VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Betting Tools

Stanford plan for USC, not BCS standings

STANFORD, Calif. (AP) - If Stanford coach David Shaw had his way, there would be an eight-team playoff this season. The champions from the six major conferences - SEC, Pac-12, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12 and the American Athletic - would automatically qualify, and there would be two at-large bids.

''It makes too much sense,'' Shaw said Tuesday.

Unfortunately for Shaw and Stanford, that's not the case this year or even next year, when the BCS will be banished in favor of a four-team playoff. All the Cardinal, ranked fifth in The Associated Press poll and fourth in the BCS standings, can control right now is winning the Pac-12 title.

Even after beating Oregon last week, the reigning Rose Bowl champions still have a few hurdles to clear before it can host the league championship game for the second straight season.

The Cardinal (8-1, 6-1, Pac-12) visit surging Southern California (7-3, 4-2) on Saturday night before facing rival California (1-9, 0-7) at home next week, likely needing to win both to hold off the Ducks in the Pac-12 North. Stanford also hosts Notre Dame in its regular-season finale Nov. 30.

''I think we're at that point in the season now where we can't afford to go up and down,'' Shaw said. ''It's November, and there's only one way you can play in November, and that's all-out.''

The best message Shaw said he can relay to his players is to remind them what happened last time they lost focus. Losing at Utah last month is the only thing keeping the Cardinal out of the mix with the four major remaining undefeated teams - Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State and Baylor - for a spot in the BCS championship.

Shaw said the loss to Utah has had the same kind of positive effect on his team as the overtime defeat at Notre Dame last year, when Stanford rebounded to win its final eight games, including the Pac-12 championship over UCLA and the Rose Bowl against Wisconsin.

The margin for error is razor-thin again. Even one loss would likely derail the Cardinal's dreams of repeating as conference champions and booking a return trip to Pasadena.

That win-or-else mentality has everybody at Stanford focused on the Trojans, who have won three straight and four of five since Lane Kiffin was fired and Ed Orgeron took over as interim coach.

''(The BCS) is all hypothetical scenarios. It doesn't matter at this point. We lose a game, whew, it's all for naught,'' said linebacker Shayne Skov, who was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week. ''The recipe for us ending up anywhere relevant is for us to win the rest of our football games.''

While most Stanford fans can't help but ponder the possibilities if the Cardinal were still undefeated, Shaw said his team remains locked-in on the next opponent because they've been in a similar situation the past few years - highly ranked but not in control of a berth in the BCS championship.

Shaw, who also has advocated for every team to play the same amount of conference games, said he's still excited about the direction college football is headed. He just doesn't have time for projections or politicking - at least for now.

''I think it's why we're going to a playoff,'' Shaw said. ''We all enjoy the conversations and hate the conversations at the same time, because you shouldn't have conversations, you should have football. So I think the playoff, most of us in college football believe it can't get here fast enough. I keep hearing people saying, `Oh, you're going to miss the BCS. There's been so much drama.' I think the BCS has been great for what it was used for, and I can't wait for it to be gone so we can get to a playoff, because that's where everything should be decided, on the field.''


NOTES: Shaw said former Stanford standout Tiger Woods sent him a message of encouragement before the Oregon game that he shared with players. Woods was playing in a tournament in Turkey last week... WR Devon Cajuste (knee) and K Jordan Williamson (leg) are expected to play through injuries for the second straight game. Conrad Ukropina will likely handle kickoffs again, while Williamson will do field goals, as both did against Oregon. ... Shaw said the knee injury that sidelined DE Henry Anderson for six games likely ended any chance Anderson would enter the NFL draft after this season. Anderson, a redshirt junior, said he hasn't thought about leaving for the NFL since the summer.


Antonio Gonzalez can be reached at:

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

News: 2018 College Playoff Props
News: 2018 Heisman Trophy Odds
Michigan TE Wheatley to miss spring
Finger surgery reported for Tide QB
Florida State WR Murray to miss spring
Arizona State loses WR Humphrey
Alabama QB Tagovailoa back at practice
Florida State WR Murray injures knee
Werner looks to speed up Gamecocks
Why Buy Picks From
NCAAFB College Football Handicapper Sports Picks Records Gold Membership
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Vince Akins + 3165
Scott Pritchard + 2769
Mark Franco + 2093
Last Week's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 517
Gary Bart + 290
Jim Feist + 185
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Scott Pritchard 68 %
Vince Akins 64 %
Dave Cokin 62 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Antony Dinero + 1510
Scott Pritchard + 1184
Marc Lawrence + 975
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 1365
Scott Pritchard + 1074
Antony Dinero + 551
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Mark Franco + 1060
Marc Lawrence + 959
Joe Williams + 805
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds Pro subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership