The Oklahoma State Cowboys ran roughshod over the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday evening, winning their annual Bedlam game and snapping an eight-game losing streak. The Cowboys entered the game ranked third in the BCS with most folks figuring Alabama would be locked in to the number two position and the accompanying bid in the national title game. However, the Cowboys put together a very impressive win as they throttled the Sooners 44-10.
The question now is if that win was enough to convince the voters to move them past Alabama in the BCS rankings. The BCS computers do not factor in strength of schedule, but the USA Today/Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll are voted on by human beings that sometimes cannot help but be impressed by a beatdown of a supposedly strong opponent.
Those two human polls comprise two-thirds of the BCS rating. Oklahoma State was fifth in both polls and will climb at least one spot due to Virginia Tech's loss. The question is whether they will also climb past Stanford and Alabama with the victory. If they climb to number two in both human polls, there is an excellent chance they would climb ahead of Alabama in the BCS. Let the conspiracy theories begin!
For the Stanford Cardinal, such a scenario raises a whole other set of questions. With Virginia Tech losing, Stanford is guaranteed no worse than a fourth place finish in the BCS. If Oklahoma State remains third, Stanford is guaranteed a BCS bowl bid. Since they did not win they are unlikely to move ahead of anybody. If Oklahoma State climbs into the number two position, Alabama drops to third and takes Stanford's automatic BCS bid. Stanford is still an extremely strong candidate as an at-large and likely gets a BCS bid. Nonetheless, with no guarantees, it leaves Stanford sitting on the edge of their seat until the BCS selection show Sunday evening.
For more on Stanford football and their BCS possibilities, head over to Rule of Tree.