November 8, 2012
View from the SEC: High Stakes on the Farm
Besides offering a captivating battle between a pair of backup quarterbacks and the top two rushing defenses in the Pac-12, Saturday afternoon's matchup between Oregon State and Stanford in Palo Alto is significant for another reason.
For all intents and purposes, it will serve as a de facto Rose Bowl elimination game (especially from Stanford's perspective) in addition to thinning out the herd of contenders for the Pac-12 North title and a spot in the Nov. 30 conference championship game.
In short, the stakes will be sky high when the Beavers and Cardinals kickoff at noon at Stanford Stadium, the principal reason the contest has caught the eye of national analysts.
Oregon State hasn't played in the Rose Bowl since 1965, and getting to Pasadena on New Year's Day would officially stamp the Beavers as THE feel-good story of the year in college football.
So, how does OSU get there?
The easiest route, of course, is running the table in the regular season, including beating rival Oregon in the Civil War on Nov. 24, and then prevailing in the Pac-12 championship game on Nov. 30 (sorry Nicholls State, no game for you on Dec. 1).
That lip-smacking scenario would serve two purposes - the Beavers would earn their way into the Rose Bowl as an automatic qualifier under the Bowl Championship Series selection process and the Ducks would be jettisoned from the national championship picture, meaning Alabama would likely face Kansas State or Notre Dame in the title game as long as those teams remained unbeaten.
If not, chaos ensues.
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