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Stanford Cardinals Betting – Stanford Cardinals 2011 College Football Preview

Posted by Blake Frazier on 7/27/2011 10:42:30 AM
 stanford cardinals betting

In 2011, even the MLB baseball betting pundits who cover the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics will be interested in the welfare of the Stanford football program. The Bay Area will be captured and intrigued by the way the Cardinal respond to on the gridiron.

Having already lost its leader and mastermind, Jim Harbaugh, to the San Francisco 49ers, Stanford’s heartbeat left the premises of the Palo Alto, California, campus. Harbaugh built the program from pretty much nothing (after the ill-fated tenure of former head coach Buddy Teevens), offering a style of play and a competitive mindset that revitalized the Bay Area Pac-12 school with infrequent tastes of big-time success. Harbaugh delivered tangible X-and-O improvements while recruiting physical, chiseled players to perform in his system, but his worth to Stanford eclipsed those undeniable benefits. Harbaugh gave Stanford its swagger, so when he left The Farm to coach in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers, the Cardinal stood on shaky ground. The 2011 team needed its best player, quarterback and Heisman Trophy runner-up Andrew Luck, to stay in school in the midst of Harbaugh’s departure. If Luck had gone to the NFL, optimism simply wouldn’t have been justified at Stanford University heading into the 2011 campaign. Sports betting experts would have hesitated to make Stanford a favorite on most Saturdays during the 2011 season. 

In a surprising move, however, Luck decided to return to the program for his junior season. Things looked a little rosier after that gift. The Cardinals return just 11 players from the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, five on offense and six on defense. Thankfully for new head coach David Shaw, four of those returning players are All-Pac 12 performers (All-Pac 10 last year, of course). A question mark on the offensive side of the ball will be the line, which lost three players to graduation. Three new starters will need to protect Luck and create running lanes for talented back Stepfan Taylor. With returning wide receivers Chris Owusu and Griff Whalen, Luck should have quality targets to find on downfield routes.

Shayne Skov and Delano Howell will lead the Stanford defense in 2011 after playing well last season. A new defensive coaching staff (defensive coordinator Vic Fangio joined Harbaugh with the 49ers) will lead a Cardinal squad which allowed just 17 points per game, good enough for a top 10 national ranking. A hard-nosed style of play and an appreciable degree of athleticism will aid Stanford again in 2011.

The Cardinal notched three shutouts during Pac-10 play last season, and after a 40-12 blowout of Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, they have eyes on a bigger prize: the conference crown that eluded them in 2010. Standing in the way of an outright Pac-12 title are the Oregon Ducks. Stanford is the only Pac-12 team to beat Chip Kelly’s Ducks during the decorated coach’s two years in the league. It would be a surprise if the Pac-12 crown doesn’t come down to a November 12 matchup between the two squads in Palo Alto. Stanford doesn’t have Harbaugh to match wits with Kelly, but since Luck stands in the Cardinal’s corner, a “red revolution” could still occur in this year’s Pac-12 title chase. An intelligent sports bet could very well take Stanford to win the Pac-12, though the Cardinal shouldn’t be viewed as a lock.

 

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