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Stanford Football 2015: The Cardinal climb the Associated Press and Coaches Poll rankings

The future looks bright with Stanford climbing the rankings but tough games and unpredictability are still ahead

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Stanford is back in the AP top 10 and the National Championship landscape after their big win against UCLA Thursday.

Stanford left many impressed after easily handling a very capable UCLA team in a game that never even really got close. Stanford had the game in their hands pretty much from the opening snap and struck early and often lead by a career day from RB Christian McCaffrey.

After a hiccup in the first game, Stanford has been a force to be reckoned with and rattled off 5 straight wins. Now the Cardinal is sitting at the halfway point in the season looking pretty good. They are the top ranked team in the Pac-12 North and look poised to secure at least a conference championship bid.

Stanford's remaining schedule is not exactly a cupcake schedule, but it is very winnable. Of Stanford's remaining six opponents, only two are nationally ranked: California and Notre Dame, whom Stanford closes the season out with, respectively. The other 4 teams: Washington, Washington State, Colorado, and Oregon. All of these games are very winnable. The game against Oregon at home is still not one to sleep on despite their subpar performance this season so far.

It may not be wise to get too far ahead of ourselves, but right now with Stanford sitting at #10 in the AP poll, they are in pretty good position to have a College Football playoff spot fall into their laps. Currently of the teams in the top 10, 8 are undefeated, with the other two having one loss: #8 Alabama and #10 Stanford.

Now from our experience in college football, we know this is the time of the year when rivalries kick up and undefeated teams start falling to the wayside week by week. Taking this into consideration, there are 10 undefeated teams in college football today, by November one would expect that number to fall to below 6 and by the end of the month 3 or less. If Stanford can continue their strong hold on the Pac-12 and remain looking impressive in the process, they may very well be looking at being in the mix for one of those final playoff spots.

Anything can happen in college football around this time and nothing at all is guaranteed, but Cardinal fans can't help but feel like their sitting in a pretty good spot right now as we hit the second stretch of the season.

Coaches AP
1 Ohio State (45) Ohio State (28)
2 Baylor (12) Baylor (12)
3 TCU (4) Utah (16)
4 Michigan State TCU (3)
5 LSU (1) LSU (1)
6 Clemson Clemson (1)
7 Utah (1) Michigan State
8 Alabama Alabama
9 Florida State Florida State
10 Notre Dame Stanford
11 Stanford Notre Dame
12 Oklahoma State Iowa
13 Iowa Florida
14 Florida Oklahoma State
15 Oklahoma Texas A&M (T-15)
16 Texas A&M Michigan (T-15)
17 Memphis (T-17) Oklahoma
18 Michigan (T-17) Memphis
19 Cal Toledo
20 Toledo Cal
21 Duke Houson
22 Houston Temple
23 Ole Miss Duke
24 Temple Ole Miss
25 Georgia Pitt