Team: Stanford Cardinal
Rant Sports College Football Rank: No. 5
Strength: Stanford’s leadership has always been second to none, and it’s a big reason why the Cardinal are 35-3 over the last three seasons. Stability for the Cardinal has also been key, yet this season it’s exceptionally prevalent as Kevin Hogan is under center and is described as someone who is “beyond his years.” In order to win the Pac 12, you need some kind of winning formula and Stanford definitely has it in 2013.
Weakness: With a devotion to running the ball and making great plays on defense, it’s hard to get very excited about Stanford’s pro-style offense. Hopefully a dynamic back like Barry Sanders Jr. can change the boring sterotype attached to Stanford, but a David Shaw-led team will never be centered around pizzazz. In fact, look for Stanford to be a ground-and-pound offense once again.
Player with most to prove: Sanders Jr. turned heads when he decided to play his collegiate football at Palo Alto, but now the redshirt freshman finally has a chance to silence the haters. Growing up in the shadow of a Pro Football Hall of Famer, Sanders Jr. has always been looked at as the lesser of the two evils.
Projected 2013 regular season record: 10-2