On Sunday, that roar inside Maples Pavilion wasn’t for a double alley-oop for Cardinal men’s basketball, nor was it for another conference title for women’s basketball. Instead, it was in recognition of Stanford wrestling — a team largely overlooked and forgotten that had faded into relative obscurity on campus — because on Sunday, with the Pac-12 Championships held on the Farm for the first time since 2006, the team capped off a regular season in which it thundered back to relevance, establishing a presence that looks to be here to stay.
Welcome to The Daily’s live blog of tonight’s Pac-12 Championship Game between the No. 7 Stanford Cardinal (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) and the No. 11 Arizona State Sun Devils (10-2, 8-1) at Sun Devil Stadium. We’ll be updating this page all evening with live coverage and analysis. Please also follow us on Twitter @StanfordSports for extended coverage and commentary. All times are Pacific.
There was a point in mid-October when Stanford’s goal of claiming the Pac-12 crown seemed a world away. The Cardinal was coming off a tough overtime loss to Notre Dame, a result that was decided by one of the more controversial calls in college football this season. The Fighting Irish had handed the Cardinal its second loss of the year and the once vivid memory of its upset over USC back in late September was fading fast in the rearview mirror. With a host of ranked opponents still left on the grueling backend of its schedule, the outlook on Stanford’s postseason fate at the midpoint of the season was far less sunny than Pasadena.
I’m not going to pretend I’m happy that Stanford couldn’t even sell out its 50,000-seater stadium for the Pac-12 Championship Game on Friday, but there is something deliciously anti-establishment in the fact that, on merit alone, a school that wouldn’t normally get picked for even one BCS bowl is going to be heading to its third in three years.
Welcome to The Daily’s live blog of tonight’s Pac-12 Championship Game between the Cardinal and the Bruins. We’ll be updating this page with instant coverage and analysis. Please refresh this page for the most recent updates. All times are Pacific.
Here’s a little recipe for success for future Stanford coaches: If you want to make it to the Rose Bowl, throw conventional wisdom out the window.
Stanford can’t focus on postseason awards just yet with No. 17 UCLA and a potential Rose Bowl berth looming at Friday’s Pac-12 Championship game, but the No. 8 Cardinal received some more national recognition on Wednesday when senior tight end Zach Ertz and junior offensive tackle David Yankey were both named to the American Football Coaches Association All-American Team.