It gets harder every single year. The end of the school year means it’s time to say goodbye to another class of Stanford student-athletes.
Stanford football made a big splash at the end of its main official visit weekend, landing verbal commitments from two of its top four remaining targets in the class of 2013.
It’s been a while since the Cardinal has come out on top in the Granddaddy of Them All—41 years to be exact. Tomorrow on New Year’s Day, No. 6 Stanford (11-2, 8-1 Pac-12) finally has the chance to end that drought as it squares off against Wisconsin (8-5, 4-4 Big Ten) at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
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.
Football Head Coach David Shaw was named the 2012 Pac-12 Coach of the Year on Monday when the conference awards were announced—24 players earned individual honors as well. In just his second year as Stanford’s head coach, Shaw has now won the award for two straight years. Only three other coaches in conference history have earned the honor in back-to-back seasons.