STANFORD, Calif. — Since he announced in January that he would return, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck put the Cardinal and the Oregon Ducks on a collision course for today.
Luck leads No. 3 Stanford (9-0, 7-0) against LaMichael James and No. 6 Oregon (8-1, 6-0) in a Pac-12 showdown, a game that could decide the league champion and keep the winner in the national title mix.
"If you want to do something on the West Coast, you've got to beat Oregon," Luck said. "They've been the best team the last couple of years."
Stanford (9-0, 7-0) is riding the nation's longest winning streak at 17 games, the last loss coming at Eugene last year, 52-31.
Today, Stanford can clinch the North Division and the opportunity to host the inaugural league championship game, while Oregon also would need to win one of its final two league games.
"Andrew Luck is the best quarterback in the country, but I don't think they ever think they're in over their heads against anybody" Oregon coach Chip Kelly said of his players.
Chance to impress? Boise State (8-0, 3-0), facing another year as a BCS outsider, could use a convincing win against Texas Christian (7-2, 4-0). TCU has won 21 straight conference games and has matched the Mountain West record with 11 straight road wins in that stretch. Boise State has won 35 straight games on its blue turf.
A diversion? Penn State (8-1, 5-0 Big Ten) has a two-game lead in the Leaders Division and harbors Rose Bowl hopes amid the distractions of the controversy on campus. Today the Nittany Lions meet Nebraska (7-2, 3-2), which is fighting to stay alive in the Legends after Northwestern upset the Cornhuskers last week.
Clincher for Clemson? The No. 9 Tigers (8-1, 5-1) can clinch the ACC Atlantic Division and reach the league's championship game for the second time in three seasons with a win over Wake Forest (5-4, 4-2). "This is the biggest game of the year and we have a lot at stake," Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said.