Stanford has huge opportunity to finish regular season undefeated
The stars have aligned for a perfect conference record, already having beat one of the South Division's best in Arizona State. Stanford still must play Washington, UCLA, Oregon, USC and Notre Dame, but Matt Barkley isn't returning to Pasadena anytime soon and the stout Cardinal defense has been able to slow the Ducks' unstoppable offense as of late.
Stanford is 31-3 at home since 2008, so it's going to take a perfect game from QB Keith Price for Washington to come up with the upset on October 5. The Huskies won this matchup last season 17-13, but it was played at Husky Stadium — and not too many come away with a win at Husky Stadium.
Not only do the Cardinal get UCLA at home, but it's no secret that they have the Bruins' number. Stanford has won the last five meetings, including back-to-back weeks in 2012 (one being the conference championship).
Notre Dame will come to Stanford Stadium for the regular season finale on a probable five-game winning streak. Unfortunately for the Irish, that winning streak would be against lower-quality opponents such as Navy and Pittsburgh, and the Cardinal will be playing at the top of their game following a full slate of Pac-12 football.
Of course you can't leave the little guys out, because time and time again we see David take down Goliath in college football. Stanford must get by Washington State, Utah and Oregon State on the road (all three combine for a 9-3 record thus far), and a high-scoring Cal program on the rise at home. The Cardinal will and should be heavily favored in all four of these games.
Like I said, it is extremely difficult to head into bowl season with an unblemished record. Only a handful of programs have done it through the years, with the most recent being Notre Dame in 2012 (and we know what happened with that).
But if anyone is going to do it, it's the Cardinal — I mean, they DID finish 8-0 in conference play in 2012, why can't they do it again with a more experienced Kevin Hogan and one of the most ferocious defensive units in the nation?
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