No. 2 Ducks host UCLA Saturday then visit Stanford next weekend as the season heats up

Starting Saturday against UCLA and continuing next week at Stanford, Oregon faces the most challenging span of its schedule.

The outcome of the seven-day stretch is crucial for the Ducks to have a shot at the national championship. Right now the Ducks sit at No. 2 in the AP Top 25 behind Alabama.

In the initial BCS rankings, released this past Sunday, Oregon is No. 3, pushed back by undefeated Florida State, which beat No. 3 Clemson 51-14 last Saturday.

But while victories over the No. 12 Bruins and No. 8 Cardinal are considered essential for Oregon, the Ducks are focused solely on UCLA (5-1, 2-1) this Saturday afternoon at Autzen Stadium.