The massive Saturday clash between the Oregon Ducks and Stanford Cardinal should be, at the very least, a match to determine a Rose Bowl participant. If enough cards fall the right way, it could be a match that determines a national title participant. Chip Kelly's team has just one loss, a neutral site defeat to the No. 1 team in the country. Stanford is undefeated and Andrew Luck is the current Heisman Trophy front-runner. Chances are, anyone reasonably familiar with college football doesn't need to be told why they should watch this game.
The Cardinal are about much more than Luck, but the spotlight will be on him. As Stanford Cardinal blog Rule Of Tree explains, this is one of the biggest games of Luck's career, comparable with last year's Oregon game and the Orange Bowl. He's got the chops to handle it.
There's much more to the Cardinal's success than Andrew Luck, and anyone who is watching this year's Stanford team for the first time on Saturday will see that. That said, no one will have a greater effect on the outcome of the game than Luck, and that's a good thing for Stanford fans. It could be a last-minute drive, a crucial third down conversion, or an audible at the line that we only learn about later.
Oregon is confident though, mostly because of their speed. As Oregon Ducks blog Addicted To Quack points out, the Cardinal defense's speed is not their strong suit, and it could lead to a bad mismatch.
Offensively, Oregon is fast. Defensively, Stanford is not. They are a team that can stack the box to stop a traditional pro style offense, but don't have a lot of lateral quickness or top end speed. Oh, and their best defensive player is hurt. They are going to be doing a lot of watching up the field as guys named LaMichael, Kenjon, and DeAnthony run across the goal line, and with alarming frequency.
Game date, time: 8:00 pm ET, Saturday, November 12
Location: Stanford Stadium, Stanford, California
TV channel: ABC
Spread: Stanford favored by 3 points
Series history: Stanford leads, 41-29
For further reading, news, discussion and more, visit Oregon blog Addicted To Quack and Stanford blog Rule Of Tree. Here’s the complete Week 11 college football TV schedule, and stay tuned to SB Nation’s college football news hub for more.