By Matt Heinz @MattHeinz_Rant on August 17, 2014
A culture of toughness and winning at Stanford has produced four straight BCS bowl game appearances for the Cardinal. Stanford now looks to make the first ever college football playoff, but faces a daunting schedule in 2014. Here are five must-watch games on Stanford’s 2014 schedule.
David Shaw and the Cardinal owned Arizona State last season, beating the Sun Devils twice last year. The first game came early in the season and Stanford won 42-28, but the score was much closer than the game. When the two division winners met in Tempe for the right to go to the Rose Bowl, Stanford clobbered ASU again 38-14.
Stanford wants revenge for last year’s 20-17 loss in the Coliseum. We will find out what kind of team Stanford has in 2014 early in the season with this game. USC brings in new coach Steve Sarkisian and returns quarterback Cody Kessler. As always, USC is loaded with talent, but can they put it all together?
This could be a possible Pac-12 Championship Game preview during the last week of the season. That would mark the second time the two teams have met in back-to-back games (2012). The Bruins are No. 7 in the preseason polls and have a Heisman candidate at QB in Brett Hundley.
This series has turned into an intriguing rivalry over the past few years with Stanford winning four out of the last five. The days of Stanford being intimidated of playing the Fighting Irish in historic Notre Dame Stadium are long gone. That said, the Irish return quarterback Everett Golson, and their offense will be much improved in 2014.
The Pac-12 plays its conference championship game on the last game of the year, but the real championship game will be played on November 1 this year. Since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 2011, only Oregon and Stanford have won the conference. This year will be the same, as whoever wins this game will go on to win the conference.
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