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Way too Early Breakdown of Stanford’s Schedule

The schedule has been released, so time for early speculation

NCAA Football: Sun Bowl-Stanford vs North Carolina Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

The Stanford Cardinal football schedule has been released for 2017 which means we can already start predicting the outcome. Granted the quarterback position is unsure and the recruiting season has not yet closed, but this is just the first of a few articles to be had on the schedule.

Opener on the Road - Rice Owls

This should be a fairly easy win, last season was a dominant win for the Cardinal that had them topping the Owls 41-17 and I cannot see Rice recruiting anyone to make a difference.

Record: 1-0

September 9th on the Road - USC Trojans

It is a bummer to start out with three road games, the second being at a Sam Darnold led USC. This will be a much different game from last season. Two weeks into the season Stanford will be in their toughest game of the season, with a defense still finding its way to playing as a unit.

Record: 1-1

September 16th on the Road - San Diego State Aztecs

This could be a great game, if it was played last season. Unfortunately Donnel Pumphrey will be gone and this makes for a far better matchup for the Cardinal. While their next man up is Rashaad Penny, who rushed for 1,005 yards last year but is no Pumphrey. But without an All-Star back and a weak passing game, the Aztecs will be no match for Stanford.

Record: 2-1

September 23rd at Home - UCLA Bruins

This game is a little up in the air because of the fact we do not really know Josh Rosen’s status. He could be back for this game or out of the sport, to name the extremes. If he is back it will be a game of the passing attack vs. Stanford’s ground game and defense. If he is absent, the already frail running game that UCLA has will be the least of the Bruins problems. Whatever the scenario, this is not a complete enough team to take tough road wins.

Record: 3-1

September 30th at Home - Arizona State Sun Devils

During the season, the Sun Devils started out hot, against down teams. Then when the competition got better their record suffered. Last season and this season there are no recruits, transfers or developing players who can fix that massive problem. For a team that averaged 41 points the first half of the season, it is a shame their defense will continually let up more than that consistently.

Record: 4-1

October 7th on the Road - Utah Utes

With the return of Joe Williams at running back and the consistency of the their defense this will be a really tough game. The key will be Stanford’s defense, if they can get to the shifty Williams, that will give them their best chance for a victory. This will be a tight game and for the Cardinal, it is unfortunate they will be on the road.

Record: 4-2

October 14th at Home - Oregon Ducks

This is a big rivalry game, that Stanford should have full control of. They put 52 points up on the Ducks in 2016 an there is no reason to believe the Cardinal will have trouble in ‘17. The Cardinal will use their superior ground game and ride it to victory.

Record: 5-2

October 26th on the Road - Oregon State Beavers

While the Cardinal usually have the Beavers number, do not sleep on this team. They kept it close for most of the game last season and this young roster, especially on the defensive side, just put another year on their belt and should be ready to improve in the coming year. Tight win for Stanford.

Record: 6-2

November 4th on the Road - Washington State Cougars

This will be a revenge game for the Cardinal, they got wrecked by them last season and now they get to take a shot at redemption. The big thing here will be health, if they can come into this game with the full roster then they can beat this team. Stanford will need every man to top the Cougars. If they have a healthy secondary and their entire offensive compliment, they can win because of more sheer talent. This should be a win but would not be surprised at a loss.

Record: 7-2

November 10th at Home - Washington Huskies

Another revenge game for Stanford. The Huskies are also down at least one top receiver and three players out of the secondary. Remember when Notre Dame sent five key players to the draft last season? That did not go great either. Stanford will be licking their chops for this all year and they will go for the throat here.

Record: 8-2

November 18th at Home - California Golden Bears

First Jared Goff and then Davis Webb, does Cal have another star quarterback just riding the pine? The two most important players on the roster for he last three years are gone, they kept the Golden Bears in games and now without them, this team probably rides the bottom of the division.

Record: 9-2

November 25th at Home - Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Their best player was DeShone Kizer. Yet again Stanford gets the Fighting Irish after a crippling loss via the draft, this time at home. Last time they lost players to the draft I said Stanford would grab a win. People said it was crazy. Stanford finishes out the year on a winning home stand. Take it to the bank.

Record for the year: 10-2

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