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Saturday, December 1, 2012

Stanford wins ugly -- very ugly

Stanford's football team just barely defeated UCLA last night for the football championship of the Pac-12 Conference. It was not an impressive win, with the Stanford offense sputtering through a lot of the contest. Its new quarterback, Kevin Hogan, was the difference, with his ability to run the ball himself providing a touchdown and keeping the Bruins defense on its toes.

The Stanford defense looked uncharacteristically weak, particularly against the run, but it did intercept one errant pass and run it back for a near-touchdown, which was converted to a 1-yard TD run on the next play. That stopped a drive that would have put the Angelenos up two touchdowns. And with that play, it is on to the Rose Bowl for Stanford, and on to probably the Alamo Bowl for UCLA.

The big question we had at the end of this game was: Why bother? The conference championship game drew a relatively sparse crowd at Stanford, where the rain was coming down and students were thinking about final exams the week after next. If the game hadn't been played, the two teams would probably be going to the same bowl games that they're going to anyway. In the end, this showdown -- a repeat of the matchup of just six days before -- came across as a lame money grab by the conference. It will take years before this conference championship game feels like the real thing -- if it ever does.

Probably the worst part of watching the game were the hideous all-black uniforms, supplied by Nike, worn by the Stanford team. Egad, their school mascot is the color cardinal, and yet they had to emulate the fashion show in Eugene with stark black get-ups. It was a sacrilege, and we swear it sapped the players' strength. Hey Stanford, tell Nike to go dress up the track team, and leave the gridiron tradition alone.

As a long-time Stanford rooter, we're quite pleased that the Rose Bowl will include the Cardinal once again. Had it not been for a disastrous trip to Seattle and a heartbreaking loss to Notre Dame, the folks on the Farm might have been shooting for an even bigger prize over the holidays. But they won their conference, and now will be in roses. And you-know-who will be in corn chips.

Comments (19)

Dwight Jaynes had a similar observation about the PAC 12 Championship a few weeks back.


In my opinion there is nothing more boring than watching the same two teams play each other two weeks in a row.

The crowd (announced as 31,622) was the smallest at 50,000-seat Stanford Stadium since the Cardinal drew 30,626 against Sacramento State on Sept. 4, 2010.

Lame money grab by the conference? Noooooooo. The whole point of the PAC-12 is a money grab. It was just a coincidence that the two teams making it to the PAC-12 championship game had played each other the week before.

I tend to think that the reason for weak attendance at Stanford is because it's a good school in a good area, and people have other things to do. I root for Stanford because it's such a class-act school.

But the second I saw those gawd-awful uniforms and found out (surprise, surprise) where they were from, I was rooting for the Bruins. This is all part of Nike's grand scheme. The Ducks are just the wedge to get into the tent of every possible college team nationwide, cast aside their traditional school colors and turn them into Glitterati on the fields and what will become a nice big profit bank for Nike. They donate all these first rounds, just as a crack dealer will toss around free samples to create their addict base.

I believe Phil Knight has said as much about wanting to spread the football fashion runway far and wide.

The attention paid to it at what you endearingly call UC-Nike is wonderful or pitiful, depending on your POV.

UCLA did the same crap last week. I think the uni's were dark, dark blue, but they looked basically black. Stupid.

It's okay though, if UCLA had a third crack at it, I'm sure they'd finally win!

Hey Stanford: hope you show up in Pasadena a bit better than you did in Palo Alto last night. After all, it's a free win against the third best team in the B1G Ten (now 14), since #1 and #2 are ineligible. Can't count, can't follow rules...

MachineShedFred? 3rd best team? Last time I checked, Nebraska beat Penn State and won their division.

Stanford doesn't have high attendance because it's the smallest university in terms of enrollment in the Pac 12 and a good number of the students are foreigners or people from the East Coast who could care less about the football team.

And also because people in the Bay Area care more about the local NFL teams--and a lot of people in the rest of the Bay Area just looks at the Stanford crowd as being snobs and would never root for the Cardinals. It's not like USC, where it's basically been adopted as LA's defacto football team.

Maybe the black is in mourning for the old mascot. Go Indians!

Why bother? $$$ It's what big college football is all about. All of it - not just the conference championships.

I like the dark uniforms. Very slick. They are the way of the future.

"Very slick ... the way of the future."

Can only note the future is here now. And hardly confined to college football uniforms.

(Tony, it's Cardinal, singular.) I always kind of wondered if there was a message in that. That the school adopted a team name meaning red when they had to abandon their politically incorrect team name. I have no idea. I like the school. I like the hospital. I do not like the mascot (Tree) or the marching band, total "funny" fail. Or the new unis.

"That the school adopted a team name meaning red when they had to abandon their politically incorrect team name. I have no idea."

Stanford went PC very early in this madness. All over Oregon, locations named Squaw.... ie Squaw Creek, Squaw Mountain, Squaw etc are being renamed (Whychus? bless you!), but the hold out is Squaw Valley Ski Resort (www.squaw.com no less). Another holdout is the Washington Redskins football team(gander at THAT mascot!).

I think Stanford should vote back their Indian mascot, and lead the country out of this PC madness. They'd be ahead of their time. Again.

On Wisconsin!

A five loss, unranked Wisconsin team in the Vizio bowl? Smell the excitement.

At Parker Stadium yesterday we discussed what look Nike will roll out for the Beavers as a part of a new "rebranding" campaign. Can't wait to see how they achieve this since black has been apart of the color scheme for decades with orange being the sole official color from the beginning. What will the ducks colors be for their next game?

in the Vizio bowl? Smell the excitement.

Yes, the bowl game that the Ducks wanted to play in, but can't because they weren't good enough to get in.

The bowl the Ducks wanted to play in was the National Championship Game in Miami, but they won't because of a missed field goal in overtime to a very good Stanford team. However, as an Oregon alum, I'd rather play #5 Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl than unranked Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. Most unbiased football fans would agree.

You keep telling yourself that. It will ease the pain of your loss. Have some Tostitos, too.

An "unbiased football fan" must be a fan only of football and not of any particular team. All the Duck fans I know (and that would be hundreds) would have taken the Rose over the Fiesta Bowl every single time. And they all had at least a bit of National Championship fever throughout a good bit of an unexpectedly thrilling year that came up also unexpectedly short.

The bowl lineup this year is a joke. Notre Dame-Alabama will be a good and the Fiesta Bowl of Oregon and Kansas State will be a decent matchup as well. But not many people are going to care that much about a Rose Bowl featuring Stanford vs. an unranked Wisconsin team that only got in the game because of the misdeeds of Ohio State and Penn State. Three teams not even in the Top 15 end up in BCS bowls? And Georgia goes from one game away from the national championship game to the Capitol One Bowl... Ha, ha...

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