Like most college football fans, I spent much of the summer looking forward to my team's season opener. Sure, there were mild concerns -- the Cardinal would be traveling all the way to Evanston, Illinois, to play a Big Ten team in a game that would kick off at 9:00am -- but none of that did anything to diminish either my excitement or my confidence for a victory. The enthusiasm that all Stanford fans felt during that final three-game stretch of the 2014 season had carried over to this summer and fall, and expectations were high for this campaign.
But it wasn't only the Cardinal faithful who were high on Stanford. Objective experts were naming the Cardinal as potential Pac-12 champions, and one of the three analysts on ESPN's flagship College Game Day pregame show (Desmond Howard) actually picked Stanford to win the national championship. I repeat -- expectations were high.