Stanford fans were probably throwing things at the TV after Kevin Hogan’s 4th-and-2 pass from the Utah six-yard line fell incomplete on Saturday. While Stanford’s dream of a perfect season may have ended, all is certainly not lost for the Cardinal. Stanford’s path to the BCS National Championship might be a little less clear, but it is definitely not impossible.
The first step towards recovery for the Cardinal starts this weekend as Stanford hosts No. 9 UCLA in Palo Alto on Saturday. Talk about the prefect time to right the ship. A win on Saturday would likely boost Stanford right back into the top-10 of the AP rankings and keep their BCS dreams alive and healthy.
The biggest opportunity for Stanford to recover however will be on Thursday, November 7th when the Cardinal host No. 2 Oregon. If they can take care of their next two games (no easy task at all), they will be in a great position when they host the Ducks. With just one loss, a win over Oregon would once again give Stanford the lead in the Pac-12 North, virtually guaranteeing a trip to the Pac-12 Championship.
From there, the Cardinal would be in great position to not only make the Rose Bowl, but possibly the BCS National Championship if enough top teams lose a game.
Obviously pulling off an undefeated rest of the regular season is a very tall task, but it doesn’t mean Stanford’s season is over after Saturday’s upset loss at the hands of Utah. Don’t say I didn’t warn you about the “trap game sandwich” though.