Stanford vs. UCLA 2012 previews, TV schedule, odds: The first of two?

Steve Dykes

Stanford and UCLA play Saturday in a game the Cardinal needs to win for a guaranteed spot in the Pac-12 Championship and UCLA doesn't after clinching a spot last week.

The No. 8 Stanford Cardinal will likely need to beat the No. 17 UCLA Bruins on Saturday for a chance to play them again in the Pac-12 Championship game.

With a win over USC last week, UCLA moved to 6-4, which is two games better than any other team in the Pac-12 South and seals their spot in the title game. But Stanford is still tied at 6-1 in-conference with Oregon and needs a win Saturday to ensure a chance at playing for the conference title.That more or less gives the Bruins the opportunity to pick their poison heading into next week's game; if UCLA loses, the they'll play Stanford again next week as the Cardinal own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Oregon after last week's stunning 17-14 overtime win against the Ducks. If UCLA wins, they'll head to Oregon for a rematch of last year's conference title game if No. 5 Oregon can beat No. 15 Oregon State.

From that perspective, a loss Saturday might be the most palatable option for the Bruins. Stanford could have to play all its cards, as the Cardinal need the win more, giving UCLA a chance to see what works and then rinse and repeat before a rematch. And although the Cardinal's defense is 10th in the country and held Oregon last week to only two touchdowns, many would still rather face Stanford than an Oregon attack that scores over 50 points a game.

Full weekend TV schedule || UCLA, Stanford blogs trade previews || Picks for every game

Here's the info on how to watch the game:

Game time, TV channel: 6:30 p.m. ET, FOX

Point spread: Stanford favored by 2

Check the national college football scoreboard right here, and look through SB Nation's many excellent college football blogs to find your team's community.

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