College Football Preseason Top 25: #4 Stanford

Al Dannity | Updated Oct 04, 2017

Al Dannity is higher on the Cardinal than most and not just because of Andrew Luck’s cannon arm. Here’s why Al believes Stanford should return to the BCS this season.

The schedule The early slate is particularly kind to the Cardinal. Realistically they should open 6-0 before facing their first big test of 2011, a home game against Washington. Business picks up briskly after that clash with the Huskies however as Stanford faces some big time opposition.

The Cardinal will look to make it three wins in a row against USC when they meet in the Coliseum on October 29. A trip to Corvallis to take on the Beavers comes next before three huge home games round off the regular season. First it’s a clash with last season’s Pac-12 champions, Oregon. Then it’s The Big Game at home to Cal before the match-up that could be The Bigger Game this year against Notre Dame. A win over the Irish would pad Stanford’s non-conference record ahead of a possible trip to the Pac-12 title game.

The players There are just 11 returning starters on this Stanford team and with a new head coach, it would be easy to write off the Cardinal as one-season wonders. Not so fast my friends. College Football betting fans know Andrew Luck is smart and not just in the classroom. Everybody’s pick for the #1 selection in next year’s draft stayed in school because he knows what this team is capable of. Running back Stepfan Taylor could be just as big a threat as Andrew Luck is with the ball in his hands. The offense also welcomes back two key members of the offensive line in Jonathan Martin and David DeCastro. Defensively the Cardinal can count on good to great talent in every department. Delano Howell promises to be the star of the show but expect big contributions from Matt Masifilo and Shayne Skov as well.

The forecast The Pac-12 is a two horse race and Stanford should make the title game if they can finish with a 13-0 record. Getting there won’t be easy but they have the tools required to do it. I have little doubt that Stanford will return to the BCS this season. Their schedule is conducive to a run at close to perfection as is the Rose Bowl’s preference to take a Pac-12 team if possible. That means that even if Stanford lose one game, the only way they won’t be in the BCS is if that is either the Pac-12 title game or the team that beats them misses the national title game and steals their spot in Pasadena.