2011 Bowl Predictions: Stanford, Oregon Showdown Has Rose Bowl Implications, Maybe More

Both the Stanford Cardinal and Oregon Ducks won on Saturday, and both are unbeaten in the Pac-12 Conference. They do battle next Saturday in Palo Alto in a game that has both Rose Bowl and BCS standings implications. Here is a look at some scenarios for the 2012 Rose Bowl:

Pac-12

Stanford (9-0, 7-0) and Oregon (8-1, 6-0) will battle for the Pac-12 North next week. Stanford however has higher aspirations and will likely move up to third in the BCS standings later Sunday. If the Cardinal end up in the top two in the BCS standings, they would head to New Orleans for the BCS Championship Game. If that happens, the Rose Bowl would get to choose a replacement for Stanford. If Oregon wins the remainder of their games outside of the Stanford game, the Ducks would make a fine replacement in the Rose Bowl.

The UCLA Bruins (5-4, 4-2) moved into a tie with the Arizona St. Sun Devils (6-3, 4-2) with a home win over ASU on Saturday, giving UCLA the tiebreaker in the Pac-12 South. UCLA might need ASU to lose again, as the Bruins will be underdogs against the USC Trojans on November 26. But the Bruins are definitely in play for the Pac-12 South Division title.

The inaugural Pac-12 Championship Game will be played on Friday, December 3.

Important game this week: Oregon at Stanford, 5 p.m. PDT (ABC). This is not only the game of the week for the conference, but for all of college football.

Big Ten

The Penn St. Nittany Lions (8-1, 5-0) had a bye, which is just as good since they had other things to deal with this week. They lead the Big Ten Leaders Division, but still have games against the Nebraska Cornhuskers (7-2, 3-2) and Wisconsin Badgers (7-2, 3-2). That November 26 game in Madison between Penn State and Wisconsin looks like it might decide the Leaders Division.

The Michigan St. Spartans (7-2, 4-1) are alone in first place in the Big Ten Legends Division, as both the Cornhuskers and Michigan Wolverines (7-2, 3-2) lost on Saturday. The Spartans have the easiest remaining schedule of the three, but two of their opponents - the Iowa Hawkeyes and Northwestern Wildcats - beat Michigan and Nebraska, respectively on Saturday.

The first ever Big Ten Football Championship Game is scheduled for Saturday, December 3, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Important game this week: Nebraska at Penn State

The 2012 Rose Bowl Game will be played on Monday, January 2, 2012 in Pasadena. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. PDT. The game will be televised by ESPN, with Brent Musberger, Kirk Hirbstreit, and Lisa Salters on the call. Stay tuned for more updates as the game approaches.

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