The Stanford Cardinal had a great day today, strengthening its case for a BCS bowl bid with an easy win in The Big game over the California Golden Bears. However, it could have been an even greater day for the Cardinal were it not for two close wins by two other key highly-ranked teams. As a result, Stanford may not have its BCS bowl fate in its own hands.
The Cardinal blew out its chief rival, building a 45-0 lead over the Bears through three quarters, en route to a 48-14 drubbing in enemy territory at Strawberry Canyon. Stanford moved to 10-1 on the season, with its only loss at the hands of top-ranked Oregon. Last week, Stanford was ranked sixth in the BCS standings, and figures to be there again tomorrow when the standings are released.
However, late comebacks by both LSU and Ohio State today may have hurt Stanford's BCS bowl chances. If everyone in the top 10 win out, Oregon would face Auburn in the BCS championship game. The other four BCS games would be comprised of champions of the Big Ten, Big XII, Big East, and ACC, plus Boise State and TCU, leaving two at large bids to be had.
LSU, who was ranked fifth in the BCS before it's 43-36 win over Mississippi today, figures to be a lock for one of those at large bids. If Stanford remains at number six, one would think they would get the other at large bid. However, one of Wisconsin and Ohio State will likely be in the top eight with one loss, and be the runner up in the Big Ten. It's very likely that the final at large bid would go to a school like Ohio State that travels well, over Stanford.
In other words, Stanford fans might be better off rooting for Arkansas to knock off Les Miles and LSU next Saturday just to make sure their BCS bowl bid isn't left to the whims of bowl organizers.