BPR, Dec. 2: A new No. 1

Print out the latest Boot Power Ratings and frame them -- for there's a new face at No. 1, and a new face at No. 10. With Phil Steele's power ratings and Sagarin's predictor leading the way, the BPR now becomes the third highly respected, highly technical rating system to have your humble Cardinal No. 1 in the land. Eat your hearts out, folks.

Stanford 99

Often overshadowed by their prolific counterparts on offense, the Stanford defense has been nothing short of spectacular during long stretches of this banner season. A trio of conference shutouts (only one of which came at home) and a ballhawking attitude led by the Master of Strip Michael Thomas has the yet-to-be determined Cardinal bowl opponent scrambling to fashion a game plan.

Oregon 97

Once again, Oregon played possum in the first half of their game, only to run away mercilessly with the victory in the second half. If the BCS felt justified in dropping Oregon in their rankings, the BPR's wont apologize for doing the same. Heading into the National Championship Game as the 1 or 2 doesn't matter, though there is one little nagging chore to take care of first, and that means pelting the rival rodents on their green.

Arizona 77

The wilting-cats dropped their third in a row in Eugene last Friday, but due to the prevailing inconsistency in play from the conference's second tier of teams, they are still in line to cash in on the new alliance with the up and coming Alamo Bowl. It appears that Nick Foles has recovered nicely from his knee-cap displacement after tallying an eye-popping 448 passing yards, but it's the Zona defense that needs to get their confidence back to finish the season an an uptick.

Arizona State 75

I don't know what was more shocking, the 'ruins hanging 34 points on the Sun Devils or seldom-used Brock Osweiler coming off the bench to put up fantasy stats and lead his team to 55 points of their own. What was not shocking was seeing the Von-tazmanian Devil flagged for another personal foul, this one for arguing with a ref about his teammate's personal foul. Someone get this kid a Ritalin prescription.

Washington 68

Showing some serious spunk here in the waning moments of the year, UW is now an Apple Cup win away from going to the Holiday Bowl. Though the game against Cal was a relative snoozer (as evidenced by an 82-yard punt being the lone highlight) the goal line drama that unfolded in the final seconds made up for it. Down by three with two seconds left and having been stuffed on the previous two attempts, Sark sent his boys diving for the end zone instead of playing for OT, and it paid off.

USC 65

Not doing anything to help the Pac X pride by swallowing the beach ball against the flailing Irish, $C has to suit up one more time before the first season of the heavily-sanctioned era of Trojan football comes to an end. Obviously Mitch Grass-stain isn't a suitable replacement for Matt Barkley, who is expected to return this week. If only Mitch had stayed at Arkansas, he could be holding a clipboard for Ryan Mallet on the Sugar Bowl sideline.

Oregon State 61

Normally a team that takes care of the rock, OSU found themselves on the wrong end of a -5 turnover margin, which was just one of many reasons why they were blanked in Palo Alto. As disappointing as this season has been for Beaver Believers, a win over the hated Ducks would keep them smiling all the way to fall ball. Perhaps James Rodgers will pull a Willis Reed and inspire his mates to a BCS busting miracle in Corvallis.

Washington State 60

It's only fitting that Wazzu is treating their season finale like a bowl game, as they have had as much time off as a team normally gets while waiting for a bowl. If the prospect of extending their winning streak to two games wasn't enticing enough, denying bitter rival UW that elusive sixth win should make for some spirited practices leading up to kickoff. Will they riot in Pullman?

UCLA 51

Coming into the year, El Lay's defense was supposed to carry they burden while a young offense worked the kinks out of a new system. After being torched in Tempe, the baby blues are now ranked 93rd nationally in defense and their pistol was temporarily scrapped to allow Richard Brehaut to go aerial on the demons. Despite the loss, the fact that they moved the ball well and at one point held a 17-0 lead has to feel good heading into the battle for the Victory Bell.

kal 50

Whatever magic potion was sprinkled on the weenie turf at the beginning of the season was washed away by season's end. Not many teams get the luxury of finishing with three consecutive conference games at home and the barely bears squandered a golden opportunity to go bowling by dropping all three. The last one was particularly heinous as the few remaining diehards watched helplessly as the Huskies marched down the field for the winning touchdown as time expired. With a pipeline full of sewage at QB and the hinted departure of his prized running back, we can only wonder what will become of kal's offense as they try and compete in the top heavy Pac 12 North division.


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