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One fan's rankings of the best Stanford football teams of the last decade

If they all played against one another, which great Cardinal team would prevail?

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Since 2010, Stanford has gone to five BCS bowls and been a force in college football. Recent Stanford teams have thrived using brute force and power to control the two sides of the line, but the team last year utilized their athletic abilities in an unprecedented way. Led by Andrew Luck and Kevin Hogan, Stanford has been an incredible football program; so let's rank Stanford's teams after 2010.

6: Stanford 2014
2014 seemed to be a fluke year. With the best defense in PAC 12, Stanford competed in almost every game, yet ended up at 8-5. Throughout the duration of the year, Stanford was one of the worst teams in the Pac-12 on offense. Tyler Gaffney and Stephan Taylor were no longer a part of the team, and the running burden was put on Remound Wright, who was not a good fit for RB1. At this time, Christian McCaffrey was only a freshman still getting used to college football. 2014 was by far Stanford's worst team in this decade, largely because the run game that typically defines Stanford football was not established.

5. Stanford 2012
2012 was supposed to be a rebuilding year. No Andrew Luck should have meant no offense, but the defense showed up and dominated all season long. At the beginning of the year, no one knew of Kevin Hogan, who was backing up Josh Nunes. Nunes lost two games against Washington and Notre Dame, but once Hogan ascended to the starter's role, Stanford finished the season undefeated and made the Rose Bowl.

4: Stanford 2013
Stanford was coming off a Rose Bowl win and expected to contend for a National Championship in 2013. Instead, Stanford finished the year with two losses and settled for another Rose Bowl game. In 2013, the team came so close to the championship game. They lost to Utah after failing score at the goal line, and they lost to USC on a last minute field goal.

3: Stanford 2010
After reaching the Orange Bowl, Stanford's 2010 team was the program's greatest team ever at that point. With Jim Harbaugh, Andrew Luck, Stephan Taylor, Zach Ertz, Chris Owusu and David Decastro, Stanford became a great team with a great offense in 2010. Andrew Luck and the Stanford offense averaged 472.5 yards of total offense per game, and their sole loss to Oregon kept Stanford out of the National Championship.

2: Stanford 2011
The 2011 season was similar to the 2010 one. Stanford was a great team with a great offense led by Andrew Luck, but they still could not figure out Oregon. Stanford's defense still had not become the PAC 12's best, so Stanford could not stop high scoring teams. The team went to the Fiesta Bowl where they lost to Oklahoma State in a shootout that went into overtime. Like 2010, defense was an issue at times, but the offense took a step forward. With many of the same players, Stanford was more experienced, and their offense was spectacular, averaging 489.3 yards of total offense per game.

1. Stanford 2015
Last year was unprecedented. Hogan was a senior with the best player in the nation in the backfield. The offense was unbelievable, even if the defense was mediocre compared to previous ones. Stanford proved their greatness in 2015 by beating Iowa 45-16 in the Rose Bowl. Iowa had barely lost to Michigan State, who played in the College Football Playoff, yet Stanford destroyed Iowa, which Michigan State could not do. Stanford proved to be better than the Big Ten's best in 2015, and it's too bad they came up short of making the College Football Playoff. Stanford's team in 2015 was its best ever.