Stanford prepares for an imposing road in 2014


Burning the Nerds: Bennie Fowler of Michigan State got deep on the Stanford defense in the Rose Bowl, connecting here with quarterback Connor Cook on a 60-yard pass play (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports photo.)

The Stanford Cardinal deserve full credit for winning the last two PAC-12 titles and beating the Oregon Ducks three years out of the last five, but the arrogance and elitism that emanates out of Palo Alto is getting a little tiresome.

It’s not as if they’re invincible. Last year they fell to Utah, USC and Michigan State, and finished 11-3. That’s a good but not great season. The year before they stumbled at Washington and sputtered at Notre Dame, 20-13 in overtime for a 12-2 record.

Seasons like that will get a coach on the hot seat at Oregon anymore.

This year David Shaw has four new starters on the offensive line. They graduated ground-pounding tailback Tyler Gaffney, LG David Yankey, RT Cam Fleming, FB Ryan Hewitt, DE Ben Gardner, LB Shayne Skov, LB Trent Murphy,  and S Ed Reynolds.

Defensive coordinator Derek Mason left to take the head coaching job at Vanderbilt.

The schedule is brutal, with road trips to  Washington, Notre Dame, Arizona State, Oregon and UCLA. The Cardinal host USC in week two, an early indication of how well they’ll recover from all those graduation losses.

Dale Newton

About Dale Newton

The Ducks Stops Here is a site for opinions, commentary and analysis on Duck football. I've written it since 2010. Reader contributions are welcome and can be submitted at