By Kellan King
Stanford is one of the most storied programs on the west coast, but recently they have had some struggles. They haven’t made a bowl game in 3 years, and haven’t won the Pac 12 since 2015. This upcoming season will be crucial for the Cardinal, as they look to turn things around and compete in a relatively wide open Pac 12.
The off season was relatively uneventful for the Cardinal, as they had relatively little production leave. They brought in a solid recruiting class, the 27th ranked class in the country, including 7 four star recruits. They also return talented QB Tanner McKee, who will have to have a great year if Stanford wants to improve. Last year was McKee’s first year starting, and he showed some flashes, including a 3 touchdown performance in an upset over Oregon. However, late in the season McKee struggled with nagging injuries and some accuracy problems, throwing 7 interceptions in the final 5 games of the season.
The Cardinal will face a difficult schedule as always, with non-conference games against potential top 25 teams in Notre Dame and BYU, and road games against conference foes Washington, Oregon, UCLA, and Utah. The bellwether game for Stanford will likely come in Week 2 against USC, one of the highest profile teams in the country. If the Cardinal can stay competitive or even pull of the upset, it could help them get a great season started. Overall, I believe the Cardinal will push for Bowl Eligibility, but come up just short in a Week 12 loss to BYU, and finish 5-7.