Oh, Oregon. If only you had defeated Stanford at home last weekend. Then your path to the BCS national championship would be clear. Instead, the Ducks needed to rely on a series of unfortunate events (for others) to even think about jumping up to the top two in the BCS. But thanks to wins by Alabama, Georgia and Florida, that path just got much more difficult for Oregon.
And now, with No. 11 Stanford’s 35-17 win over No. 15 UCLA, the Ducks’ hopes to reach the Pac-12 championship game for the second straight game are done as well. Instead, Stanford and UCLA will meet again in one week for conference title.
Stepfan Taylor rushed for 142 yards and a pair of scores and the Cardinal’s No. 2 rush defense held the Bruins to just 73 yards on the ground and forced two turnovers.
The Bruins and the Cardinal have both exceeded national expectations this year. As an unintended consequence, the Pac-12 championship game may not draw the eyeballs of, say, an Oregon-USC matchup.