Stanford football already had a crazy season coming into Big Game, an up-and-down year that saw the Cardinal’s national title hopes take a major hit in Salt Lake City, rekindled with a dominating 26-20 victory against Oregon and then destroyed for good at the Coliseum.
On the eve of Stanford’s first Rose Bowl appearance in 12 seasons, second-year head coach David Shaw has signed a long-term extension to remain on the Farm, Stanford president John Hennessy and athletic director Bernard Muir announced Wednesday.
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.
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.
Stanford continues to climb in the national polls after earning its spot in the Pac-12 Championship game with a win over UCLA last night, possibly all the way up to No. 6 in the BCS when the standings are released tonight. Daniel Zychlinski’s injury and Terrence Stephens’ absence might hurt the Card in the rematch on Friday.
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.
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.