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If the Beavers plan to stay at the top of the pack, they cannot afford losses to unranked conference opponents. Upsets like their 29-27 win over Arizona are what the pollsters are looking for, and BCS officials notice, as we saw last week when the Beavers were once again in the AP Top 25 with two losses.
However, the double-overtime loss to the unranked Huskies dropped the Beavers out of every poll, and evened their season record at 3-3 with a 2-1 conference mark. There is a major difference between 3-0 and 2-1, so games like Saturday's must be avoided.
Oregon State only has two more ranked conference foes on the schedule (Stanford and Oregon), and they are the last two games of the season. The team finally has a break in their schedule, and taking advantage of it by winning until Stanford would put them at 7-3, and likely in BCS talks for the Rose Bowl.
Additionally, if Oregon remains unbeaten, the stand a solid chance at going to the BCS National Championship. This would open up the Rose Bowl to the second place team, where Oregon State would stand before facing Stanford and Oregon.
Five of the ten Pac-10 schools already have two losses in the conference, so OSU would be spotted a slight lead if they win out until facing the Cardinal.