Tag Archives: stanford cardinals

Rose Bowl Stadium

Will Ohio State face Stanford 2014 Rose Bowl?

With just three weeks remaining in the regular season the race for the Rose Bowl is taking form. This year’s Rose Bowl will be held January 1st in Pasadena. Here’s a look at the current race in the Big Ten and Pac 12.

Big Ten: Ohio State is undefeated, winners of 21 straight, and has a clear path to take home first place in the Big Ten Leaders division. Due to their victory over second place Wisconsin the Buckeyes would have to lose two of their remaining games to not make the Big Ten title game. In the Legends division, the race is still wide open, with Michigan State the one team that controls their own destiny. Michigan State is undefeated in the division but has three relatively tough games remaining. The Spartans travel to Northwestern and Nebraska followed by a home matchup with Minnesota. If they win out, they’re in. If they lose one or two games the Spartans open the path for Nebraska or Minnesota to take the Legends Division. The Minnesota Gophers are the surprise Big Ten team, winners of four straight conference games. The Gophers have already defeated Nebraska and finish up the regular season at Michigan State. If the Spartans lose at Northwestern or Nebraska and Minnesota wins out the Gophers would advance to the Big Ten title game. Nebraska, who won at Michigan this past weekend, hosts Michigan State in Lincoln on Saturday. If the Huskers defeat the Spartans and win their remaining games they’ll take the Legends Division.

Ohio State will be heavily favoured in the Big Ten title game, no matter who represents the Legends Division. If Alabama Crimson Tide and Florida State win out the Rose Bowl will likely feature an undefeated Ohio State versus either Stanford or the Pac 12 South representative.

Pac 12 Conference

Pac 12

Pac 12: With Stanford’s victory over Oregon on Thursday the Cardinal control their own destiny in the Pac 12 North race. The Cardinal have a tough game with USC this coming weekend but wrap up conference play with a bad California team. They would need to lose both their remaining conference games for Oregon to overcome them, an extremely unlikely scenario. The race in the Pac 12 South is still very much wide open. First place Arizona State will take home the division if they win their remaining games including a key matchup with UCLA. The same goes for UCLA who will once again represent the Pac 12 South in a big rematch versus Stanford if they win out. Third place USC is on a hot streak lately but would need to defeat a good Stanford team this weekend as well as knock off UCLA in the battle of Los Angeles to end the season. Due to USC’s loss at Arizona State, the Trojans would still need major help to beat the Sun Devils. Arizona State’s late comeback versus Utah this weekend may have any realistic shot of USC winning the division. If the Trojans can defeat Stanford and win out there is still an outside shot though. ASU still has games remaining versus UCLA and their annual rivalry game with Arizona.

Rose Bowl Projection: It’s tough to see anyone beating Ohio State in the Big Ten title game. The same goes for Stanford in the Pac 12. Look for Stanford to knock off UCLA in the Pac 12 Title game, setting up a very attractive Rose Bowl matchup between the third and fourth ranked teams in the country, Ohio State and Stanford.

By:Chris Michaels

Top Five Teams In BCS Standings

Crimson Tide
With Oregon’s loss at Stanford this past Thursday the road to Pasadena and the College Football National Championship Game is clear for the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida State Seminoles. Both Alabama and Florida State took care of business this weekend. The Crimson Tide put together a powerful second half to defeat the 13th ranked LSU Tigers going away. Florida State, coming off of last week’s destruction of the Miami Hurricanes, dispatched Wake Forest in blowout fashion. Both clubs have a couple potential road blocks in the remaining schedule but look destined to face off at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 6th. Here’s a look at the top five teams in the BCS standings and their BCS point total.

1. Alabama (.996): Les Miles and the LSU Tigers gave the Alabama Crimson Tide a game for two and a half quarters before the superior Alabama attack took over and wore out the LSU defense. The Crimson Tide defeated LSU going away behind a strong performance from sophomore running back TJ Yeldon and the typical efficient passing game from AJ McCarron. The Tide is now 9-0 on the season and look to be on a collision course with their fourth BCS title game in five seasons. Alabama has three games remaining, a road matchup with Mississippi State followed by a non-conference game with Tennessee-Chattanooga, two games in which they’ll be heavily favored in. Alabama wraps up the season with their annual Iron Bowl with a rejuvenated Auburn team. The Tigers are thriving under first year head coach Gus Malzahn and are ranked 7th in the country. They’ll have home field advantage with the game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

2. Florida State (.962): The Seminoles have the quality of victory and strength of schedule to reach the BCS title game even if Ohio State and Baylor finish undefeated. Beyond an ACC Championship game where the Seminoles will be heavily favored the Seminoles only “tough” remaining game is a season ending rivalry game with the Florida Gators. The Gators are 4-5 on the season and have their poorest offense in years. It’s hard to see the Gators mustering enough offense to overcome the Seminoles dominant scoring attack led by Jameis Winston. Look for the Seminoles to go undefeated.

3. Ohio State (.893):The Buckeyes, winners of 21 straight games, just don’t have the quality of opposition to reach the title game provided Alabama and Florida State finish undefeated. Currently only one team on the Ohio State schedule, Wisconsin, is ranked in the top 25. The Buckeyes are the victim of a Big Ten conference that is increasingly falling down the list of the best conferences in college football. If Florida State or Alabama lose things could get interesting, with Ohio State competing with Baylor, or perhaps a one loss team for the title game.

4. Stanford (.869): The one loss Cardinal has to be kicking themselves for losing a shocker at Utah earlier this season. With a victory over Oregon the Cardinal has the strength of schedule and impressive victories to reach the title game if not for their inexplicable loss versus the Utes. Should Florida State or even Alabama suffer a loss the Cardinal are a potential one loss representative in the title game. Their quality of opponent will only get better as they wrap up their regular season in the strong Pac 12.

5. Baylor (.862): The Baylor Bears are quickly becoming the Oregon of the Big 12 conference with their high-powered offense. With a back-loaded schedule the Bears strength of schedule will increase as the year winds down. Should they stay undefeated they’ll still need quite a bit of help to make the title game. A loss by two of the three undefeated teams would likely be necessary to help Baylor reach the title game.

By:Chris Michaels

Can Florida State Reach The BCS Title Game?

Jameis Winston QB

Jameis Winston

So far this college football season the majority of BCS title game talk has focused on whoever comes out of the SEC (most feel Alabama), Oregon, Clemson and Ohio State. All four teams have a strong argument to make the title game if undefeated, with both Alabama and Oregon likely a shoe in if they make it through their conference schedule unscathed. Clemson, who defeated a very good Georgia team has a very good opportunity to represent the ACC in the title game if they run their schedule, including wins over Florida State and South Carolina. Ohio State, with the easiest schedule, is the most likely second tier contender to go undefeated but the Buckeyes will need a lot of help due to their poor strength of schedule. With all the talk of Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State and Clemson there may be a new contender with a path to the BCS title game. The Florida State Seminoles, fresh off a 63-0 destruction of Maryland, have a superstar quarterback in Jameis Wilson and a potential clear path to the title game if they can go undefeated.

Can Florida State reach the BCS title game? Here are three factors in their favor.

The Schedule: The Seminoles have three remaining games against teams ranked in the twenty, a home game against the University of Miami and trips to Clemson and Florida. If Florida State gets through those games unscathed they’ll finish above both Clemson and Ohio State in the BCS standings and potentially could finish above Oregon/Stanford based on the quality of their victories. Whether they can finish without a loss is a bigger question. Death Valley and Gainesville are hostile environments to play in and a home game against a resurgent Miami team will be a tough rivalry game. The good thing for college football fans is that we’ll find out very soon as FSU travels to Clemson on October 19th.

The Jameis Winston Factor: Freshman quarterback Jameis Wilson is quickly becoming a Johnny Manzeil-like phenomenon. He put together yet another incredible performance versus Maryland with several highlight reel plays. Winston has 17 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions on the season with a 73% completion percentage. Winston is a legitimate Heisman candidate and the most touted FSU quarterback since Charlie Ward. His presence has pushed Florida State back onto the national stage and just may have an impact on the important pollsters. If Winston continues is stellar play and the Seminoles continue to win his presence could be a factor in FSU leap-frogging Ohio State or perhaps Oregon/Stanford.

Florida State or Stanford? From a profile perspective both Stanford and Florida State have a similar argument for reaching the top spot in the BCS poll if they go undefeated. Both teams have a brutal upcoming schedule that includes three games against top fifteen teams. Both clubs are currently the second ranked teams in their respective conferences but have an opportunity to defeat Oregon and Clemson respectively to vault up the rankings. So what happens if both Florida State and Stanford finish their schedule without a loss? Could they both vault a one loss SEC team and play each other in the title game? If Alabama wins out and earns the top BCS spot where would these two clubs land? Who knows? The first BCS standings will tell us a lot and they’re scheduled to be released on October 13th. By:Chris Michaels

Wisconsin Will Have New Coach For Rose Bowl

With former Wisconsin Badgers head coach Bret Bielema leaving to take the open job at Arkansas, the Badgers will have a new coach guiding them to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl Game on January 1st. Surprisingly, Wisconsin team captains approached a man who has already won three Rose Bowls: Badgers athletic director Barry Alvarez.

Alvarez retired from coaching in 2005 after winning Rose Bowls in 1994, 1999, and 2000. He won 118 games in 16 years, in the process becoming Wisconsin’s all-time winningest coach. As the Badgers’ head man, Alvarez won numerous coaching awards including AFCA Coach of the Year and Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year in 1993 after leading Wisconsin to a 10-1-1 record, a Big Ten title and a Rose Bowl victory. He was also named the Big Ten Coach of the Year that season and won it again in 1998.

The Pennsylvania native played football for Bob Devaney at Nebraska from 1966 to 1968 and then began his coaching career as an assistant at Lincoln Northeast HS in Nebraska. After serving on Lou Holtz’s Notre Dame staff, Alvarez got the head coaching job in Madison inheriting one of the Big Ten’s most dismal programs. After consecutive 5-6 seasons, Alvarez led the Badgers to that Big Ten title in ‘93 and proceeded to guide Wisconsin to six seasons of at least nine wins. In his 16 years in Madison, Alvarez took the Badgers to 11 bowls games, going 8-3.

Alvarez stepped down in 2005 but remained an integral part of the program meaning there will be little distraction for the rest of the staff and the players. He will likely allow the staff to operate “business as usual” and offer input, make game-day decisions, and handle the press. There should be a little problem since Bielema was on Alvarez’s staff and hand-picked as his successor.

Bielema’s teams were much like Alvarez’s – tough, stingy defences and big, huge offensive lines that opened holes for 10 straight years of 1,000-yard rushers. Expect the same with Heisman Trophy candidate Montee Ball, who established the NCAA record for career touchdowns with 82 behind another massive Wisconsin offensive line. Alvarez has told his players that he would be honoured to coach them, but he has also told them that he will not screw around. Alvarez has made it clear to the Badgers that he is in it to win it. With three Rose Bowl wins under his belt, don’t be surprised if Alvarez adds a fourth this year.

Preview of Stanford Vs Wisconsin 2013 Rose Bowl

The Granddaddy of them all features a somewhat surprising Pac-12 champion, the Stanford Cardinal, against a definite surprise in Big Ten champ, Wisconsin Badgers. The Badgers, by virtue of both Ohio State’s and Penn State’s bowl bans, represented the Leaders Division in the conference title game where they subsequently handed 12th-ranked Nebraska a 70-31 pounding.

After losing superstar QB Andrew Luck, OG David DeCastro, and TE Coby Fleener to the NFL, Stanford was supposed to be rebuilding while grooming a new QB. After a respectable 6-2 start under Josh Nunes, freshman Kevin Hogan stepped in against Colorado and the Cardinal have not lost since. Coach David Shaw’s squad took care of the UCLA Bruins in the Pac-12 championship game, 27-24. The game was a rematch of the regular season finale in which Stanford had a much easier time with the resurgent Bruins, beating them 35-17.

Besides Hogan, who has thrown for 973 yards and nine touchdowns, the Cardinal look to senior RB Stepfan Taylor who leads Stanford’s powerful running game with 1,442 yards and 12 rushing touchdowns. Tight end Zach Ertz, who caught the winning TD pass in the upset win over Oregon, leads the passing game with 66 catches for 837 yards and six scores.

What really drives Stanford, though, is defence. The Cardinal defence yields just 88 yards rushing per game and is 21st in the nation in total defence. Defensive coordinator Derek Mason’s front seven is as talented as any in the country with LB Chase Thomas leading the charge. It’s an old-school smash-mouth type defence that features several blitz and pressure packages and is as good as any in the defence-dominant SEC.

Wisconsin returns to the Rose Bowl game for the third consecutive year seeking its first win. The Badgers lost to TCU, 21-19, in the 2011 game and 45-38 to Oregon this past January. Head coach Bret Bielema had to replace QB Russell Wilson to begin the season and the task was much harder than expected. Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien looked to continue the transfer-wagon but was replaced by Joel Stave after lacklustre performances led to losses to Oregon State (10-7) and Nebraska (30-27). After an injury to Stave, journeyman Curt Phillips has taken over and led the Badgers to their second consecutive league title.

Stave had been efficient throwing for 1104 yards and Phillips, who was 6-for-8 in the championship game, isn’t asked to do much, but the offense revolves around RB Montee Ball, the NCAA career leader in touchdowns (82). Ball rushed for 202 yards on 21 carries and three touchdowns to lead the Badgers to the Big Ten championship win over Nebraska. Wisconsin shredded the Huskers’ defense for 640 yards, 539 of them on the ground. Both Ball and RB Melvin Gordon went over 200 yards against Nebraska. Gordon led Wisconsin with 216 yards on just nine carries.

This year’s Rose Bowl should be a march down memory lane as two run-oriented offenses square off against two old-school defenses. The Badgers’ five losses were each by three points, including three of those defeats occurring in overtime. The Cardinal have also played there share of close games losing to top-ranked Notre Dame 20-13 in overtime and dropping a 17-13 defeat to Washington earlier in the season. Remember it was Stanford who held the fast-paced Oregon Ducks to just 14 points and then beat them in overtime 17-14. No question, this year’s Rose Bowl will be a hard-fought, defensive struggle with the team most successful running the football earning the win.

Rose Bowl Tickets are on sale now

Never Too Early To Talk About The Granddaddy Of Them

Seven weeks into the 2012 college football season, we finally have our first BCS rankings and, with that, it’s time to project the biggest bowl of them all…The Rose Bowl. This year’s Rose Bowl, to be played on January 1st as usual, will feature the traditional Big Ten/Pac-12 matchup. But, who will represent each conference? Sure, it may be too early to tell, but let’s take a look at the possibilities.

Big Ten
With Ohio State and Penn State out of the Big Ten championship and Rose Bowl pictures this year due to NCAA penalties, the Leaders Division is all Wisconsin’s. Surprisingly, both the Buckeyes and the Nittany Lions are unbeaten in league play so far. Take away a poor half and a kicking debacle in week two and PSU might be unbeaten on the season as are the Buckeyes.

The Wisconson Badgers have five league games remaining, the toughest of which may very well be against Ohio State and Penn State. Regardless, the bottom three in the Leaders Division will most likely have at least three losses. Even if Wisconsin ends up with three league losses, they will hold the edge on Purdue and Illinois, and should beat Indiana in week 10.

Play in the Legends Division is much tougher with the Michigan Wolverines and Nebraska Cornhuskers the favorites, although Iowa is currently 2-0 in league play. Don’t forget Northwestern, which ripped off six straight wins to start the season and Michigan State, last year’s Big Ten champ. The way it pans out in the Legends Division, though, is up to the Wolverines and the Cornhuskers. Iowa must play both and also must face Penn State and Northwestern. That doesn’t make it easy for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

Michigan and Nebraska play each other in two weeks, but the ‘Huskers have Northwestern, a team they lost to last year, Michigan State, Penn State, and Iowa. Michigan will face pretty much the same road to a division title and cap off the season with the year-end rivalry game at Ohio State.

Look for superior defense and the play of Denard Robinson to propel the Wolverines to the Legends Division championship and look for them to face Wisconsin for the Big Ten title.

The interesting thing with the Pac-12 is the Oregon Ducks. Currently the BCS No. 3 team, Coach Chip Kelly’s squad is projected to be playing in the national championship game and if current No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Florida win out, they will play each other in the SEC championship game. The loser is likely out of the BCS title game which would pave the way for…the Oregon Ducks, should they too win out.

Oregon still has USC and Stanford remaining on the schedule along with a Thursday night trip to Tempe, AZ, to take on a rejuvenated Arizona State team that is currently 5-1. And don’t forget the Civil War. Oregon must play in-state rival Oregon State, ranked eighth in the BCS, in Corvallis on Thanksgiving weekend.

Should Oregon head to the BCS title game, that leaves USC Trojans, Stanford Cardinals, and Oregon State. Todd Graham’s Sun Devils just won’t cut it this year as they head down the stretch. Of the three remaining teams, the Trojans will have the easiest road as their test will come Nov. 3rd when they face the Ducks. Even if USC loses to Oregon, which will be looking for payback for last year’s 38-35 loss, a two-loss Trojan team wins the South Division and the right to play in the Pac-12 championship. With Oregon winning the North, it’s either the Ducks going to the BCS title game or to the Rose Bowl. If Oregon plays for all the marbles, then USC steps in and represents the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl.

Rose Bowl Projection

Look for the teams with the easiest routes to get to Pasadena and for the Ducks to be playing for a national title… Wisconsin vs. USC

Contenders for the BCS Championship game

Four weeks into the young 2012 college football season, it is clear that the Alabama Crimson Tide are the nation’s best team. But are there any sleepers out there? Is there a team that may be able to sneak up the polls and contend for a shot at–the very least a BCS bowl bid–the BCS title? Here’s a look at the best prospects after four weeks.

1. Kansas State Wildcats (4-0)
The Wildcats are usually quiet year in and year out, and you can never count out a Bill Snyder-coached team. KSU has a senior dual-threat QB in Collin Klein who can beat you with his arm and his legs, but most importantly, his head. Snyder’s defenses are always sound, this year is no exception, and they play solid special teams. The drawback? A brutal Big 12 schedule. KSU beat No. 6 Oklahoma a week ago and faces five more ranked opponents.

2. Stanford Cardinals (3-0)
After their 21-14 win over a USC team that everyone thought would challenge the SEC dominance of the BCS championship trophy, the Cardinal are a legitimate contender. Tough defense…check. Powerful run game…check. Sound special teams…check. Can they get through the Pac-12 schedule and, more importantly, beat Oregon?

3. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (4-0)
The Irish are 4-0 for the first time in a decade and with convincing wins over both Michigan and Michigan State are in a position they have not been in for quite some time. And, minus an Oct. 13th date with Stanford and the season-ending clash with USC, the schedule gods look favorably upon the Irish. Should ND get through the balance of its schedule, coach Brian Kelly’s squad will be in the BCS picture.

4. Texas Longhorns (3-0)
The Longhorns took a few years off it seems after their BCS championship appearance in 2009. Head coach Mack Brown has his team back to the level of play Texas fans had become accustomed to–tough defense, powerful ground game, great QB play. Are they a contender? The biggest drawback is the Big 12 schedule. The Longhorns will play no less than five ranked league opponents. If they truly belong in the BCS picture, they will come out of league play unscathed.

5. TCU Horned Frogs (3-0)
It seems like each year the college football world is talking about TCU being a BCS-buster. Well, no more. Gary Patterson’s Horned Frogs are now part of the very talented Big 12 and won’t have to “bust” into the BCS anymore. That is, if they can somehow fight the same battle as Kansas State and Texas–Big 12 schedule–and win. Since 2005, TCU has won at least eleven games in every season but one. If they do it again, they may be playing for a national title.

You can purchase BCS Championship Bowl Game Tickets today.

USC May Have What It Takes to Dethrone SEC

USC Trojans

USC Trojans

With a school-record 39 touchdown passes, 3,528 yards passing, and a 10-2 record under his belt, it looked as if USC QB Matt Barkley had nothing left to accomplish and would declare for the NFL Draft. As ESPN’s Lee Corso says, “Not so fast, my friend.” Barkley will be one of the big reasons why the Trojans are set to rival the dominance of the SEC, which has claimed the past six BCS national championships.

Barkley is one of eight returning starters on an offense that could be the nation’s best. No one will have a better tandem at wide receiver than the Trojans with All-American Robert Woods (JR) and sophomore Marqise Lee. Woods set a Pac-12 single-season record with 111 receptions a year ago, while Lee added 73 catches, 11 for touchdowns.

Four starters return on the offensive line, minus All-American and first-round draft pick Matt Kalil, led by senior center Khaled Holmes. The line will pave the way for a talented backfield that added another star in Penn State transfer Silas Redd. Redd, a senior, is eligible immediately as part of the NCAA sanctions levied against Penn State last month.

Defensively, head coach Lane Kiffin welcomes back seven starters. The Trojans were young last year, starting three freshman linebackers. But, the best thing about freshman is…they become sophomores and with a year of experience under their belt, Hayes Pullard, Lamar Dawson, and Dion Bailey will lead an effective unit.

While the defense won’t be dominant, the USC offense is the reason why they may wind up in the BCS national title game next January. That and a favorable schedule that includes rivals Oregon and Notre Dame at home and early season non-league contests with Hawaii and Syracuse. The Trojans do have to travel to Stanford in week three, but the Cardinal will be entering year one without QB Andrew Luck.

With their high-flying offense, formidable defense, and a special teams unit that blocked seven kicks last year, USC has what it takes to run the table in the Pac-12 South. The Nov. 17th rivalry game with UCLA isn’t what it used to be (the Trojans destroyed the Bruins last year, 50-0) and the next week, the Men of Troy close the season at home against the Fighting Irish. Take that into a Pac-12 title game and come January, expect to see the Trojans in the BCS title game.

USC Trojans Football 2011: Where do the USC Trojans Stand

The USC Trojans were at the top of the Pac-10 for years. Now, it is safe to say that they are not the elite team that they use to be. Pete Carroll leaving the team and other off field woes have definitely hurt them in a big way.

However, these are not the only reasons why the Trojans are not dominating the Pac-12 anymore.

The competition is a lot better now then it was a couple of years ago.

With this said, the Trojans find themselves in second place in the Pac-12 South, trailing No. 22 Arizona State. However, they are only one game behind them.

This would not be that bad, if USC’s only loss did not come from the Sun Devils.

More than half the season still has to be played, but USC’s toughest games are ahead of them.

USC will have two tough road tests at Notre Dame and No. 9 Oregon. However, they lucked out by getting No. 7 Stanford at home. Not to mention, USC really lucked out by not having Stanford or Oregon in their devision.

USC will be favorites against Notre Dame and the rest of their competition, but they will be huge underdogs against Oregon and Stanford. If the Trojans can upset one of these two teams, they will be looking really good in the Pac-12 South.

That is of course if the Sun Devils lose. Arizona State controls their own destiny. They are playing great football right now and they are clearly the best team in the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devils will have to face Oregon on the road in a couple of weeks.

Oregon will be the clear favorite in this game and they will most likely knock the Sun Devils into a tie for first place in the South.However, after that game, Arizona State’s schedule does not look bad at all.

In fact, their last five games of the season will be played against teams that have a total of two wins in the Pac-12.

The Trojans are not who they use to be. If they can pull off some big upsets this year, then maybe they will win the Pac-12 South. The way they are playing this season makes that unlikely though.

For the time being, the Trojans remain one game back in the Pac-12 South.

By: Trevor Lowry