The Stanford Cardinals and the UCLA Bruins have claimed a spot on the Black Friday schedule for a California clash in the Pac-12, but is it to be considered a rivalry, yet? UCLA is usually known for it’s rivalry battle with USC, however this year will be a little bit different.
Follow SBR's Complete Coverage of Rivalry Week in the Following:
California Battle Royale in the City of Roses
Ok, so let’s say these teams aren’t exactly arch-enemies. It doesn’t mean we aren’t in for grudge-match. The stakes are high for both teams going into this contest, and both teams have a lot to lose in the game on Friday.
What did we learn from last weekend? Well for starters, we know that the Oregon Ducks have sealed the deal on their spot as the Pac-12 North winner to move on to the conference title championship game in Santa Clara on December 5th. But who will they go toe-to-toe with them in the final battle for No. 1 in the conference? That question has come down to Friday’s contest in the golden state, UCLA vs. Stanford.
UCLA is the only team in the Pac-12 who still has control of their destiny in the Southern Division and currently ranked in the Top 10 of the Playoff Rankings (No. 9). If they win Saturday’s game against the Cardinals, they will go on to face-off with the Ducks in the Pac-12 ‘Ship. Will their Heisman Trophy candidate, quarterback Brett Hundley, be able to pull of his last trick to make it to the title game against the Ducks?
And on the other side of the ball we’ve got Stanford who needs an upset win to be eligible for a bowl game spot for the January series. If Stanford pulls off a win on Saturday, the Bruins can kiss their Championship Game goodbye, and the winner of the Arizona-Arizona State match-up will go on to the Championship. Don’t think Stanford isn’t capable of the upset. Shall we think back to the upset they pulled on Oregon two years ago when Stanford went into the game as the 20-point underdogs? The Cardinals came out of that one as the winner in overtime ruining the Ducks chances at the NCAA Football Championship. If they can do it once, they can do it again.
The UCLA vs. Stanford game may not be a traditional rivalry game, but it will definitely feel like one. A game that only allows for one team to advance into the playoffs can make even the best of friends turn into ferocious enemies.