The Stanford Cardinal find themselves in an odd position, in that they have to rely on USC for them to make the 2011 Rose Bowl. Not that USC, though. Stanford needs South Carolina to beat the No. 2 Auburn Tigers in next week's SEC Championship Game, plus an Oregon win over Oregon State in the Civil War, for the Cardinal to make its first Rose Bowl since the 1999 season.
Oregon and Auburn are still undefeated, and remain headed on a collision course for the national title game in Glendale, Arizona. If Oregon wins next week, that means the Rose Bowl will lose its Pac-10 team, and must make a replacement. Ordinarily, Stanford would be an easy choice here, as the Cardinal are expected to be No. 4 in the BCS standings, released later Sunday. However, the Rose Bowl is required to take an automatic qualifier from a non-BCS conference should it lose a team to the national title game, and this year No. 3 TCU fits that bill.
- If Oregon loses to Oregon State, Oregon will play in the Rose Bowl
- If Auburn loses to South Carolina and Oregon wins, TCU will slide to the national title game and Stanford will likely play in the Rose Bowl
- If Auburn and Oregon both lose, Oregon will play in the Rose Bowl
- If Auburn and Oregon both win, TCU will play in the Rose Bowl
Wisconsin, Ohio St, and Michigan St all finished tied atop the conference at 7-1, and the tiebreaker will be the final BCS standings. For this week, there are conflicting viewpoints as to which team will be ranked higher. BCS Evolution projects Wisconsin at No. 5, with Ohio State at No. 7, while BCS Guru predicts the Buckeyes will be slightly ahead of the Badgers. However, the final standings will determine this winner, so we won't know for a week. As of now, it's too close to call.