Back by popular demand -- or, more accurately, by one person's demand -- is GMC's yearly schedule breakdown. Why wait for the games to be played when you can just read on? As usual, I'll give you my thoughts on each game along with the likelihood of a Cardinal victory, but just for fun I've also assigned a different 80s movie to each matchup. It promises to be entertaining...
August 30 vs. UC Davis Movie: The Sure Thing Quote: "I hope you appreciate the magnitude of your impending good fortune."
I don't know the real reason why UC Davis is on the schedule this year, but it might just be to remind Stanford fans how far the program has come. It was nine years ago that Davis somehow beat Stanford, 20-17, in a game that was surely brought up in the halls of the Stanford athletic department as some voices pushed to drop the football program down to Division II. In less than a decade, Stanford football has gone from being one of the worst teams in the country to one of the nation's elite.
As devastating and shocking as that 2005 loss was, I can't imagine that anyone connected with the 2014 Cardinal is thinking about revenge. No one on the team was even out of middle school at that point, and this team has goals much larger than righting a nine-year-old wrong. This game isn't about revenge, it's about finishing without any major injuries.
I can't imagine that we'll see much from the starters after half time, but while they're in there it'll be interesting to see how the offensive line plays and what the running back rotation looks like. In the second half we should get a look at some of the younger players, including Christian McCaffrey, and the second- and third-string quarterbacks. It'll be fun.
Expected Outcome: This is a sure thing. 100% chance of Stanford victory.
Right now the football is so close you can taste it. The Rose Bowl was so long ago that you probably don't remember who won the game (well, maybe you do), and you need something to get you through these last seventy-two hours before Stanford finally kicks off the 2014 season against UC-Davis.
LOS ANGELES (GMC) -- When I first met David Shaw three years ago, he was headed into his first season as Stanford's head coach, and there were still questions surrounding the man who would replace Jim Harbaugh. Remember, this was during a time when most outside observers expected the program to crumble into mediocrity after Harbaugh's departure, if only because Shaw appeared to lack the intensity of his predecessor. These pundits believed that Stanford would lose its edge without Harbaugh, as if a coach's mood instead of his recruiting, teaching, and game planning was the best predictor of his team's success.
We know what's happened. In three years Shaw has led the Cardinal to a 34-6 record, three BCS bowl game appearances, and two consecutive Pac-12 championships. You'd think that a track record like that, along with the validation it surely provides, would change an individual, but last month's Pac-12 Media Day gathering found Shaw no different than he had been three years previously -- relaxed, confident, and approachable.
I asked him a few questions during his assigned time on the dais, but most of what follows comes from a more informal extended session as Shaw sat with two or three reporters and discussed topics ranging from the broad to the specific. The questions I posed are in bold, while those from others are in italics. Enjoy...
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