Pay close attention to the No. 15 Washington Huskies for the next two weeks. It could determine whether they have a legitimate shot at a BCS bowl or will be relegated to a less prestigious postseason game.
Everyone pretty much expected that No. 2 Oregon and No. 5 Stanford would be battling it out for the Pac-12 North division title. But the Huskies’ 4-0 start is thrusting them into the conversation.
UW heads to Stanford for a Saturday night tilt, then will host the Ducks at Husky Stadium next week.
A sweep of both teams would put the Huskies in control of their own destiny to win the division and, potentially, host the Pac-12 Championship Game. A sweep of two top-5 programs would also surely vault the Huskies into the BCS and national championship picture.
Losses to both the Cardinal and Ducks would virtually knock Washington out of the race.
A split would keep Washington in the running, but they would have to wait until the Ducks visit Stanford on Nov. 7 to see if they still have a shot.
Of course, the Huskies have to keep winning. Their remaining games after Oregon are at No. 22 Arizona State; home against Cal and Colorado, at No. 12 UCLA and Oregon State; and home to Washington State for the Apple Cup.
The first BCS standings will be released Oct. 20, one week after the Oregon game.
Oregon State is the only other Pac-12 North team that is undefeated in conference play, but the Beavers are not expected to contend for the title.