Tomorrow’s match against the Oregon Ducks is, undoubtedly, the biggest game in the four years I’ve been on the Farm. Sure, there’ve been Big Games and electrifying USC showdowns. But when the match’s original 8 PM PST kickoff get’s pushed back three hours so that the Atlantic seabord can watch in primetime, on the same day that Texas takes on Oklahoma and Florida squares off against Alabama, we’re talking something huge. Oh, and both teams are ranked in the top 10 nationally.
Here’s the roundup of gameday chatter from this past week:
— Vegas gives the match a 65-point over/under and a 7-point spread. Most of the experts are picking Oregon.
— Stanford can still pull off the upset. Here’s five reasons why from the guy who correctly called last year’s win over Oregon.
— Oregon and Stanford are first and fourth in points for, respectively. The Ducks are fast; the Cardinal are tough. A clash of offense styles is guaranteed.
— Defensively, though, the two teams are strikingly similiar.
— Stanford’s defense may have proven itself to doubters at Notre Dame, but the offense still has room to improve.
— Jim Harbaugh and Oregon’s Chip Kelly get all the credit for making the Pac-10 possibly the best FBS conference in the country. Harbaugh has completely changed the attitude around the Farm.
— Stepfan Taylor has started filling in the gap left by Toby Gerhart. Injured WR Ryan Whalen was at practice on Wednesday.
— The most beautiful 13 seconds of last weekend’s match at Notre Dame swung the spotlight onto two-way player Owen Marecic. But Oregon’s Brandon Bair is juggling more than just football.
— Speaking of Marecic, he’s a seminfinalist for the William V. Campbell trophy, a.k.a. the “Academic Heisman.”
— Luck and Oregon QB Darron Thomas go way back. And so do Marecic and Oregon LB Casey Matthews.
— EA ran a simulation of tomorrow’s game, and though I like the outcome, we didn’t have hands for half of it!