Past opponent resume watch

How well Stanford's opponents play from here on out may determine Stanford's postseason destination, be it a national title game or BCS at-large game. With that background then, here's an update on Stanford's 2011 opponents to date.

San Jose State (3-4, Sagarin ranking for BCS use: 89)
Wins listed most to least impressive:
38-31, Colorado State
28-27, Hawaii
34-24, New Mexico State
Losses listed most to least impressive:
14-17, Nevada
3-57, Stanford
17-27, UCLA
16-29, BYU
Analysis: The Spartans have already played Nevada and Hawaii, probably the WAC's two best teams, and still have Utah State and Idaho to go, probably the conference's two worst squads. Take the schedule into account, and Team I-280 is about 50-50 to rally to a six-plus win finish, and with the proliferation of bowl games, why couldn't they make the Velveeta Cheese Bowl? Such a finish would advance the argument that Stanford beat [however many] bowl teams.

Duke (3-4, 104)
Wins:
20-19, Boston College
48-27, Tulane
31-27, Florida International
Losses:
14-44, Stanford
16-41, Florida State
23-24, Wake Forest
21-23, Richmond
Analysis: The meat of the ACC schedule is still to come, with visits to North Carolina and Virginia the only realistic shots the Devils have at getting win No. 4. Bet Stanford would have scheduled a slightly better team had the AD known four years ago just how good we would be now. Duke is one of six teams – or fully half of Stanford's schedule – with a Sagarin rating of 89 or lower. Ouch.

Arizona (2-5, 91)
Wins:
UCLA, 48-12
Northern Arizona, 41-10
Losses:
USC, 41-48
Oregon, 31-56
Stanford, 10-37
Oklahoma State, 14-37
Oregon State 27-37
Analysis: Arizona might actually be better than their record indicates. Yeah, they choked against Oregon State, but their other losses are to three top-10 teams and USC. With Utah, Colorado and Louisiana-Lafayette still on the schedule, there's an outside shot at a bowl berth.

UCLA (3-4, 70)
Wins:
28-25, Washington State
27-19, Oregon State
27-17, San Jose State
Losses:
34-38, Houston
19-45, Stanford
20-49, Texas
12-48, Arizona
Analysis: As is true for Arizona, beating Utah and Colorado could get the Bruins to five wins, and then one more upset would bring a bowl berth. However, most of UCLA's losses have been routs while their wins have been closer, suggesting they're not as good as their 3-4 mark implies. Fun fact: the Bruins have gone L-W-L-W-L-W-L this season.

Colorado (1-7, 137!)
Wins:
28-14, Colorado State
Losses:
33-36 (OT), California
17-37, Ohio State
27-31, Washington State
7-48, Stanford
2-45, Oregon
24-52, Washington
17-34, Hawaii
Analysis: Arizona, UCLA and Utah are the closing stretch, so maybe the Buffs can claw out a second win if they don't quit on the season. Ducking Oregon State is bad luck, and Cal, Ohio State, Colorado State and Hawaii is a tougher out-of-conference slate than most, so the Buffaloes may be better than their 1-7 record, and as good as, say, the typical 2-5 team. However you slice it though, it's not good. Welcome to the Pac-12, guys.

Washington State (3-4, 117)
Wins:
59-7, UNLV
31-27, Colorado
64-21, Idaho State
Losses:
14-44, Stanford
25-28, UCLA
24-42, San Diego State
21-44, Oregon State
Analysis: Sagarin does rank BCS (formerly I-AA) teams, but that the Cougars are 117 and there are just 120 FBC (I-A) teams is seriously off. The Cougars are 86 in Sagarin's predictor, further evidence that the 117 number is quirky. The ranking is off too for Oregon State's 114 and ridiculously off on Colorado's 137. Ugh. As for Wazzu, meanwhile, Oregon, Arizona State and Washington are still to come – bet GameDay is mighty happy they decided not to go to Pullman after all.

Washington (5-2, 29)
Wins:
31-23, California
31-14, Utah
52-24, Colorado
40-32, Hawaii
30-27, Eastern Washington
Losses:
38-51, Nebraska
21-65, Stanford
Analysis: Here lies the most overrated team on Stanford's schedule. The Nebraska game was not as close as it looks, Utah and Colorado are proving to be blech, and beating Cal, Hawaii and Eastern Washington by an average of six points is a major red flag. Just by looking at the points against, you can tell the defense is quite marginal as well. This is probably a five-loss team, with Oregon and USC still to come, and another trip-up likely somewhere on the backstretch.


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