Tonight, that dream will be either made or broken as No. 8 Stanford (10-2, 8-1 Pac-12) hosts No. 16 UCLA (9-3, 6-3) in the Pac-12 Championship Game, with the winner automatically advancing to the prestigious Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
I can’t guarantee a winner tonight, but here are the changes each team will look to make if it wants to represent the Pac-12 at the Rose Bowl on New Year’s Day.
A decade ago, it took three seasons for Stanford to amass ten wins. During those three miserable years, the Cardinal never finished higher than eighth out of the ten teams in the Pac-10. Nineteen losses in conference play. Twenty-three total defeats. Those were the kinds of numbers that defined the program.
Football: Cardinal rolls No. 17 UCLA 35-17 to win Pac-12 North, set up rematch in Pac-12 Championship
Stanford took care of business on Saturday night, smothering Johnathan Franklin and the UCLA run game and scoring plenty of points on the way to a 42-24 win over the No. 17 Bruins. With the win, Stanford guaranteed its spot in the Pac-12 Championship, which the No. 8 Cardinal will host against this same UCLA team next Friday night.
Check out some keys to the game in our GameDay Guide as No. 8 Stanford takes on No. 17 UCLA from the Rose Bowl. A Pac-12 North Division crown and berth in the Pac-12 Championship are on the line for the Cardinal
Football: With the Pac-12 North Division title in sight, Stanford squares off against UCLA at the Rose Bowl
The silence was deafening in Autzen. Jordan Williamson raced across the field in celebration, moments after his 37-yard field goal snuck inside the left upright. Devon Carrington, the backup safety who somehow chased down Marcus Mariota to save a touchdown in the first quarter, joined the mob that buried Williamson in elation. Stepfan Taylor too was in the chaos. Kevin Hogan, still in his helmet, congratulated his teammates and even almost cracked a smile in his postgame interview on the field.