Ugh ... another Stanford football loss. This time to my brother's alma mater San Diego State. While this does feel like an upset let's keep things in perspective here and not be too quick to bash Coach David Shaw which casual fans seem to do. Remember that players win and lose games, not coaches. Coaches do their best to prepare their players but ultimately it's what happens on the field that determines the outcome, plain and simple.
Stanford's current offense definitely has looked one dimensional in the past couple of games but keep in mind that they lost arguably the best offensive weapon in Stanford football history: Christian McCaffrey. Not just was he amazing when carrying the ball out of the backfield for Stanford but he was an accomplished receiver and, on special teams, he was always a threat to score and often times got the Cardinal in really good field position. How McCaffrey didn't win a Heisman is beyond me and now he is in the NFL.
While Bryce Love has played well, the rest of the offense has not. Could the play calling be more creative? Perhaps ... still, players win and lose games and Stanford's last two opponents just had better players. USC won the Rose Bowl last year and returned their star QB. San Diego State had been 11 - 3 each of the last two seasons and returned many of their star offensive weapons. Plus both games were on the road. Defensively, the Cardinal lost another key weapon from last year: Solomon Thomas. As 49ers fans know, he was the 2nd overall pick in the draft a few months ago. While the offensive and defensive lines are good for the Cardinal right now, they are not NFL quality like they had been during most of Coach Shaw's tenure at Stanford. In college football, some years you are not as good as prior years since it is hard to replace top notch talent right away unless you are a recruiting machine like Alabama.
Stanford football will be back to its winning ways ... we just need patience as we allow the new players to grow into their roles. Coach Shaw's record since 2011 speaks for itself: 65-19 overall, 4-2 in bowl games, three trips to the Rose Bowl winning two of them, and consistently being ranked in the top 10 in the country. Tell me what other coach has done that for Stanford football?! While Jim Harbaugh built the program up from the ruins form 2007 - 2010, over the last six years, Coach Shaw has made sure that Stanford football has remained an excellent program which it still is today.