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Who Should Be Ranked No. 4 in BCS?

This past weekend was one of the most-chaotic in college football history with No. 2 Oklahoma State, No. 4 Oregon, No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 7 Clemson all losing and, in turn, shaking up the BCS picture.The new BCS rankings have placed three SEC West teams – LSU, Alabama and Arkansas – in the top three spots. Who deserves to be No. 4? It’s an important question since the fourth-ranked team could play for the national title if LSU beats Arkansas and Auburn tops Alabama this weekend.We debate after narrowing the choices down to Oklahoma State, which is currently ranked No. 4 in the BCS, and Stanford, which is ranked No. 4 in the AP..Stanford: If things go expected on Saturday – and we know that’s a lot to ask these days – Stanford will improve to 11-1 overall with a win over Notre Dame, and Oregon will be 10-2 after dispatching rival Oregon State.Both teams would have identical 8-1 marks in the Pac-12, but Oregon would go to the Pac-12 title game and clinch the conference’s North Division thanks to a 53-30 victory over the Cardinal on November 12.But that wouldn’t be a bad thing for Stanford’s hopes to earn a trip to Bourbon Street for the BCS Championship Game.Stay with me here.Consider that Oregon would face either Arizona State or Utah if it makes the Pac-12 title game. In other words three mediocre teams – we include Oregon State in there – stand in the Ducks’ way of being the inaugural Pac-12 champs.If that holds true, Stanford’s lone loss this season would come against the Pac-12 champion and defending national runner-up from Oregon, which suffered two tough losses itself.The Ducks lost to No. 1 LSU and talented but bowl ineligible USC, which currently stands at 9-2. That’s a pretty good loss for the Cardinal if there ever was one.Put that up against Oklahoma State – Stanford’s chief rival for the BCS’s fourth spot – which fell unexpectedly to Iowa State. Those are the same Cyclones who beat FCS Northern Iowa by one point and lowly Kansas by three.And don’t tell us that a win over Oklahoma should cement the No. 4 spot for the Cowboys. The Sooners are an overrated bunch that fell Texas Tech earlier this season.Stanford has the stronger resume. It has blown out nearly all of its opponents, save for a three-overtime win over USC (now even more impressive after the Trojans knocked off the Ducks) and a close win last Saturday in its rivalry game against Cal.If the Cardinal beat streaking Notre Dame on Saturday night and Arkansas and Alabama go down, Andrew Luck and company should be given a spot in the game for all the marbles. – Anthony Olivieri.Oklahoma State: I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think the BCS got it right – at least they did by ranking Oklahoma State No. 4 instead of Stanford (and especially Virginia Tech).I don’t know how anyone watching Oklahoma State and Stanford this season could believe the Cowboys would not beat the Cardinal head-to-head.Yes, the Cowboys lost to a 6-5 Iowa State team, but people are acting like every great team doesn’t tense up down the stretch and suddenly have Murphy’s Law come into play against an inferior opponent. Some teams survive and win the national title, like Ohio State did in 2002 after “Holy Buckeye” against Purdue, and Alabama’s narrow escape over a mediocre Auburn team in 2009. Other teams go down in defeat like Oklahoma State, No. 2 USC falling to UCLA in 2006 or No. 2 West Virginia losing to Pitt in ’07.It doesn’t mean that they aren’t still great teams, it just shows how tough going undefeated is.If you look at Oklahoma State’s body of work compared to Stanford’s, there’s no comparison.Stanford has played two difficult teams on its schedule, USC and Oregon. The Cardinal should have lost to the Trojans if it weren’t for the officials and were blasted by the Ducks at home. Oklahoma State has blown the tires off several opponents, won in College Station, crushed No. 18 Baylor and defeated No. 25 Texas and No. 11 Kansas State.You can’t convince me that Les Miles wouldn’t take Stanford any day over Oklahoma State in the BCS National Championship Game if Alabama were to fall to Auburn this weekend. The Cardinal has one great player on offense (Andrew Luck) who lacks great weapons around him and an overachieving defense that would be mauled at the line of scrimmage by LSU’s big boys.Oklahoma State would most certainly keep the Mad Hatter awake at night thinking about the combination of QB Brandon Weeden, RB Joseph Randle and WR Justin Blackmon, possibly the three best players at their positions in the entire Big 12.If Alabama loses in the Iron Bowl and Stanford somehow gets a trip to New Orleans instead of Oklahoma State – assuming both win their regular season finales – it would be the biggest indictment of the BCS system yet. – Jim Weber.

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