Today was an extremely eventful day in college football. It was also one of those days that I was happy my team had already taken care of business. It was especially exciting because the possibility of the Cardinal being in the national championship game now seems to be like a possibility. Stanford will likely move up to #3 provided my understanding of the BCS system is somewhat accurate. Tough luck for Bama but they will likely no longer be the highest ranked red team.
1. Luck’s Struggles – I feel I should automatically qualify what I mean by “struggles.” Quarterback Andrew Luck is clearly one of the best college football players in the country. He was, however, a little bit off today. At times, he forced some throws. His interception came on a fairly bad play as well. He was being tackled to the ground while trying to force the ball a few yards for a first. Unfortunately, the ball ended up in the hands of an Oregon State defender. There were other moments where the ball was out a half-second too late and so defenders had a chance to make a play on the ball. Luck was not razor-sharp but he managed to get the job done.
2. Loss of Owusu – My heart breaks for Chris Owusu. It really does. Every time I see him running across the middle of the field, he seems to take a big hit and suffer a concussion. Some things are more important than football. Good Health and overall well-being definitely mean more than a game. Owusu is one of our most dynamic players but I think the price may be too high to play him. I do not know the specifics. I do, however, hope that Owusu gets the best possible treatment and all the information he needs about his future.
3. Play of the Defense – Though the defense still shows some vulnerability to the big play, they played well as a unit again today. They held Oregon State to under 300 yards and allowed them to convert only 2 of 9 third downs. Though the offense has struggled to get going quickly, the defense has been consistent in their strong starts to games. When OSU was threatening, the Cardinal came up with back to back sacks and a fumble. That turnover led to a score and effectively put the game out of reach. The old school philosophy of stopping the run, focusing on ball control, and then letting the pass rushers loose.
4. Looking Forward – With the loss of Alabama, Stanford has a chance to move to #3 in the country. Stanford, however, has not been getting too much favor from the BCS computers. That means the Cardinal will need to be perfect in order to get a shot at the national championship. The exciting thing, however, is that we actually have a chance to play in the game. Seems pretty crazy but it could happen.
As a result, this upcoming game with Oregon is going to be important. Important may be an understatement. Luckily, Stanford will have the Ducks in their home stadium. The Stanford-Oregon game will also likely have more fireworks than the so-called “Game of the Century” today.