So, with the season basically half over, what should we think about the season thus far? Like every other sports writer in existence, I’m going to use a “Good” and “Bad” section to delineate my thoughts. In football, everything is either “good” or “bad.” There is no in-between.
The season, so far, has to be considered: “Good.” We’ve got one really good win, we’ve beaten the teams we should have beaten, and stayed competitive in the losses (even though the final scores may not have indicated that).
Specifically, Andrew Luck’s redshirt is still being worn. That means he’ll have a year to practice, digest the offense and adjust to college football before being thrown to the wolves. The obvious inference to draw from Luck’s redshirt still being on is that Tavita Pritchard has been adequate. He’s only made one really unforgivable mistake—the INT thrown on the TCU 1—but, otherwise, has played pretty well. However, that said, don’t expect him to repeat his performances from the last two weeks. San Jose and Washington are the two worst teams on the sked.
2) Toby Gerhardt
It’s unnecessary to explain.
3) We might go bowling!
We’re halfway to a bowl. So, where are the rest of the wins?:
Should Wins: vs Washington State
–Some people say that we can never count on a win, this being Stanford football. The cynicism regarding Stanford football is justified. However, Washington State is terrible, awful, eye-rending—these adjectives really draw overtime from their overuse in reference to Wazzou. Trust me. This game is a win. STAN: 4-2
Won’t Wins: vs USC
–Some other people—optimists—think we can win this game. Trust me, not happening. USC has a quarterback with an working hand this year. Also, USC has already had their bad loss for the year. It’s unthinkable that they will overlook anyone else this year, particularly us. STAN: 4-3.
Can Wins (in order of probability of victory, with most likely appearing first): @ UCLA, vs ‘Zona, @ Notre Dame, @ Cal, @ Oregon
–You’ll notice that only one of these games is at home. This is unfortunate. On the other hand, all we need is two wins from this bunch, which is eminently achievable. STAN: 6-6, maybe 7-5.
4) The recruiting class
Ranked #11 by Scout, #13 by Rivals. No, not in the Pac-10. The country. It’s second in the Pac-10, and it’s not even a contest (for second. Obviously USC is winning.)
1) The Secondary
Like Toby Gerhardt, unnecessary to explain.
2) The Home Games
Why don’t we have that many home games?
3) The Lack of FSN on student TV
Who the heck decided to take off FSN from the student TVs so that it’s impossible to watch Stanford football on TV? Shouldn’t this be a no-brainer? And people wonder why the Stanford fan can be few and far between. Listen, if you want to have fans for football and basketball, you probably ought to make sure that these games are…actually available on TV. I’m aware that there’s this new all-access streaming service through gostanford, but it’s not the same as TV.
Notre Dame preview:
I’d really like to beat Notre Dame, because of the crushing loss inflicted on Stanford in the last game of Stanford Stadium, which ruined our chances at the bowl, and crushed my youthful naiveté for the last time (Yes, you’re right, I should’ve had that crushed by UCLA, but naiveté is a difficult bug to squash). Fortunately, Notre Dame doesn’t believe in defending the run. Fortunately, their schedule has consisted in their nearly losing to San Diego St., beating Michigan (because of six TOs in the first half), losing to Mich. St., and beating Purdue. None of these teams are as good as Oregon State. Unfortunately, it’s at Notre Dame. Unfortunately, Notre Dame appears to have a quarterback and receivers. Pretty good ones, too. This means that Stanford is operating at a disadvantage. The touchdown line is a little too big, but it’s not unreasonable. We cover the spread: Notre Dame 31 Stanford 27.