Oregon hope: Ducks fourth in coaches poll

November, 18, 2012
11/18/12
1:46
PM ET
Despite the dispiriting home loss to Stanford, Oregon may yet have hope of finding its way into the national title game.

The Ducks fell from No. 1 to fourth Sunday in the coaches poll, which counts in the BCS standings, and fifth in the AP poll, which doesn't.

Notre Dame, the last unbeaten team, is No. 1 in both polls. Alabama is No. 2 and Georgia is No. 3.

Here's the good news for the Ducks: If Notre Dame loses at USC on Saturday, the Ducks could still move up to No. 2 in the BCS standings. The Fighting Irish likely would be punished in the polls for losing to a reeling Trojans squad, particularly if injured QB Matt Barkley doesn't play.

Alabama and Georgia will play for the SEC title. The loser will get a second loss and will be out of it.

So Oregon could move up to No. 2 in the final BCS standings if it beats Oregon State on Saturday. It also would help the Ducks' cause significantly if Stanford lost at UCLA on Saturday, thereby giving the Ducks the North Division title and making them the Bruins' host for the Pac-12 title game on Nov. 30.

Consecutive wins over nationally ranked Oregon State and UCLA would give the Ducks a big boost in the computer polls, and that might be enough if the Ducks are ranked No. 2 in the final coaches and Harris polls.

As for the rest of the Pac-12, Stanford moved up to No. 11 in both polls after beating the Ducks and taking control of its Pac-12 destiny. If Stanford wins out, it goes to the Rose Bowl.

UCLA, fresh off trouncing the Trojans, is 16th with the coaches and 15th with the AP. Oregon State is 17th with the coaches and 16th with the AP.

USC, which started the season as a top national title contender, is now unranked. It, Washington and Arizona are among teams receiving votes.

Ted Miller | email

College Football

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