Oct 19, 2013; Stanford, CA, USA; Stanford Cardinal players celebrate in end zone after running back Tyler Gaffney (25), scored a touchdown during the fourth quarter against the UCLA Bruins at Stanford Stadium. Stanford won 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Stanford's Path to the National Championship

Stanford needs help, but they do have a path to the National Title if they can run the table.  The loss to Utah was extremely damaging, but the slate of games the Cardinal have for the rest of the season is extremely strong and features a ton of high ranked and big name teams that could help them jump a number of teams ahead of them.

With wins over Arizona State, Washington and now UCLA, the Cardinal currently sit #6 in the BCS standings.  This week, they travel to Corvallis to take on the Oregon State Beavers which will not be an easy game, but if they can win that game, they get to host the Oregon Ducks on Thursday night the following week.   Obviously, the game is huge by virtue of the fact that Oregon is #3 in the country, but unlike in situations where other games are on with a Saturday, this will be the one college game that everyone is watching on Thursday.

Thursday games have a habit of getting bizarre and usually favor the home team and have tripped up a number of high ranked opponents over the years.  If Stanford can get through both Oregon State and Oregon, they finish their regular season with games against USC, Cal and Notre Dame.  They should be heavily favored in every contest.  It will be an extremely tough road but Stanford has the talent to do it and if they can, they will get another showcase game in the PAC-12 Championship which would be either UCLA or Arizona State at this point.

The Cardinal would need help in the form of Alabama or Florida State losing, but it is likely they would jump an undefeated Ohio State if they continue to win.  Stanford is not in the position where they are controlling their own destiny, but if they can win out, they will have a great shot to make the National Title game.

Tags: Pac-12 Stanford Cardinal Football

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