Card Tricks

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Card Tricks last won the day on January 6 2016

Card Tricks had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

81 Excellent

About Card Tricks

  • Rank
    Advanced Member

Profile Information

  • Gender
  1. FWIW the first slate of games is considered Week Zero. Stanford/Rice could be a snoozer. I'll of course be watching because I'm a Stanford fan. But I doubt too many outside of the Cardinal faithful are going to pass up the Mayweather/McGregor fight in favor of our glorified warm-up match. Oregon State/Colorado State is the real ticket. Can't wait to see one of the most electrifying environments in Colorado State history. That stadium will be rocking, their team will be hungry, and the Beavers will definitely have their work cut out for them if they want to get out of there with a win.
  2. Stanford had their second open scrimmage (and thanks to our early start, the last one of Fall camp). A few notes of interest: Keller Chryst has apparently been a bit up and down in both public scrimmages. The coaching staff seems to sing nothing but praises of his command of the offense but the railbirds believe he's still in the process of knocking off some of that rust he built up during his ACL recovery. We'll see how he fares against Rice but I'm relieved to hear he's officially starting Game 1. Quarterback is a position that I hope/expect to be improved from last season but much of that depends on Chryst's development. By all accounts, his understanding of the playbook is finally where it needs to be (something that cost him the starting job at the beginning of last season). But his ability to read the defense and not lock onto receivers like he did last year is what's ultimately going to determine our offensive improvement (or lack thereof) We look loaded at TE right now. Dalton Schultz (JR.) should vie for All-Conference honors this season (although I expect some stiff competition from Daniel Imatorbhebhe at USC) and his backups have been looking sharp as well. Apparently Kaden Smith (FR.) and Scooter Harrington (FR.) picked up a lot from their redshirt seasons because they've looked like seasoned veterans out on the field. Kaden Smith came to Stanford with much acclaim (the #2 TE in the 2016 recruiting cycle) but struggled to make his mark during Spring football. Now, he's snagging balls and making plays with much more authority. Ditto on Harrington, who looks to be a very proficient blocker. But the surprise of the group has to be true freshman Colby Parkinson. It probably shouldn't come as too much of a surprise that a 5-star would turn heads early on but Parkinson showed up to campus very underweight (just under 220 lbs.) and looked like he would need at least a year of building up his body to get into playing shape. But apparently a few months with our renowned S&C coach, Shannon Turley, have done him wonders. He was the star of today's scrimmage, making acrobatic catches all over the field. If he continues his impressive ascent, he will very likely become the first true freshman tight end to see the field for Stanford in over a decade (yes, believe it or not Fleener, Ertz, and Hooper all redshirted) The O-line has been shifting a lot of guys around through Fall camp. A surprising amount actually. Every open practice/scrimmage has seen a new starting five despite returning 4 starters from last year's O-line. Part of the reason is because last year's O-line badly underachieved. The other is because apparently some of the younger guys are really stepping up their games. Devery Hamilton (FR.) is a name that continues to come up amongst the coaches. He's been rotating in with the 1s frequently and may just snag one of the starting tackle spots at some point this season. Curiously, Casey Tucker (SR.) has not locked down his starting spot. He is Stanford's most experienced O-lineman yet the coaches continue to cite RG as one of the few remaining open competitions right now. Tucker started his career by playing RT in 2015. Then moved to LT in 2016. Then moved back to RT after just three games (due to an injury that limited him). Then, during Spring football, he was moved over to RG to "better utilize his strengths" according to the coaching staff. And now, he finds himself heading into the season with no guarantee of a starting job. A lot of fans think something's up. I've already read a few posts suggesting he must have been caught fooling around with Shaw's wife. I disagree. My money's on Bloomgren's (his position coach) If I had to project a starting O-line for the start of the season, it would look like this: LT: Dave Bright (SR.) LG: Nate Herbig (SO.) C: Jesse Burkett (JR.) RG: Brandon Fanaika (JR.) / Casey Tucker (SR.) RT: A.T. Hall (JR.) If I had to project what the starting O-line might look like by midseason, it would probably look more like this: LT: Devery Hamilton (FR.) LG: Nate Herbig (SO.) C: Jesse Burkett (JR.) RG: Casey Tucker (SR.) RT: Dave Bright (SR.) That's no slight to our two new 5-star tackles, Walker Little (FR.) and Foster Sarell (FR.). By all accounts, they've been playing well ahead of their years and should see the field this season. In fact, Walker Little already looks like our best pass-blocking O-lineman and he's only 18. But something tells me their limited understanding of the playbook and Shaw's tendency to avoid starting true freshmen (see: McCaffrey, Christian) will ultimately prevent them from locking down their spots until next season Speaking of true freshmen, one of the themes of Fall camp has been how impressive our 2017 recruiting class has looked so far. According to Coach Bloomgren after practice today, he said this freshman class came in with "better knowledge and talent than any group of freshman (they've) ever had". Guys that seem to be a lock to play at this point are Connor Wedington (WR/RB), Osiris St. Brown (WR), Colby Parkinson (TE), Paulson Adebo (CB), Walker Little (OT), and Foster Sarell (OT). Considering we signed a class of 14, that means about half our new guys will be seeing the field from Day 1. From an overall % standpoint, that may be the most true freshman we've ever played before at once. Don't be surprised to see Sione Lund (RB) find a way onto the field as well. At over 250 lbs., he's a true power back in every sense of the word and has been consistently pushing the pile with authority in scrimmage/practice Defensive line continues to be our biggest question mark. Losing Solomon Thomas was a huge blow and we may not have the necessary personnel to replace him this season. But the bigger concern at this point is whether we even have the necessary personnel to win most of our battles at the point of attack. Harrison Phillips (JR.) has been relentless throughout Fall camp and has really stepped up in Thomas's absence. But he's a one-man show right now and won't be able to hold down the entire line by himself. Dylan Jackson (SO.), the other returning starter from last season, has been coming along well but pass rush continues to be his weakness. Eric Cotton (SR.), our only other D-lineman with any experience, appears to be no more than a stopgap and can't be consistently counted on to make plays. Apparently, Mike Williams (FR.) and Jovan Swann (FR.) have stepped up nicely to provide depth at NG and DE. But I'm frightened at what our D-line would look like if Phillips went down with injury. He's without question our most valuable player on the entire roster right now One of the surprises of Fall camp has been the fact that Joey Alfieri (JR.) has also not yet locked down a starting spot despite starting last year at OLB. Over the Spring he was moved to ILB and even though he's our most talented/athletic linebacker, the transition has apparently brought a few challenges. Bobby Okereke (JR.) is locked in at one ILB spot and looks to be a legitimate breakout candidate this season. But Alfieri is still competing with Kevin Palma (SR.), a returning starter at ILB who would seem to have the edge right now. Given Alfieri's talent level, I would say it's only a matter of time until he eventually seizes the opportunity. But with the way things have played out in Fall camp so far, that may not happen until well into the season The secondary just keeps making plays and forcing turnovers. It's been said before but I'll say it again: they're going to be very very good this year. The starters are pretty much set in stone: Quentin Meeks (JR.) and Alijah Holder (JR.) will man the corner spots while Justin Reid (JR.) and Brandon Simmons (JR.) will line up at safety. But even our backups, Alameen Murphy (JR.), Ben Edwards (JR.), Frank Buncom (SO.), and Malik Antoine (FR.) could probably start for a lot of other teams. This is as deep and talented a secondary as I can ever remember at Stanford. Can't wait to see them take the field in two weeks!
  3. Potentially huge news for Stanford. Not necessarily from a Game 1 perspective since a win against Rice is all but assured no matter who we start at QB. But from the standpoint of getting Chryst back on the field and warmed up early on, this is a game-changer. My biggest concern about that USC game was that it would likely be Chryst's first start in about nine months (of which he would have only had one to actually practice with his teammates). Now that it's no longer looking like such a problem (although we'll see how rusty he looks against Rice), I feel much better about Stanford's chances against USC despite coming into that contest as significant underdogs.
  4. On a somewhat unrelated note, out of curiosity I went back and looked at the point totals for the two greatest 5-year runs in Pac-12 history: USC (2002 - 2006) and Oregon (2010 - 2014). Oregon ended up just cracking the 20-point barrier (which for the sake of this exercise, we'll refer to as the TITAN tier), while USC was off-the-charts with an absurd 27.8 points. Had Oregon won the National Championship in both their appearances, they would have put up 27.4 points (just short of USC's score but incredible in it's own right). And had USC stopped Vince Young on 4th down and won the 2006 National Championship, they would have garnered a whopping 31 points (which would have put them in their own 30+ point stratosphere- let's call it the GOD tier for now). Given how competitive as the Pac-12 has now become, I'll be shocked to see a program go on a run the likes of USC or Oregon's anywhere in the near future.
  5. Someone made a post in a separate thread about which teams tend to dominate each conference annually. So in lieu of that concept, I figured this would be a good time to take stock of the Pac-12 and revisit where each program sits, respectively, within the conference pecking order heading. DISCLAIMER: there's no exact formula for going about this exercise. It's an extremely subjective topic and can be interpreted in many ways. But for the sake of opening up the dialogue, I went ahead and came up with my own formula. Say what you will about intangibles such as recruiting momentum and program prestige but as far as I'm concerned, nothing counts more than on-the-field results. Thus, the foundation of my formula involved factoring in each team's win total per season over the last five years (as good a marker as I could think of for "recent" history). Obviously, not all seasons are created equal since a team's win total in 2012 is not nearly as relevant as a team's win total last season. Therefore, I ran those win totals through a unique metric system that gives increasingly more weight to each subsequent season. Lastly, I factored in division, conference, and national titles, which were added to the final point total (1 point for division titles, 2 points for conference titles). For the full formula breakdown, feel free to scroll to the bottom of the post where I included a detailed overview of my calculations. With all that said, I now present my Pac-12 Program Power Rankings heading into 2017: KING (12+ points) 1. STANFORD Score: 16.48 Summary: When I think about the Pac-12's elite, Stanford is certainly not the first name that comes to mind. However, in breaking down the conference over the last five years, it's hard to argue against Stanford's resumé. David Shaw has established a solid, consistent program that has only had one let down year in the past five seasons (2014). Otherwise, all they've done is play for Pac-12 titles and Rose Bowls. That level of consistency is what's keeping Stanford above all of it's piers at the top of the conference pecking order. Last season obviously represented a seismic shift in the Pac-12 with the emergence of Washington and USC. But until those programs prove they have the kind of staying power that Stanford and Oregon demonstrated over the majority of this decade (and I'm betting they will), the crown of the conference "King" continues to belong to the Cardinal (for now). DUKE (10-12 points) 2. OREGON Score: 11.08 Summary: It felt strange slotting Oregon anywhere but the highest tier in the conference given their success over the last decade. Heck, they're the only Pac-12 program that's managed to play for a National Title and bring home the Heisman in recent history. But this ranking has a lot more to do with last season's disaster than their prior success. According to my calculations, had Oregon just qualified for the postseason and won their bowl game last year, they would have been squarely in the "King" tier alongside Stanford. But that never happened, their head coach got fired as a result, and now we find ourselves in the Willie Taggart era. On-the-field results pending, that may have been the best thing to happen to the program moving forward (I mean have you seen Oregon's recruiting class for 2018?!). For the time being, however, Oregon's fall from grace marked a clear step back for the program and until they get back to their winning ways on the field, they'll have to settle for flanking Stanford as the #2 program in the conference. 3. WASHINGTON Score: 10.92 Summary: Nipping on Oregon's heels comes the conference's newest heavyweight, the Washington Huskies. After slowly assembling the pieces since his arrival in Montlake back in 2014, Peterson's squad finally broke through (a year early some might argue) and took the conference by storm en route to 12 wins and a College Football Playoff berth. Are the Huskies here to stay? It would certainly seem that way. However, the reason the Huskies haven't yet cracked "King" status in the Pac-12 is because in the years prior to 2016, this was a program that was consistently good but never great. Now, with so many resources for sustained success finally in place, the Huskies have the ability to go on the same kind of dynastic run that Stanford and Oregon embarked upon earlier this decade. But until they do so, this program remains a promising upstart that needs about another year or two of dominance before they can officially take their place as the new conference "King". KNIGHT (8-10 points) 4. USC Score: 9.96 Summary: The Trojans were oh so close to breaking into the "Duke" tier after a successful campaign in 2016 but fell just shy. If you were to ask anyone in the country right now where USC sits among the Pac-12 hierarchy, they would probably tell you, unequivocally, that they're the cream of the crop. However, the Trojans resumé over the last five seasons leaves a lot to be desired, with zero conference titles to show for what's been a strong but otherwise unspectacular run. The problem for USC is that they're held to such extraordinarily high standards, much more so than any other program in the Pac-12. So while a division title and Rose Bowl is certainly nothing to scoff at, it's still not quite up to USC's standards. The sanctions clearly had something to do with that but now that the dark chapters of the Kiffin and Sarkisian eras are officially behind them, the Trojans are finally ready to reclaim their destiny at the top of the conference. To do so, however, will require a conference championship at the very least (a feat that has eluded them since 2008). 5. UCLA Score: 8.72 Summary: Before last season's disaster, UCLA was one of the Pac-12's strongest and most consistent programs. But you'd never think that given their lack of meaningful success. 8-10 wins and consistently finding yourself in the Pac-12 South race only gets you so far when you're not translating it into division titles. Because over the last five years, UCLA only has one despite being the fourth winningest program in the conference during that time span. To make matters worse, this is a program that has been slipping since Brett Hundley left Westwood. Rosen arrived with all the acclaim in the world and has yet to deliver on the promise. Granted, it's hard to live up to the hype when you're spending half the season injured on the sideline. But even prior to Rosen's injury, this is a guy who's lost just as many conference games as he's won despite having the benefit of the second most talented roster around him (according to 247's recruiting profiles). For UCLA to break through to the next tier in the Pac-12, they're going to have to get back to winning the division rather than falling just short of it. Mora's job status and UCLA's program status both depend on it. 6. ARIZONA STATE Score: 8.42 Summary: Speaking of uncertain job statuses- if there was one seat warmer than Jim Mora's right now, it might just be Todd Graham's. And it's not hard to see why: 28 wins from 2012-2014 (fourth best in the conference) ...and 11 wins ever since. That's simply not going to cut it in the brutally competitive Pac-12. For what it's worth, despite suffering some very disappointing seasons as of late, the Sun Devils still find themselves in the "Knight" tier. But that's largely the result of their success in the early goings of the Todd Graham era. The good news: they've climbed to the top of the Pac-12 mountain before (2013) so they've already proven they know how to get there. The bad news is that relying on shootouts to do so is a very shaky strategy since the conference champions of late have all had some semblance of a defense (if not very elite ones). While I haven't given up hope that Graham still has enough tricks up his sleeve to right the ship, I'm not sure that translates to becoming a "Duke" anytime soon. If Arizona State can somehow find enough success to keep themselves securely in the "Knight" in the foreseeable future, that alone would be a huge victory for a program that's struggling just to stay relevant at the moment. 7. UTAH Score: 8.12 Summary: Had Utah managed to win the Pac-12 South in 2015, they would have leapfrogged the Trojans on this list. Had Utah managed to win the Pac-12 South in ANY TWO of the three years in which they fell painfully short, they would already be in the "Duke" tier by now. Unfortunately, those things never came to fruition and Utah continues to remain the one program in the Pac-12 South that (despite all of their on-the-field success) has yet to claim a division title. Nevertheless, you have to respect what Utah has accomplished in their short time as a member of this conference. After arriving in the Pac-12 with the expectation that it might be years before they could adequately contend, Utah now goes toe-to-toe with anyone in the conference and does so with a high level of success. They're arguably the most physical team in the league and boast what might just be the toughest home field advantage in the Pac-12. There's only one reason they're not sitting higher on this list: division titles. For Utah, that means winning down the stretch. Late season collapses from 2014 - 2016 have cost them a shot at the conference championship. And until the Utes figure out a way to sustain their high level of play into late November, they might be stuck in "Knight" status for a while. SQUIRE (6-8 points) 8. ARIZONA Score: 7.78 Summary: Most might be surprised to see Arizona this high up on the list, especially coming off a year where the Wildcats had to pull off an upset in Week 13 just to notch their sole conference victory of the season. But it bears reminding that 2016 marked the first year Rich Rod was unable to get his Wildcats to a bowl game since taking over as head coach five years ago. For a program like Arizona that doesn't seem to have a lot going for it these days, that's a surprisingly impressive stat. But it's certainly not impressive enough to save Rich Rod's job if the Wildcats suffer a repeat of what they went through last season. Beyond missing out on a bowl game, 2016 also served as a critical blow to Arizona's overall ranking within the Pac-12 hierarchy. The Wildcats were solidly in the "Knight" tier prior to last season, ranking ahead of Utah. But Rich Rod's inability to recruit in the trenches finally caught up with him and now he faces a steep climb just to get back to a bowl game and save his job. The Wildcats were bounced out of the "Knight" tier on the heels of a disastrous 2016 and if they can't reverse their fortunes in 2017, they risk falling all the way down to the "Peasant" tier. 9. WASHINGTON STATE Score: 6.32 Summary: In contrast to the declining Wildcats, the Cougs are a program that's quickly rising through the ranks after breaking out of the lowly "Peasant" tier last season. The first couple years of the Mike Leach era were not a pretty sight. Even their first year back in a bowl game was marred by the single-worst example of couging it that I've ever witnessed. But that's all in the past now as the Cougs have now won 17 games over the last two seasons (fifth best in the Pac-12). As Leach continues to pile up wins on the field, the Cougs are finding themselves on the winning end of more and more recruiting battles. This is a program that's distinctly molded in Leach's image and now the success that marked his tenure at Texas Tech has officially followed him to the Palouse. Unfortunately for the Cougs, the Pac-12 North continues to become more and more competitive. Washington appears to be back to it's historically elite self, Stanford continues churning out 10+ win seasons like clockwork, and Oregon has the sort of resources that ensures it won't stay down for too long. For that reason, the Cougs are going to have a challenging time climbing too much higher in the Pac-12 hierarchy. But as long as they maintain their winning ways, they should ascend to "Knight" status in the very near future. PEASANT (4-6 points) 10. COLORADO Score: 5.92 Summary: Before I get accused of creating a metrics system specifically designed to keep Colorado in the "Peasant" tier for the sake of trolling Jalapeño (to everyone else's amusement), just know that that's absolute blasphemy All jokes aside, it's pretty impressive to see how a former cellar-dweller like Colorado was able to vault themselves from the bottom of the conference to nearly next tier above in the span of one season. Ah but what a special season it was for the upstart Buffs, who rode the talent and experience of a special senior class to 10 wins and a Pac-12 South title. That success has already reaped the recruiting benefits that typically accompany it and Colorado looks like they may just have enough program draw to bring in the necessary talent that allows that sort of success to continue. Mike McIntyre proved he's one of the best miracle workers in the country but he finds himself in uncharted territory as the head coach of a program that must now maintain winning at a high level. With all the right resources at their disposal, it's not hard to see the upward trajectory continuing for the Buffs and a jump to "Squire" status is all but assured. How much Colorado continues to rise from there will depend on their ability to keep up with the "Knights" of the Pac-12 South (UCLA, Utah, etc.) and steal a win every now and then from USC (a feat they have yet to accomplish since joining the conference). 11. CAL Score: 4.84 Summary: The next two programs on this list are actually much closer than people might think. Cal's 5-win season in 2016 was just enough to inch the Bears ahead of the Beavs, who only won 4. But in reality, the margin between these two "Peasants" is razor thin. The difference, however, is this: Oregon State is on an upward trajectory under the stewardship of Gary Anderson, who might just be the most underrated head coach in the country. Cal, on the other hand, is on a downward trajectory, having just fired their head coach and missed out on a bowl game for the fourth time in five years. Justin Wilcox deserves credit for luring some pretty big names to assemble an impressive coaching staff out in Berkeley. But that may not be enough to save Cal in the short term, where the recruiting failures of Sonny Dykes have caught up with the Bears (particularly on defense). Cal is a program that, by virtue of their resources and recruiting advantages alone, should drop no lower than "Squire" status in any given year. But underachieving seasons have slowly taken their toll and the Bears now find themselves in the midst of what could be a long and arduous rebuilding process. For that reason, I would be surprised to see Cal crawl out from it's "Peasant" status in the foreseeable future. But if Wilcox can generate enough small victories to keep his job status safe, you have to like the Bears' long term prospects with the coach staff and facilities in place at Berkeley. 12. OREGON STATE Score: 4.80 Summary: Let me start by saying this: the Beavers won't remain "Peasants" for long at the rate Gary Anderson is building up this program. After inheriting a very undesirable situation from his predecessor, Mike Riley, Anderson has transformed Oregon State from a team that couldn't muster up a single conference win in Year One to beating their arch-rival Oregon Ducks in Year Two (and snapping an eight game losing streak). Now, Anderson must continue that ascension and get his Beavs back to a bowl game for the first time in four seasons. Do that and Oregon State will quickly jump back into the "Squire" tier in no time. Any missteps along the way, however, and the Beavs may be stuck in the "Peasant" tier for even longer. The good news for Oregon State: they officially have nowhere to go but up. The bad news: they face the same conundrum that Wazzu does by playing in an increasingly stacked Pac-12 North. Which begs the question: what exactly is the ceiling for a program like Oregon State, even with one of the best head coaches in the country? My gut tells me "Knight" status and the only reason I say that is because a guy like Gary Anderson is bound to get snatched up by another program before the Beavs would be able to make their way to the "Duke" tier. It's a sad reality for Oregon State fans but one that harbors more truth than conjecture. ================================ FORMULA BREAKDOWN 1. Gather individual season win total for every Pac-12 team from 2012 - 2016 2. Win total for 2012 multiplied by 0.12 3. Win total for 2013 multiplied by 0.16 4. Win total for 2014 multiplied by 0.20 5. Win total for 2015 multiplied by 0.24 6. Win total for 2016 multiplied by 0.28 7. Gather division, conference, and national titles for every Pac-12 team from 2012 - 2016 8. 1 point for every Division title 9. 2 points for every Conference title 10. 3 points for every National title (from 2012 - 2013) *not applicable* 11. 4 points for every National title (from 2014 - 2016) *not applicable* 12. Add up #2-6 and #8-11 for every Pac-12 team
  6. I more or less agree. But here is the national perception of each conference: Big 12: Oklahoma and Texas (because the rest of the country only knows one Texas and that's their dominant selves) Big Ten: Ohio State, Michigan, and Penn State (Wisconsin and Michigan State get no credit for recent success) ACC: Clemson and Florida State (you can tell people really want Miami to be part of this conversation but they just haven't done enough to validate that) SEC: Everybody! Because no Top 25 ranking is complete without 8 SEC teams in the Top 10 Pac-12: USC and Oregon (yes, Oregon is still a national power in the eyes of many. They suffered one down year and yet their 2018 recruiting class may be their best ever) Now, here's the reality of each conference: Big 12: Oklahoma (with occasional resistance from TCU, Baylor, and OK State) Big Ten: Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State (yes, Michigan State stunk up the room last year but you've got to give them credit for their incredible run this decade) ACC: Clemson and Florida State (a rare occasion where perception meets reality) SEC: Bama, Bama, and Bama (the gap between Bama and everyone else is MASSIVE and does not appear to be closing) Pac-12: Oregon and Stanford (very inclined to include Washington but one elite season is too small a sample size. Ditto on USC- they have one Rose Bowl and one Pac-12 South title to their name this decade. They're going to have to do better than that to stake their claim as the conference's best)
  7. Fortunately for USC, even if they do drop one to Stanford, they can bounce right back with a win over the ridiculously overrated Texas Longhorns the following week.
  8. The Michigan ranking is the most ridiculous thing I've seen so far. How they're ahead of Wisconsin (let alone so many other teams on the list) is beyond me. Keep this in mind: 1. Wisconsin won more games than Michigan last year 2. Wisconsin returns THREE TIMES as many starters as Michigan 3. Wisconsin has an infinitely easier schedule than Michigan 4. Wisconsin has a much clearer path to the Big Ten Championship 5. Wisconsin gets Michigan at home this year (advantage: Wisconsin) And yet... Michigan #9, Wisconsin #10 It's almost like it's been ordained that Michigan will be a perennial Top 10 team no matter how many players they lose or how badly their schedule stacks up agains them. Harbaugh has yet to break the 10-win barrier in his time at Ann Arbor and people really think he's going to do it in a year where he only returns 5 starters and faces off against SEC East Champ Florida, 11-win Wisconsin, 11-win Penn State, and 11-win Ohio State?? Mark my words, Michigan is easily a 3-4 loss team this year if not more.
  9. Shoulda gone to Bama
  10. Case in point:
  11. It's very convenient as a matter of fact. And perhaps the most overlooked scheduling quirk in the Pac-12. I haven't read too many preseason prognostications that have Stanford being a major threat to USC's College Football Playoff bid. The game is at the Coliseum so I'm sure many are assuming the Trojans have this one in the bag. Not that I entirely disagree either- Chryst will be back in action for the first time in nine months and I have to imagine there will be a considerable amount of rust to knock off. But from a scheduling standpoint, you can't ask for much more. A warm-up match against Rice to get everyone settled in. Two full weeks to prepare for USC. And catching the Trojans a week before the revenge game they've waited over a decade for. I've got this down in my 2017 preview as the first upset of the Pac-12 season and I wouldn't be surprised if it came to fruition.
  12. Not to pile on but the same year Stanford won their first Pac-12 title (2012) they barely squeaked by San Jose State at home. Then again, the Spartans did go 11-2 that season.
  13. Additional Notes: The two true freshmen most likely to see the field immediately are wide receiver Osiris St. Brown and running back/wide receiver Connor Wedington. Both were 4-star recruits with impressive speed and have been turning heads early in Fall camp Running back Trevor Speights (FR.) was one of the standouts during Spring game and that ascension has only continued during Fall camp. Cameron Scarlett (SO.) came into the offseason as the presumptive #2 running back behind Love. But Speights is quickly proving that he's more than ready to step into that role if need be It's early in camp but there's already some shuffling going on along the O-line: Dave Bright (SR.) has moved from left guard to left tackle, Casey Tucker (SR.) has moved from right tackle to right guard, and A.T. Hall (JR.) has moved from left tackle to right tackle. Bright, Nate Herbig (now left guard), and Jesse Burkett (center) are considered the only solidified starters for now; Tucker and Hall are expected to compete for their starting spots against some of the newcomers. Tucker will be competing against Brandon Fanaika (JR.) and Nick Wilson (SO.). Hall will be competing against Devery Hamilton (FR.) and our two new 5-star tackles, Walker Little (FR.) and Foster Sarell (FR.) The biggest question the team has to answer before August 26th: who's going to provide depth along the defensive line? Our three starters are locked in: Dylan Jackson (SO.) at defensive end, Harrison Phillips (JR.) at nose tackle, and Eric Cotton (SR.) at defensive end. Behind them there are no immediate solutions since every other D-lineman on the roster is either a redshirt or true freshman. Michael Williams (FR.) is a name the coaches have been mentioning more and more lately. He's a former 4-star recruit from the state of Texas who has just enough size to plug up the middle at nose tackle. Alongside Williams, look for Thomas Shaffer (FR.) and Jovan Swann (FR.) to provide relief at defensive end. Last but not least, there's one more player to keep an eye on: Dalyn Wade-Perry (FR.), a 330-pound whale of a nose tackle. He's only a true freshman but he possesses the kind of size nobody else on the roster offers (minus Nate Herbig) Keller Chryst's rehab appears to be coming along nicely. He's now able to perform full drop-backs and participate in non-contact drills. While it's still probable that Ryan Burns (SR.) will be our starting quarterback for Game 1 against Rice, I wouldn't be surprised if Chryst was ready to roll by the time we hit Pac-12 play (Week 2 @ USC)
  14. Stanford just announced two players are no longer with the program- DL Wesley Annan and WR Paxton Segina. Both were former 3-star players that had yet to play a single snap. Details behind their departure is unknown but it is believed that both players are still enrolled at the university.
  15. Oops, double post.