STANFORD, Calif. (AP) When Stanford steps on the field to take on No. 9 Notre Dame, it would be understandable if the 20th-ranked Cardinal also paid close attention to what was happening several hundred miles north of the Bay Area.
Because as much as it would mean for Stanford (8-3, No. 21 CFP) to beat the Fighting Irish (9-2, No. 8), the result in the Apple Cup in Seattle between Washington State and Washington will have a much bigger impact on the Cardinal's future.
A Huskies win would give Stanford the Pac-12 North title and a spot in the conference championship game next week against Southern California. The Cougars would earn that spot if they win, based on taking the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cardinal with a win earlier this month.