Stanford Football: Cardinal need a miracle following loss to Washington State

Stanford Football (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images)
Stanford Football (Photo by William Mancebo/Getty Images) /

The Stanford football program is in desperate need of a miracle to extend their 10-year bowl streak following a devastating loss to Washington State.

The Stanford football program is in the midst of their most impressive bowl streak in school history. But barring a late-season miracle rally, that streak appears destined to end.

The Cardinal have been one of the most consistent and successful teams in all of the FBS over the past decade. Dating back to 2009, Jim Harbaugh‘s second-to-last season in Palo Alto, Stanford has qualified for a bowl game every single season.

But following a disappointing 49-22 loss to Washington State on Saturday, the Cardinal are on the brink of being eliminated from postseason play. Now at 4-6, Stanford needs victories in each of their final two games to keep their season alive.

And doing so will be no easy task.

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First, the Cardinal will host their arch-rivals Cal in the famed ‘Big Game.’ Typically, this has been a matchup that has swung in Stanford’s favor in recent history, but that certainly might not be the case this year.

For the first time in years, Cal will enter this game the better team and likely the road favorite. The Bears have struggled through their own quarterback injuries but still sit right in the middle of the Pac-12 with a 5-5 record.

But considering their 4-0 start to the season, it’s safe to say that their current record is a little disappointing. Nonetheless, coming away with the victory is far from assured, although anything is possible in rivalry games.

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Even if Stanford could pull off the upset and win against Cal, a daunting matchup against powerhouse Notre Dame awaits them in their final game of the season.

At the time of writing, the Fighting Irish are currently ranked 16th in the nation although that will almost assuredly go up following their dominant 52-20 victory over the previously 21st ranked Navy.

Notre Dame is a national powerhouse and while they aren’t contending for a spot in the College Football Playoff this season as many had expected, they’re still the far superior team.

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And unfortunately, this Stanford squad can’t seem to put things together even against beatable opponents like Washington State, Colorado, and UCLA.

Some nights it’s the offense that doesn’t show up as whether it’s Davis Mills, K.J. Costello, or Jack West under center, they just can’t get the job done. And other nights — as we saw against Washington State — it’s the defense that falters.

The offensive line has been derailed by injuries and the constant quarterback turnover has never allowed the offense to find a rhythm. And even when Mills and the offense shined as they did against the Cougars, the defense couldn’t finish the work.

They picked the wrong night to take a game off.

2019 will be remembered as a season of expected regression made worse by a slew of injuries and the shortcomings of many of the inexperienced members of the roster.

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And unfortunately, it will likely also be remembered as the year that marked the end of Stanford’s school-record 10-year bowl streak.