For the second straight season the Stanford Cardinal must prepare to take on the San Jose State Spartans in their home opener Saturday night in Stanford, Ca. The two South Bay Football programs have vastly improved in their recent histories; Stanford was resurrected by Jim Harbaugh, who passed the torch to David Shaw, and for San Jose State Ron Caragher is the Spartans’ new head coach, their sixth in the past 20 years. San Jose State is coming in 1-0 after defeating Sacramento State in week one by the score of 24-0, but let’s face it number 4 ranked Stanford is an entirely different animal from the likes of Sac State or anyone the Spartans will face in the Mountain West Division.
The Spartans are no push over and they are out to prove last season was no fluke. Winning 11 games last season, tying a school record, and finishing 24th in the final AP poll. With David Fales the full time quarterback now, Spartan fans can only hope he will improve upon his 4,193 yards, 33 touchdowns, and 72.5 percent completion percentage, in which he led the nation last season. San Jose State has won 14 of their last 16, and has not defeated Stanford on the road since 2000, the same year they upset 9th ranked TCU at home.
So the Bill Walsh Legacy Game could be one for the ages, as the genius once wore Spartan Blue and Cardinal Red, and if his ghost roams the field Saturday night, anything can happen. The Cardinal are out to prove they belong in the BCS race and the Spartans are out to prove they are legitimate, and last season was no accident.
With Stanford the top dog in the Pac-12 Conference’s North Division, and a viable contender for the BCS crown, they cannot afford to be upset at home, nor can they afford another 20-17 squeaker like last season. For the Cardinal to be taken seriously in the BCS and to stay near the top of the food chain they must blow out the likes of San Jose State. The BCS has always had a short leash for Pac-12 contenders, with obvious bias towards SEC country, who usually get a 1 to 2 loss cushion for their contenders; Stanford cannot afford to be upset in front of the home crowd. Las Vegas odds had as high as a 27 point cushion mid-week, but now that number has moved down to 25 as of Saturday morning. Indicating big money is on this game, and with big expectations for both Football teams this season expect both teams to bring their “A” game to the table.