For football, we will give you an in-depth game preview in the week leading up to each Cardinal football showdown. Until then (and that’s not long: our preview of the 2010 home opener against Sacramento State will appear next week) we’re giving you The Big Preview: a game-by-game win-loss prediction table complete with a short summary of why we think the Card will end up as we think they will. So here it is:
W September 4: Home vs. Sacramento State
- There is not much that need be said here. Stanford has better talent at every position, is in Stanford Stadium, and should be pumped up for the beginning of a new season. Barring a miraculous effort from Sac State, Stanford wins easily and Andrew Luck can begin padding his Heisman candidacy statistics.
W September 11: at UCLA
- UCLA is a program on the rise with head coach Rick Neuheisel and a proud program tradition. Unfortunately for the Bruins, Stanford is the superior team in every facet of the sport. Even with home-field advantage at one of the nation’s most revered football venues, Stanford comes away with a win in what should be convincing fashion.
W September 18: Home vs. Wake Forest
- Although Stanford is the better team on paper, many of our readers probably remember the heart-breaking, last-second loss the Card suffered last year at Wake. That game will inspire a lust for revenge among this year’s Cardinal, who have the benefit of playing the 2010 matchup without jetlag and in their own stadium. Cardinal win by certain but not overwhelming margin.
W September 25: at Notre Dame
- Here is the first potential loss for Stanford. Notre Dame will likely finish the season with a worse record than that of Andrew Luck & Co. and the talent for the West Coast squad outdoes the best of the Fighting Irish. Nonetheless, Notre Dame will have some added energy from their new coach (the LeBron-like Brian Kelly) and they will remember the loss on the Farm last year that cost former coach Charlie Weis his job at South Bend.
Add in the home field advantage, and the Irish may pull off the upset. Nonetheless, we predict that coaching and talent prevail, and the Cardinal win a close one.
Check out the rest of The Big Preview after the jump.
L October 2: at Oregon
- In a hostile environment (we mentioned it in this post) and against the preseason favorite to win the PAC-10, we’re calling a loss for the Cardinal. Even with the shaky quarterback situation for the Ducks, their running back stable, led by sophomore LaMichael James, will be lethal provided that none of them punch somebody out on the field and get suspended.
The Card stand a good chance in this one, but we say the men from Palo Alto suffer their first loss of the year in Eugene.
W October 9: Home vs. USC
- Close win. USC, bitter from their pathetic showing in the Coliseum against the Cardinal last season, will be amped up to beat the crap out of Jim Harbaugh’s side in Stanford Stadium. But Stanford will be ready, too, and we wish we could videotape and publish what Coach Harbaugh actually thinks of USC’s new coach, Lane Kiffin. Expect a close game, but a win for the Cardinal and White, not the cardinal and gold. Cheat On for USC.
W October 23: Home vs. Washington State
- After a bye week in which the Card can rest up and prepare for the Cougars from the north, this won’t even be a game. Washington State is the doormat of the PAC-10, and October 23 is the last night of Stanford’s Homecoming Weekend. Huge win.
W October 30: at Washington
- This might be the most interesting game of the year to watch. Expect a quarterbacking duel between the nation’s two best throwers: Jake Locker of Washington and Andrew Luck of Stanford. Beside Locker, however, Washington is thin on talent and won’t compete with the Card. Think 10-20 point difference between Stanford and Washington when the final second ticks off the clock in Seattle.
L November 6: Home vs. Arizona
- UPSET ALERT! Card lose against a team that gave them fits on defense last year. The Stoops brothers will continue to stymie Harbaugh and Stanford.
W November 13: at Arizona State
- Again, there is a huge talent gap between the Card and the Sun Devils, and that gap favors Stanford. There’s a reason that Arizona State didn’t muster a single vote in the AP Preseason Poll and barely got any in the USA Today Poll. Even with Michigan transfer Steven Threet behind center in the sun belt, Stanford should win fairly easily. The margin may look fairly small, but that will merely be a result of Stanford’s decision to rest starters in the fourth quarter.
W November 20: Home vs. Cal
- We will obviously preview Big Game to death when it gets closer, but for now just remember this: tough Stanford loss last year+game at Stanford Stadium this year=the axe returning to its rightful home on the Farm.
L November 27: Home vs. Oregon State
- After the emotional high of winning Big Game, Stanford faces a big trap against the Beavers. The Rodgers brothers, who play RB and WR, will put up numbers like those they posted against the Card in last year’s game, and the Cardinal defense will give up just shy of 50 points. In the last game of the regular season, Stanford will suffer its third loss of the year.
Projected 2010 Regular Season Record: 9-3
So that’s The Big Preview. What do you think? Let us know by commenting on the post.