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Stanford’s Opportunity to Dominate the Pac-12 and Advance to the Playoffs is Now

Two days ago the Stanford Cardinal were down 13-9 to the UCLA Bruins in a matchup for who could have the inside track on winning the Pac-12 shortly. In the second half of the ball game, we saw a different tune in the Stanford offense.

Their senior quarterback Ryan Burns asserted himself as the conductor of the Cardinal offense when he led them down the field on a 70-yard drive, which resulted in a game-winning touchdown score by wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside. The Cardinal come from behind victory was very impressive for a football team who has a starting quarterback that never started a road game in his career until Saturday Night against the Bruins.

On a night where we witnessed, Les Miles lose his job as head coach of the LSU Tigers due to a reversed call by the officials that led to a victory for the Auburn Tigers, the Stanford Cardinal took care of business against their inner-state rival. With conference heavyweights such as USC and Oregon not playing at the levels that we are accustomed to seeing, Stanford’s opportunity to dominate the Pac-12 and advance to the playoffs is now.

They won the Pac-12 last year but were not allowed to compete in the postseason due to two losses and powerhouses such as Alabama, and Oklahoma had better records and cache with the playoff committee. Stanford embarrassed Big Ten champion the Iowa Hawkeyes 45-16. The victory against the Hawkeyes was David Shaw’s second Rose Bowl title, but I believe he wants to take it to another level.

A playoff appearance and a possible National Championship victory could put Shaw in another stratosphere when it comes to ranking the top head coaches in college football. Stanford’s next five opponents are Washington, Washington State, Notre Dame, Colorado, and Arizona. Except for Washington, I do not see any of those teams giving them any issues.

However, the Friday night matchup against the Huskies will tell us a lot about both football teams going forward. A win against Washington will almost guarantee a perfect season for the Cardinal and a spot in the playoffs.


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Derrick Branch is the founder and lead writer of Tops Sports.Com. He is a die-hard sports fan and keeps it 100 on all things that involve the NFL, NBA, NCAA Football.
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