sense to get them there. At the same time, Stanford went east to the Orange Bowl last year, so it remains to be seen where exactly they will end up. Even if they lose that automatic qualifying status, they should still end up with one of the at-large bids.