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Inside the Pac-12


November 19, 2009 12:50 AM

Week Five: The Pac Ten's Race To The BCS

Over the last two weeks the Stanford Cardinal have not only sent a message to Pac Ten teams, but they have shown the whole country that they have the ability to beat a lot of the best programs in the country. The Cardinal put 51 on the Ducks and 55 on the Trojans. Coach Harbaugh has defeated Pete Carroll twice and coaches like Charlie Weis and Jim Tressel are still in search of their first victory over USC. Stanford finishes the season with #25 California and Notre Dame. If they can win both of those games they will move up in the BCS Standings and have a shot at the Holiday Bowl and will also be considered for a BCS at large berth. # 11 Oregon and Arizona will meet this Saturday in Tucson for first place in the conference and a possible Rose Bowl berth.

 



Arizona suffered a bad loss to California last week when they were beaten 24-16. Arizona had a lot on the line before they played the Bears and to perform the way they did was very disappointing. The Wildcats could have really taken control of the Pac Ten if they would have beaten the Bears and found a way to defeat Oregon this week. Now, if Arizona beats the Ducks the Wildcats will have the head to head advantage, but both teams will have two conference losses. Arizona still has to play at USC on December 5th. Arizona will have the benefit of home field advantage this Saturday against Oregon. In the last five meetings between these teams Arizona is 2-3. The last time they got the Ducks at home they defeated them 34-24. Mike Stoops and Arizona's 6-3 overall record has guaranteed them a Bowl game for the second straight season, but a Rose Bowl berth would be a huge accomplishment for this program. Arizona is the only team in the conference that has not appeared in the Rose Bowl. If the Wildcats can avoid another 3/13 third down conversion performance and get some big plays in the passing game they will have a good shot at knocking off Oregon.

 

The Pac Ten Champion will be decided in the last two weeks of the season. If Oregon defeats Arizona this week the Conference Champion could be decided in the Civil War on December 3rd when Oregon State plays at Oregon. If that scenario occurs the Beavers will be looking to avenge the 65-38 thrashing they received from the Ducks in 2008 that prevented them from going to the Rose Bowl. It will be interesting to see how far Stanford can move up in the BCS if they win their next two games. If the Cardinal can finish 9-3 and in second place in the Pac Ten it would be hard to find another team in the country that would have finished the season in a more impressive fashion. What team would be the most attractive for a BCS at large berth a undefeated Boise State, a 1 or two loss Pitt or Cincinnati, a two loss Penn State or a 9-3 Stanford team that put 50 plus on Oregon and USC?

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