2013 Stanford football schedule: Dates, toughest opponents and more

Stephen Dunn

The Cardinal could be on the verge of a national title run. Let's take a look at their schedule to see where they could stumble.

This could be the year Stanford makes a run at the BCS title game. They have continuity at head coach and quarterback in David Shaw and Kevin Hogan and 15 starters returning a 2012 team that went 12-2 and won the Rose Bowl. They are arguably the best team in the Pac-12, but their road to the BCS could get treacherous. Let's take a look at their schedule and see how it breaks down.

2013 Stanford schedule

Date Opponent Conf. Projected ranking

8/31/2013 Open Date

9/7/2013 San Jose State MWC 68

9/14/2013 at Army IND 106

9/21/2013 Arizona State PAC 36

9/28/2013 at Washington State (Seattle) PAC 110

10/5/2013 Washington PAC 48

10/12/2013 at Utah PAC 45

10/19/2013 UCLA PAC 44

10/26/2013 at Oregon State PAC 23

11/2/2013 Open Date

11/7/2013 Oregon PAC 2

11/16/2013 at USC PAC 17

11/23/2013 California PAC 73

11/30/2013 Notre Dame IND 10

12/7/2013 Pac-12 Championship (TBD)

Date Opponent Conf. Projected ranking

Projections from Football Outsiders' 2013 college football almanac.

The two biggest games of the season are clearly Oregon and Notre Dame, and both of them have to come to The Farm. Stanford isn't known for having the biggest home field advantage in the world, but it's still a clearly superior option to playing the Ducks in Autzen or the Irish in South Bend. The Cardinal split these two games last year, but both were decided in overtime. Both games should figure prominently in the national title picture once again.

The Cardinal avoid back-to-back road trips in 2013, but still face difficult tests when they make trips to Corvallis and Los Angeles to play the Beavers and Trojans. Those aren't the only difficult games for Stanford, though, as the middle portion of the season includes zero gimmes. Washington, Utah and UCLA are all capable of springing an upset if the Cardinal get caught sleeping.

Stanford's evolution into one of the top football programs in the country has been nothing short of amazing. Going undefeated is extremely difficult, though, and the Cardinal will probably drop a game at some point. However, this team is a safe bet to reach double-digit wins and are a pretty safe bet to win the Pac-12 once again.

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