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Stanford moves up BCS standings after big win

By Ralph D. Russo

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Oct. 30 2011 6:40 p.m. MDT

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, center, carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Southern California in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

Stanford's first win of the season against a ranked team helped Andrew Luck and the Cardinal move up in the BCS standings.

While LSU (8-0), Alabama (8-0) and Oklahoma State (8-0) remained locked into the top three spots in the standings released Sunday, Stanford moved up two places to fourth after beating Southern California 56-48 in triple overtime.

Boise State (7-0) slipped a spot to fifth, while Clemson (7-1) fell from fifth to 11th after its first loss.

LSU and Alabama will play Saturday in Tuscaloosa, Ala., for first place and the inside track to the BCS national championship game.

Oklahoma State seems to be in position to win out and reach the title game in New Orleans on Jan. 9. The computer ratings have the Cowboys No. 1.

The BCS standings use the Harris poll, the coaches' poll and computer ratings to determine which teams play for the national championship.

LSU is No. 1 in both polls and Alabama is No. 2 in each. The Tigers and Crimson Tide are tied for the second-best computer rating.

Oklahoma State is No. 3 in the Harris poll and No. 4 in the coaches' poll, and Stanford is No. 4 and No. 3. But the difference between the Cowboys (.9310 BCS average) and the Cardinal (.8615) is the computer ratings.

Stanford is sixth in the computers because of a weak early season schedule. The Cardinal should be getting a boost from here on out.

After a road game Saturday against Pac-12 rival Oregon State, the Cardinal play Oregon, eighth in the BCS standings, at home. They finish with California and Notre Dame at home, and could play in the Pac-12 championship, too — probably against Arizona State.

It might not be enough to catch Oklahoma State. The Cowboys face Big 12 rival Kansas State, 14th in the BCS standings, on Saturday, have road games against Texas Tech and Iowa State, and finish with a home game against Oklahoma.

The Big 12 no longer has a championship game.

For Boise State, the formula is the same as it has always been. The Broncos' conference schedule — this year in the Mountain West — presents few stiff challenges, so Boise State probably needs to go undefeated just to play in one of the four marquee bowl games. The Broncos have done that twice. To reach the national championship game for the first time, Boise State will need the teams ahead of it to lose.

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