Who will be there on Jan. 1?
There’s a reasonable chance that the winner of Saturday’s game between the Stanford Cardinal and the Oregon State Beavers will be playing in the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1.
Since there are three games to go, there are too many possibilities for anyone to figure it out for sure. But it’s not so far-fetched to think that the winner of Saturday’s battle between BCS No. 14 Stanford and No. 11 Oregon State will end up in Pasadena on Jan. 1. Here are three ways that could happen.
Stanford's and its unoffical mascot could win the Pac-12 Championship.
Stanford wins out, taking the Pac-12 championship. Stanford would have to beat three ranked teams: Oregon State, Oregon and UCLA. Then, they would have to win the Pac-12 Championship game.
The Pac-12 South champion will likely be USC or UCLA. That means Stanford could play UCLA twice in less than a week (Nov. 24 and Nov. 30). A win in the last game would produce a Pac-12 Championship. Stanford would not play in the national championship game, but would earn a berth in the Rose Bowl.
Oregon wins its remaining games and does not go to the Rose Bowl.
Stanford beats Oregon State and UCLA, but loses to Oregon. Oregon would then play in the Pac-12 championship game. With a win there, the Ducks would be the Pac-12 champs.
If Kansas State or Alabama slips between now and the end of the season, Oregon would play in the national championship game, leaving the Rose Bowl slot open to the next highest-ranking Pac-12 team, which could be Stanford.
A win on Saturday and the Beavers' future looks Rosy.
Oregon State beats Stanford this week. That’s about all it would take.
The following week, they play Oregon, but that wouldn’t matter as much. If they win, they have a path to the Pac-12 Championship and the Rose Bowl. If they lose, Oregon has a shot at the national championship game, and Oregon State backs into the Rose Bowl.
Oregon State’s last game of the season is against Nicholls State University from Thibodaux, Louisiana. They have a 1-7 record, and they don’t pose much of a threat. That game will have little bearing on the Rose Bowl chase. If Oregon State wins on Saturday, they’re in pretty good shape for a New Year’s game in Pasadena.