Posts Tagged ‘football’

No, Stanford Should Not Give Jim Harbaugh More Money

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

Since Stanford football coach Jim Harbaugh took the Cardinal from a lowly 1-11 to a bowl-bound, #4 ranked powerhouse, Stanford fans have been worried that he will take his coaching elsewhere. The NFL or other schools, such as his alma mater Michigan, are willing to pay him very large salaries to take the helm for another team. As such, supporters of Stanford football and pro-Harbaugh advocates have made clear the position that Stanford should do what it takes to keep Harbaugh as Stanford’s coach–or, in other words, give him more money with a big new contract.

This is the wrong thing to do. Harbaugh is an excellent football coach, but that does not mean Stanford should give him more money.

The most recent calls for paying Harbaugh more have come from Hoover Fellow Alvin Rabushka, as well as an online petition echoing similar claims. Rabushka claims:

Paying millions to a football coach, even one of the top three in the country, is not in keeping with Stanford’s educational values, even though Stanford football competes against top national programs. Don’t the players deserve the same first-rate instruction in football that students receive in the classroom?

While this argument certainly has merit, I believe it is founded on an assumption that is actually a misconception. Yes, Stanford tries to excel in everything it does. But giving a larger contract to Jim Harbaugh actually runs contrary to this aim.

If Stanford were to excel equally in all aspects, and adding more money to the football program–i.e. paying Harbaugh more than his current salary of $1.25 million per year, or nearly twice the salary of President Hennessy and 13 times as much as the average associate professor at Stanford–did not take away from any other piece of the University, then the argument rests on different grounds. But the university does not excel in all different aspects and there is already a huge disparity in the amount of attention, value, and funding given to some parts of the school over others. Giving more to Harbaugh would make the discrepancy even worse and reaffirm the idea that some students are more worthy than others.


Stanford Bowl chances: where to read

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

After Stanford got a huge win against Oregon State yesterday, speculation is abound about what will happen next. Is Stanford going to make it to a BCS bowl? The AP poll pushed us up to 5th after LSU and Boise State lost, which might just be enough love from the human polls to get us to 4th and an automatic berth for a BCS bowl. But all of this is just me covering other people’s coverage and reporting, which are just as available to you. Here are the blogs and publications that I have been reading this season and will be following closely over the next few hours.

  • The Daily Axe. Their editor, Willys, has posted a few times for TUSB, and they’ve been following Stanford football all season
  • Go Mighty Card. A Stanford football blog
  • Rule of Tree. Another great Stanford sports blog. They already have some discussion up about bowl possibilities
  • PAC-10 Blog from ESPN. Ted Miller’s job is cover the PAC-10, and he loves Stanford football. Expect more of the hyperbole and optimism you get from other Stanford news sources. Brad Edwards also has a video outlining the situation pretty clearly
  • Stanford Daily. An article early yesterday outlined the bowl situation before our game. Considering that the Arkansas-LSU upset fell our way, it’s pretty convincing
  • BCS. Even with all the speculation, they really get to make the decisions. Keep an eye out for new rankings around 5PM west coast time
  • CBS bowl predictions. Between this and the Daily article, it sounds like they mostly have things figured out
  • College Hotline. Your college sports blog from the Mercury News. Predictions and an explanation already up. Articles about Stanford sports also available here
  • College sports from the SF Chronicle.
  • The Bootleg on Stanford sports
  • The Cardboard, a forum for Stanford fans

Big Game 2010: A Victory in Photos

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Big Game 2010 was absolutely glorious.  From the not-actually-that-bad weather, to the epic LSJUMB costumes, to – oh, yeah – our domination of Cal, Big Game consisted of epic Stanford supremacy from start to finish.

Hopefully you cheered alongside me through rain and shine (and touchdown after touchdown after touchdown).  If not, however, don’t worry: here are my top picks of priceless Stanford moments, as accompanied by Big Game photos taken by yours truly.

Check it out.  And congratulations to Coach Harbaugh, Andrew Luck, and the men of Stanford Football for rocking the field yesterday.  Your hard work has paid off.  The Axe is OURS!!

Notable Big Game Moments:

deadmau5, baby


My Big Game Summary

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Turnovers kill Bears

Cal Thug Cops Arrest Stanford Student

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Stanford senior Sam Pressman was celebrating today’s 48-14 Big Game victory when the cops decided to be bad sports. As Pressman encouraged his fellow Cardinal fans to rush the field, Cal security surrounded and physically restrained him:

embedded by Embedded Video

YouTube Direkt

Pressman was last seen being escorted off the field in handcuffs:

Stanford Senior Sam Pressman is detained by Cal police after encouraging fellow students to rush the field at Memorial Stadium.

Never mind that Cal rushed our field after their victory last year. Their authorities treated student section members like protestors in an autocratic state. Apparently Berkley is the town of hippie tolerance only when Cal is winning.

Big Game Tickets Available

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

I haven’t received an email about it, but I was checking that all of my Red Zone points were in line this morning and saw that Big Game tickets were available as of 10AM this morning. The link is here to get your ticket, and it’s the same login you used to get a ticket to the USC game. I guess that this may not be official, but I can’t imagine the downside to getting your ticket earlier.

I’m also not certain if this is just a Red Zone thing or whether students without enough points (check against the list here to see if they got your total points right) can use this to get tickets as well. So far, the AD has been quiet about the point situation as far as how many tickets available, whether enough people have 9 points, if there’s a priority to buying tickets based on points less than 9, transportation to the game, or anything else. I would expect to see that soon.

In the mean time, enjoy your Big Game Week and answer the poll below on where you are with Big Game

What's your deal with Big Game?

  • I have my Red Zone points and am set to go! (48%, 46 Votes)
  • I'm not going (29%, 28 Votes)
  • I missed a few games and will buy a ticket (18%, 17 Votes)
  • I have enough points but won't make it (5%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 95

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Thursday, November 4th, 2010
2011 Rose Bowl

(Image via Wikipedia)

[This post originally appeared on]

In the spirit of a new month and an updated Power Rankings that received a lot of positive reader feedback, today we’re reconsidering another all-time Reader Favorite, “The Rose Bowl Dilemma”. With the Card’s shutout victory in Seattle last Saturday and a big game coming up this weekend against #13 Arizona, Stanford fans are once again dreaming big about what might become of the 2010 Cardinal football campaign. And when PAC-10 fans (and Big Ten fans, for that matter) dream big about football, the Rose Bowl is almost always involved.

Stanford has a shot to play in Pasadena, but that shot seems to be decreasing in probability. Understand premise 1: Stanford must win out. The Cardinal would have almost no opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl if they don’t win every remaining game. (more…)

Daily Axe Preview: Stanford-Washington

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Jake Locker's health is a key to Saturday's game. (Image by avinashkunnath via Flickr)

Washington comes into this weekend’s game at 3-4 and a pedestrian 2-2 in the PAC-10. The Huskies have suffered embarrassing losses to Nebraska (56-21), Arizona (44-14), and a BYU team that we now know is terrible. But Washington’s 2010 campaign has also included close wins at USC and against Oregon State in double overtime two weeks ago. The Huskies have a great home field advantage at Husky Stadium in Seattle–they’re averaging nearly 67,000 fans per game— but are just 2-2 at home so far. And their win-loss history is not a predictable product of their opponents: the Huskies should have beaten BYU and lost to Oregon State. So what’s up with UW?

Jake Locker. The performance of the Huskies’s star senior quarterback is an incredibly reliable predictor of success. When Locker throws for more than 270 yards, the Huskies win. When he doesn’t, they lose. Locker’s passer rating also flawlessly indicates whether UW wins or loses: when his rating tops 124, Washington wins. Locker’s completion percentage is only slightly less telling of how successful the entire team will be on a given Saturday. With the exception of the loss to Arizona State on October 9, the Huskies have won every game in which Locker has completed at least 60% of his passes. (more…)

It Must Have Been the Hair

Saturday, October 23rd, 2010

Butch couldn't get it done on Saturday. (Image via Flickr)

Let’s face it: the final score of today’s Stanford-Washington State football game was just a tad (read: sarcasm) surprising. Stanford was a 34-point favorite, it’s Homecoming Weekend, and Washington State hasn’t defeated an FBS opponent this season. So casual fans who look up the final result and see 38-28 Cardinal will most likely be taken aback. But what happened?

I offer two theories:

Theory 1: Sekope Kaufusi

Who’s Sekope Kaufusi, you ask? Good question. He’s a 6′ 3″, 236-pound, Redwood City-raised linebacker for the Cougars. He didn’t make enough tackles to even appear on the Stanford Press Relations stat sheet. He’s a member of a defense that let Stanford accumulate 28 first downs, 439 yards, and 38 points. But Sekope Kaufusi just might explain the unexpected closeness of this afternoon’s game.

In the often strange world of collegiate athletics, little things can often make the pregame underdog the postgame victor. Remember the 2006 George Mason run to the Final Four, which started when a nut punch galvanized the Patriots and inspired them to keep outplaying themselves? Remember when the 2007 Appalachian State Mountaineers beat #5 Michigan in Ann Arbor for absolutely no reason? What I–and I think nearly everyone else–love about college sports is their unpredictability and amateur athletes’ susceptibility to be influenced by the most seemingly trivial factors.

And that’s exactly why Sekope Kaufusi may have given his team the boost they needed to finish within 10 points of the heavily favored and clearly superior Stanford Cardinal. (more…)

Daily Axe Preview: Stanford-Washington State

Friday, October 22nd, 2010
Butch T. Cougar, mascot of Washington State Un...

I WANT YOU to beat the Cougars. (Image via Wikipedia)

[This post originally appeared on]

It’s Homecoming Weekend on the Farm, Stanford is coming off a bye week, and the PAC-10’s second-best team is hosting the worst football team in the conference. All signs point to a complete and total obliteration. Nonetheless, Saturday’s game deserves a thorough preview, and there are some wild cards to consider. Washington State, for instance, has been improving in recent games. Sure, the Cougars are still 1-6 (their only win was a 1-point victory over FCS team Montana State) but they kept Arizona to 24 points last week and lost to Oregon by a smaller margin than Stanford did.

The weather forecast for Saturday also predicts rain, which presumably would hurt Stanford more than it would hurt Washington State. Even though the Card rely on a smash-mouth style of play, it’s hard to deny that rain would slow down the Stanford offense. But can Washington State keep up either way? (more…)

The Daily Axe’s Rose Bowl Dilemma

Saturday, October 16th, 2010
Rose Bowl

The Cardinal still have a realistic opportunity to make the Rose Bowl. (Image via Wikipedia)

[This post originally appeared on]

Every PAC-10 and Big Ten football team begins each season with the goal of reaching the Rose Bowl. In today’s college football culture, such a goal has nearly become quaint: teams willingly aim for the traditional standard of regional excellence rather than the moneyed-up, political maneuverings associated with the BCS National Championship Game. But now that the season if half completed, some teams are out of the hunt completely (we’re looking at you, Washington State), others hold only the faintest chances (UCLA, Arizona State), one team is the clear-cut favorite (Oregon) and the others have impossibly complicated scenarios with which to gain a ticket to Pasadena. So to give you an idea of Stanford’s Road to Pasadena and weed out some erroneous rumors, here is what would need to occur for the Cardinal to play in the Rose Bowl.

  1. Stanford has to win out. Sure, this isn’t mathematically necessary, but Oregon would have to lose at least 3 times in its last 6 games in order for Stanford to lose 1 more and make the Rose Bowl. Anyone who has watched the Ducks this season should know that they will not go .500 the rest of the way, especially with an upcoming 4 consecutive weeks of games against unranked opponents on the schedule. Even if Oregon did lose 3 games, another team–most likely Arizona–could step into the Rose Bowl slot if Stanford falters. (more…)

Stanford 37, USC 35

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

Stanford students rush the field after the winning kick.

No. 16 Stanford took down Southern California tonight 37-35 before a sold-out crowd. The ending was dramatic, with Nate Whitaker compensating for a missed extra-point by kicking a field goal with four seconds left on the clock. Possibly the greatest moment of the game occurred when Stanford QB Andrew Luck flattened USC’s Shareece Wright after a fumble by Stephan Taylor in the final minutes of the first half.

The Trojans have now lost three out of their four most recent games against the Cardinal.

Stanford Athletics also scored a major victory in water polo against USC, defeating the No. 1-ranked Trojans 5-3 in a game dominated by defense. Stanford goalie Brian Pingree proved a dominant force for the Cardinal with a career high 14 saves.

Daily Axe Preview: Stanford-USC

Thursday, October 7th, 2010
Quarterback Matt Barkley during a visit to a U...

QB Matt Barkley and USC run the bro style offense. (Image via Wikipedia)

[This post originally appeared on]

For the first time in years, Stanford is the favorite to beat USC. Sure, the Cardinal overcame the greatest odds in football history to beat USC in the Coliseum in 2007, and Stanford thumped the Trojans in Los Angeles last year. But USC hasn’t been double-digit underdogs–the lines move, but it looks like the spread will be about 10 points at game time–since before the turn of the millennium. That spread came in September 1998, before Pete Carroll took over in Heritage Hall, when USC was set to play at Florida State. All this is to preface the following: USC finds itself in an unfamiliar, and probably uncomfortable, position.

The Trojans are also coming off their first loss of the season, a 32-31 defeat in the Coliseum to the hands of Jake Locker’s Washington Huskies. But the 2010 Trojans are not the USC of old, which would occasionally drop a game or two and still look dominant most of the time. Lane Kiffin’s USC v. 1.0 hasn’t played good defense and looks susceptible to giving up tons of points to the offensive juggernauts of the PAC-10 (i.e. Oregon, Stanford, and Arizona). Against Washington, the USC defense allowed 536 yards of total offense, a 50% 3rd down conversion rate, and forced only one turnover. And although Washington isn’t one of the conference’s weaker offenses, it isn’t as productive as Stanford’s. Washington’s average of 28 points scored per game pales in comparison to the Card’s nearly 45 points per contest, so USC’s defense will have its hands full. (more…)

Football Exempt from Sustainability?

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Meet Sustainable Stanford.

Stanford’s football team was not the biggest loser on Saturday night.

That prize goes to the sponsors of the on-campus viewing party at Angell Field, who purchased several hundred Aquafina water bottles (pictured right) for students despite the abundance of tap water sources near the event. Although Stanford’s bigwigs claim to have embraced sustainability with great fanfare, these kinds of excesses make the university look hypocritical and insincere. In light of the hullabaloo generated over the false use of recycled paper by some of last year’s ASSU Senate candidates, the mass purchase of low-grade, bottled tap water is simply absurd. A more down-to-earth sustainability policy is in order.

Duck Hunt

Friday, October 1st, 2010

We view ourselves on the eve of battle. We are nerved for the contest, and must conquer or perish. — Sam HoustonOregon Duck Hunt

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: