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Friday, November 28, 2014

Stanford vs. Oregon Is For Pac-10 Title

We’re only through four weeks of the college football season but I can say with confidence that Saturday evening’s game between Stanford and Oregon in Eugene will determine the Pac-10 champion. Both teams are 4-0 and have been looking dominant against opponents. The Ducks have been a steady contender in the conference for the past 10 years while Stanford is more of a newcomer. Regardless, I think the Cardinal will take the game.

Stanford has been one of the most impressive teams over the first month of the year. They wiped out Sacramento State as expected, 52-17. They humiliated UCLA at the Rose Bowl 35-0. They waxed Wake Forest 68-24, and they smoked Notre Dame on the road 37-14. Averaging 48 points per game places the Cardinal fourth in the country with Oregon at the top of the list. Both teams run the ball exceptionally well, but I think Stanford has the edge in a few areas.

The Cardinal has already proved it can play successfully on the road, which is what they’ll have to do Saturday. They’ve faced tougher competition than Oregon who also has road wins at Tennessee and Arizona State. Most of all, I think Stanford’s defense is dominant. Yes, both teams are scoreboarding huge numbers, but Stanford’s defense may be the best part of the team. They’ve posted 14 sacks and intercepted four passes, and I saw first hand how impossible it was to move the ball against them when they crushed UCLA. I think this will be similar to the Rose Bowl game between Ohio State and Oregon — Stanford will be too powerful for the speedy Ducks.

Oddsmakers may have installed Oregon as a seven point favorite at home, but I like the Cardinal in this one. Seven points seems like a holiday gift.



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