I’ve had Stanford projected to win the Pac-12 and play in the national championship game, with Oregon earning an at-large bid and being chosen to replace the Cardinal in the Rose Bowl. I’m now flipping those two spots.
Stanford’s narrow 31-28 win over Washington wasn’t bad–the Huskies are a good team–but the fact it was at home, it was a revenge spot after Washington’s win last season and the fact Stanford’s passing game was mediocre, have given me some pause.
Oregon hasn’t played a great schedule, but they’ve hammered everyone, scoring between 57-66 points each time out, including a couple conference wins over Cal and Colorado. Even so, with Stanford having a win over Arizona State to go with the Washington game, the high point totals wouldn’t been enough to lead me to elevate the Ducks were it not for something that happened outside the confines of the league schedule.
Tennessee nearly upset Georgia in Knoxville. This is pertinent, because Oregon absolutely dismantled Tennessee, 59-14. The combination of all this leads me to believe Oregon should move ahead of Stanford in the pecking order.
Please note this is not a prediction of who will win the Ducks-Cardinal battle on Thursday night, November 7. It is not a repudiation of my previous endorsement of Stanford.
But I do like these BCS bowl projections to serve as TheSportsNotebook’s own version of the national rankings, and we’re at the point in the schedule where we need to start moving beyond our own personal prognostication and into the body of work that’s been produced. Right now, Oregon looks sharper.
THE FIELD OF TEN
BCS National Championship: Alabama-Oregon
Sugar: Georgia-Florida State
Rose: Ohio State-Stanford