Stanford Cardinal Football Season Preview History
2014 Stanford Football Preview:
The Cardinal won their 2nd Pac-12 championship in as many years in 2013, winning 11 games and posting an 8-2 conference record. David Shaw has turned the cardinal and white into a perennial conference and national championship contender and expectations are high for 2014. Stanford lost some key talent, especially on the defensive side of the ball following the 2013 season. Gone are outstanding linebackers Trent Murphey, Shayne Skov, and Jarek Lancester. Add defensive ends Ben Gardner and Josh Mauro to the list of departures and there are some serious question marks regarding the Cardinal’s defense in 2014. Despite losing all of that experience, Stanford still looks to start 9 seniors on defense, and returning quarterback Kevin Hogan has Palo Alto’s sights set on yet another Pac-12 title. Stanford’s schedule is filled with exciting matchups, including a week 2 meeting with USC, and trips to Oregon and UCLA.
2013 Stanford Football Preview:
Head coaches may leave, star quarterbacks may depart, but the Stanford Cardinal football program remains consistent. Most college football teams go through an adjustment period after a Heisman finalist leaves and becomes the number one draft pick in the NFL. Not David Shaw’s team. Stanford won the PAC-12 and the Rose Bowl in the first season of the post-Andrew Luck era. Junior Kevin Hogan returns as the signal caller after taking over mid-season in a bold move by Shaw. Stanford did not lose a game once Hogan became the starting quarterback. Shaw will have to decide who the starting running back is after the departure of the school’s all-time leading rusher Stepfan Taylor. With tight ends Zach Ertz and Levine Toilolo also leaving, Stanford will need someone to step up that Hogan can trust in tough situations. College sports are all about handling transition, and Shaw showcased last season that he is up for the task. Stanford will try and win back-to-back PAC-12 titles with home games against Washington, UCLA, and Oregon. The Cardinal will finish their season with a great contest at Stanford Stadium against Notre Dame.
2011 Stanford Football Preview:
Cardinal head coach David Shaw could be the luckiest man in Northern California, outside of maybe David Zuckerberg. When the 2010 season ended with a drubbing of Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, most assumed that both then-head coach Jim Harbaugh and his protégé quarterback Andrew Luck would be headed to the NFL. But while Harbaugh decided to move slightly north to San Francisco and the NFL’s 49ers franchise, Luck decided to stay for another year.
It’s fitting that Luck has stayed on to finish his degree in Architectural Design, because he is the framework of the house the team is built around. A lock to go number one in the NFL draft, Luck’s 32 scoring tosses and amazing 70% completion percentage will be hard to replicate, but the trend is that he is getting better. In the last eight games of 2010, his competition percentage was 75.9%, with a 19-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio. His offensive weapons, like tailback Stepfan Taylor and tight end Coby Fleener, are amazing talents as well, which only adds to the the rest of the newly structured Pac-12. The only dip they’ll experience is at O-Line, where they’ve lost three starters, including All-American center Chase Beeler. That might make Luck’s throws quicker, but his talent should supersede the loss.
Defensively, the Cardinal are beginning to gel as the offense has. The heart of the unit is the linebacking corps, which returns juniors Shayne Skov and Chase Thomas, who both received all-conference honorable mentions, as did senior end Matt Masifilo. Masifilo will have to bring the pressure up front to ease the pressure put on the experienced, but shallow-depthed secondary.
2010 Stanford Football Preview:
After going 16-40 from 2002 through 2006, the Stanford Cardinal football program has received a shot in the arm from head coach Jim Harbaugh. After two rebuilding years at the helm, Harbaugh brought Stanford to its first bowl game since 2001 and a tie for second place in the Pac-10 in 2009. With the departure of the runner-up Heisman candidate, running back Toby Gerhart, some question marks blemish the team's bid for a conference championship - but a number of competitive advantages exist as well.
On the defensive side, Sanford is only one of three Pac-10 teams to field a starting cornerback from 2009. In addition, sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck now has a full, winning season under his belt to propel the Cardinal offense over its competitors this year. Last season, he threw for an impressive 2,575 yards and tallied 13 touchdowns, despite Gerhart's proclivity to carry the red-zone offense.
Luck will call the game behind center Chase Beeler, a second-team All-Pac-10 member last year, who will be competing for All-Conference honors in the upcoming season. Fans can look forward to exciting games all season long, including a showdown versus Sanford's storied rival, Cal, in the penultimate week of the regular season.
2009 Stanford Football Preview:
Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh
Big things are expected for the Stanford Cardinal as they enter the 2009 football season. Cardinal Head Coach Jim Harbaugh has guided Stanford to a 9-15 record his first two seasons, but that includes an upset of then #1 USC. If Harbaugh can get his quarterback and offense clicking then watch out for Stanford to take a huge step forward in the battle for supremacy in the Pac 10 Conference.
2008 Stanford Football Preview:
The Stanford Cardinal football program is one of the most highly respected on the field and off the field in all of college football. After a number of losing seasons, this two-time national championship winning program looks to bring itself back to Pac-10 Conference title contention and gain a bowl bid this season. Under new coach Jim Harbaugh, Stanford will be an exciting team to watch and the newly renovated Stanford Stadium will be a dream venue in which to experience hard-nosed Pac-10 action.