Huh. Well, Stanford went ahead and screwed everything up. Thanks a lot, Cardinal. The USC title hopes aren’t dead, but they aren’t exactly peppy at this point. Oregon seems like it has the best chance for a Pac-12 team to reach the national championship game. And it'll likely be the favorite heading into the Nov. 3 showdown with the Trojans.
A USC victory would certainly make things interesting. But if it loses, yet still advances to the Pac-12 championship game and loses again (presumably to the Ducks), where would that leave the Trojans? Would the Rose Bowl take a three-loss team? Probably not. The Cardinal, however, suddenly look like a team that could run the table (with the exception of Oregon, their proverbial thorn in the side until proven otherwise). And it’s my understanding (someone will correct me if I'm wrong, I’m sure) that the Rose Bowl is under no obligation to take the loser of the Pac-12 championship game. So a one-loss Stanford team makes more sense at this point.
BCS National Championship Game, Jan. 7: Oregon vs. BCS 1 or 2
Rose Bowl Game, Jan. 1: Stanford vs. Big Ten
Valero Alamo, Dec. 29: USC vs. Big 12
Bridgepoint Education Holiday, Dec. 27: UCLA vs. Big 12
Hyundai Sun, Dec. 31: Arizona vs. ACC
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas, Dec. 22: Oregon State vs. MWC
Kraft Fight Hunger, Dec. 29: Washington vs. Navy
Gildan New Mexico, Dec. 15: Utah vs. MWC