Stanford Prediction: What’s Going To Happen
Losing parts doesn’t matter all that much to Stanford. It has a recruit-to-a-type system that instantly fills in the gaps, but this year will still be an issue, at least on the defensive side.
It’s one thing to have to find starters for a unit, or come up with developed depth at a certain position, but the Cardinal lose way too much to come back roaring right away on D.
With San Diego State, USC, at Oregon and at Notre Dame before the end of September, either the offense will have to do its part and get ready for a slew of shootouts, or the defense really have to be great out of the gate.
It’ll be somewhere in between.
The offense will be more efficient, the running game phenomenal, and as long as KJ Costello is healthy, the points will flow like they did in 2015, when the Cardinal were hitting 35 to 40 points per game without an issue.
But the schedule is just tough enough, and the defense is just questionable enough, that it’ll be too tall a task to get close to the College Football Playoff. However, they’ll get close to getting back to the Pac-12 Championship – and just miss.
Guessing The Preseason Regular Season Win Total Will Be Set At … 8
With road games at Oregon, Notre Dame, Washington, Cal, and UCLA – and go ahead and throw in the Arizona State game, too – there might be three losses in that bunch. Even if it’s two, that’s enough to knock out any CFP dreams.
Throw in the tough home games against San Diego State, USC, Utah and Washington State, and getting past eight wins will be a tall order.
Will this be a seven-win regular season like 2014? The offense will be good enough to blow up in a few big road games, but again, there are too many 50/50 battles against strong teams to expect anything special.