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Stanford one of eight teams to post winning record against ranked foes this decade

The Cardinal were named as one of eight teams with a winning record against ranked opponents in the last 10 years

California v Stanford Photo by David Madison/Getty Images

The Stanford Cardinal football team reached historic heights in the 2010s under head coach David Shaw, and though it has been documented by those within the Cardinal community, Fox Sports College Football account recently noted that Stanford was one of an elite, prestigious group during that timeframe.

In fact, Stanford was one of just eight teams to post a winning record against teams that were ranked in the AP Top 25 during the time of the matchup during the 2010-19 seasons.

They ranked seventh among that group, posting a 57.1% winning percentage against ranked opponents.

They came in just below Oregon in the race for top spot in the Pac-12 but were noticeably one of just two Pac-12 teams to be represented on such list. The Pac-12 spotted two teams while the SEC spotted two, Big Ten, ACC, Big 12 and Mountain West each having only one.

The remaining Group of 5 conferences and Independent schools each were left off.

So, who did Stanford beat? And who did Stanford lose to? Let’s take a look, keeping in mind these are games played when the opponent entered the game with a spot in the top 25, not necessarily where they finished or started in the rankings that year.

2010 — 2-1 (2-1)

@ No. 4 Oregon — Saturday, October 2
LOSS — 52-31

vs No. 15 Arizona — Saturday, November 6
WIN — 42-17

Discover Orange Bowl vs No. 13 Virginia Tech — Monday, January 3
WIN — 40-12

2011 — 2-2 (4-3)

vs No. 25 Washington — Saturday, October 22
WIN — 65-21

@ No. 7 Oregon — Saturday, November 12
LOSS — 53-30

vs No. 22 Notre Dame — Saturday, November 26
WIN — 28-14

Tostitos Fiesta Bowl vs No. 3 Oklahoma State — Monday, January 2
LOSS — 41-38 (OT)

2012 — 5-1 (9-4)

vs No. 2 USC — Saturday, September 15
WIN — 21-14

@ No. 7 Notre Dame — Saturday, October 13
LOSS — 20-13 (OT)

vs No. 11 Oregon State — Saturday, November 10
WIN — 27-23

@ No. 2 Oregon — Saturday, November 17
WIN — 17-14 (OT)

@ No. 17 UCLA — Saturday, November 24
WIN — 35-17

vs No. 16 UCLA — Friday, November 30
WIN — 27-24

2013 — 7-1 (16-5)

vs No. 23 Arizona State — Saturday, September 21
WIN — 42-28

vs No. 15 Washington — Saturday, October 5
WIN — 31-28

vs No. 9 UCLA — Saturday, October 19
WIN — 24-10

@ No. 25 Oregon State — Saturday, October 26
WIN — 20-12

vs No. 3 Oregon — Thursday, November 7
WIN — 26-20

vs No. 25 Notre Dame — Saturday, November 30
WIN — 27-20

@ No. 11 Arizona State — Saturday, December 7
WIN — 38-14

Rose Bowl Game vs No. 4 Michigan State — Wednesday, January 1
LOSS — 24-20

2014 — 1-5 (17-10)

vs No. 14 USC — Saturday, September 6
LOSS — 13-10

@ No. 9 Notre Dame — Saturday, October 4
LOSS — 17-14

@ No. 17 Arizona State — Saturday, October 18
LOSS — 26-10

@ No. 5 Oregon — Saturday, November 1
LOSS — 45-16

vs No. 23 Utah — Saturday, November 15
LOSS — 20-17 (2OT)

@ No. 8 UCLA — Friday, November 28
WIN — 31-10

2015 — 5-0 (22-10)

@ No. 6 USC — Saturday, September 19
WIN — 41-31

vs. No. 18 UCLA — Thursday, October 15
WIN — 56-35

vs No. 6 Notre Dame — Saturday, November 28
WIN — 38-36

vs No. 20 USC — Saturday, December 5
WIN — 41-22

Rose Bowl Game vs No. 5 Iowa — Friday, January 1
WIN — 45-16

2016 — 0-1 (22-11)

@ No. 10 Washington — Friday, September 30
LOSS — 44-6

2017 — 3-4 (25-15)

@ No. 6 USC — Saturday, September 9
LOSS — 42-24

@ No. 20 Utah — Saturday, October 7
WIN — 23-20

@ No. 25 Washington State — Saturday, November 4
LOSS — 24-21

vs No. 9 Washington — Friday, November 10
WIN — 30-22

vs No. 8 Notre Dame — Saturday, November 25
WIN — 38-20

vs No. 10 USC — Friday, December 1
LOSS — 31-28

Valero Alamo Bowl vs No. 15 TCU — Thursday, December 28
LOSS — 39-37

2018 — 2-2 (27-17)

vs No. 17 USC — Saturday, September 8
WIN — 17-3

@ No. 20 Oregon — Saturday, September 22
WIN — 38-31 (OT)

@ No. 8 Notre Dame — Saturday, September 29
LOSS — 38-17

vs No. 14 Washington State — Saturday, October 27
LOSS — 41-38

2019 — 1-3 (28-20)

@ No. 17 UCF — Saturday, September 14
LOSS — 45-27

vs No. 16 Oregon — Saturday, September 21
LOSS — 21-6

vs No. 15 Washington — Saturday, October 5
WIN — 23-13

vs No. 16 Notre Dame — Saturday November 30
LOSS — 45-24

So by my accounts — I get 28-20 overall as a record over the past decade’s worth of football. That differs from the statistic above from Fox College Sports, as that’s a winning percentage of 58.3%. So, I went back into 2009 as well, so we could get ‘10 years from 2009-2019’ in case that’s how they did it — and that even improves Stanford’s record.

In 2009, Stanford knocked off three ranked teams and lost to just Cal who was No. 25 at the time. That record of 3-1 vs ranked opponents gives them a 31-21 overall spot against ranked foes, or a winning percentage of 59.6%. Unfortunately, neither of those numbers change their place above, but now I am even more curious as to where they got their rankings from.

Nevertheless, a positive winning record against ranked foes over the past decade of football is a promising and welcome sign for the Cardinal.

Let’s keep it up!