For the first time since 2007, both the top two ranked teams in the BCS standings lost in the same day, as Kansas State was embarrassed by unranked Baylor by a score of 52-24 and Oregon lost 17-14 in overtime to No. 13 Stanford. With these late-day losses on Saturday night, Notre Dame, currently ranked third in the nation, will move into the top spot in the BCS standings with Alabama and its one-loss record as the second-ranked team.
For the Cardinal, this is a huge win that could potentially lead them to the Rose Bowl for postseason play. For the Ducks, this all but crushes their hopes at a BCS Championship Game invitation that might have featured a non-SEC opponent. While they still have a game against Oregon State next week and a potential Pac-12 Championship Game against UCLA, they would need losses by Notre Dame and/or Alabama to find themselves in the BCS Championship Game picture.
Oregon’s loss also signals the Pac-12’s unlikely representation in college football’s biggest game of the year. Once Alabama lost last week, Oregon looked on pace to reach the BCS Championship Game for the first time since the 2010 season against Auburn. Instead, the Ducks, a three-score favorite to Stanford, lost at home and will now probably miss out on representing the Pac-12 in Miami for the national title.
Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native and follower of all Bay Area sports teams. Follow him on Twitter @_austinchang.