Although many college football programs have recently incurred heavy financial losses due to bowl game participation, the Stanford athletics department has seen both an increase in season-ticket renewals and national profile in the aftermath of the 2013 Rose Bowl.
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.
He pulled off the greatest statistical upset in college football history over four years ago, became a significant contributor to the turnaround of the Stanford program and has already spent a full season as a volunteer assistant for the squad. But believe it or not, Tavita Pritchard still has a lot to learn about football.
The Stanford football team waited eight years to play in a bowl game, but it will have to wait longer to achieve its first bowl win since 1996. The Cardinal (8-5, 6-3 Pac-10) fell to the Oklahoma Sooners (8-5, 5-3 Big 12) 31-27 on New Year’s Eve at the Sun Bowl, which happens to be the site of Stanford’s last bowl win…