- Kevin Gemmell, ESPN Staff Writer
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Nothing shocking here. The Oregon Ducks slipped from the No. 3 spot in the latest BCS standings following their 26-20 loss to No. 5 Stanford, leaving the Pac-12 without a chair if the music were to stop today.
But the music hasn’t stopped. And with its victory over the Ducks, Stanford retains its spot as the highest-ranked one-loss team -- slightly ahead of undefeated Baylor -- moving up from fifth to fourth. Oregon falls to sixth.
Stanford has a BCS average of .8689, which is just ahead of Baylor’s .8618. The Cardinal, though fifth in the human polls, are third in the average computer rankings.
Alabama (.9958) retains the top spot, followed by Florida State (.9619) and Ohio State (.8926).
The best-case scenario for the Pac-12 is to have two of those teams lose, because it’s unlikely Stanford will be able to jump an undefeated team. In fact, it’s more probable that Baylor, which still has games against two teams ranked in the BCS top 25 (Oklahoma State and Texas) would jump the Cardinal. Pittsburgh didn’t do Stanford any favors by beating Notre Dame. That took a ranked team off the board for the Cardinal, who, if they hold out to win the North, will likely be playing a top-20 ASU or UCLA in the Pac-12 championship game.
Right now the 2013 postseason projects to play out much like 2012. Considering the recent history of close games between USC and Stanford, we’re not going to assume anything when they meet this week. Or in The Big Game next week, for that matter. But for the sake of argument today, let’s say Stanford holds on to win the North. The winner of the Pac-12 championship game goes to the Rose Bowl and Oregon likely goes to a BCS bowl as an at-large team if it finishes with just the one loss.
But if one of those three undefeated teams ahead of Stanford loses, then things become a lot more interesting. If two of them lose, look out, because it’s going to get ugly. And, if somehow all three lose, it will be your run-of-the-mill November BCS chaos.
UCLA enjoyed a nice bump in the standings after winning in Tucson, Ariz. The Bruins jumped from No. 19 to No. 13. This is of note because being in the top 14 qualifies the Bruins (7-2) for a potential at-large bid if they can reach nine wins.
Arizona State also moved up three spots, going from No. 22 to No. 19, giving the league four teams in the top 20.