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Week 8 Thoughts - Stanford's Time Has Arrived

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 24, 2011


The Cardinal proved it's the real deal with the win over Washington.

CFN Analysis 

Week 8 Thoughts, Oct. 24 

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Past Thoughts  2010 5 Thoughts | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 
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- Cirminiello: Stanford deserves a better ranking
- Fiutak: Why is Texas Tech ranked behind OU?
- Harrison: Notre Dame still hasn't arrived  
- Johnson: Stanford proved it's a powerhouse
- Zemek: The Big East in the BCS ... UGH

By Terry Johnson 

Under the leadership of new head coach David Shaw, Stanford raced out to a 6-0 start. Despite this torrid start, and boasting the top quarterback in the country in Andrew Luck, the Cardinal found itself eighth in the initial BCS standings due to a weak strength of schedule.

According to both the Harris Poll voters, and the computer polls, Stanford hadn’t played against good competition, and until they did, they would remain further back in the BCS standings.

The Cardinal finally got its opportunity to play a solid opponent when it faced Washington on Saturday evening. While no one will confuse Washington with the likes of LSU or Alabama, but it had a 5-1 record, with the lone loss coming to Nebraska, and ranked in the Top 25 nationally in scoring offense with a 3-0 start in conference play. The Huskies appeared ready to compete with Oregon and Stanford for the Pac 12 North title.

And then Stanford flexed its muscle.

The Cardinal would turn in its best performance of the season Saturday night, erasing any doubts about the high ranking by dominating in all facets of the game en route to a 65-21 victory.

Blowing out a ranked team speaks volumes about how good Stanford really is.

On offense, Stanford showed everyone that there is more to the offense than Luck, with the ground game rolling for a school-record 446 yards and five touchdowns.

The defense also made a statement, even though it allowed 430 yards and a pair of long Chris Polk touchdown runs, forcing three turnovers including a Michael Thomas interception for a pick six.

Stanford also continued its excellence in the kicking game. Jordan Williamson continues to impress, making all three of his field goal attempts on Saturday. For the season, Williamson has hit 11-of-12 field goals, with the lone miss coming from beyond 40 yards.

Now that the Cardinal units have proved themselves against good competition, will Saturday’s thumping of a ranked team be enough to propel them in front of Oklahoma State and Boise in the BCS standings?

No, it was not.

However, the win, coupled with Wisconsin and Oklahoma losing, did help move Stanford to number 6 in the BCS standings this week. With games against USC, Oregon, and Notre Dame remaining, the Cardinal still have an excellent chance to impress the voters if they can win these games convincingly.

Even with wins in these games, Stanford will likely find itself on the outside looking in, especially if Oklahoma State, Boise, and Clemson continue to win.

Does Stanford belong in the BCS title game if it runs the table?

Ask the Washington Huskies.

Please follow me on Twitter @TPJCollFootball

- Cirminiello: Stanford deserves a better ranking
- Fiutak: Why is Texas Tech ranked behind OU?
- Harrison: Notre Dame still hasn't arrived  
- Johnson: Stanford proved it's a powerhouse
- Zemek: The Big East in the BCS ... UGH