Clardy's Corner: Keep Calm & Cardinal On

If Stanford Football is supposed to have a panic button, it must have been out of order last week against Oregon.



As the final seconds ticked off of Oregon's upset victory over Stanford, I headed out of the radio booth and started making my way down to the field. While I passed through the doors of the press box and onto the stairwell, the Stanford coaching staff was hustling down from their booth upstairs.

Cardinal defensive coordinator Lance Anderson and I nodded a greeting at each other before we all headed down the stairs. I looked for it in his eyes. I didn't see it.

Minutes later, David Shaw strode into his postgame press conference. Almost immediately, and completely unprovoked, Shaw dismissed the notion that his team had just suffered a crushing loss, and focused on what was now at stake in Big Game. Based on that, I certainly didn't see it with him.

Soon after, I talked to Stanford WR Michael Rector. Chatted with DL Brennan Scarlett. Hung around LB Kevin Anderson. Stuck around the room a little longer than normal, even after all of the players had cleared out. At no point did I see it, nor did I ever sense it.

The Cardinal had just dropped a 38-36 loss to the Ducks. They had blown their best chance of staying in the playoff race. And they would have to wait at least one more week to clinch the Pac-12 North. But if Stanford was supposed to be reaching for the panic button on Saturday night, I didn't sense it. Not one bit.

You know how college football works these days. You lose one game, and it's all over. You're supposed to be completely distraught and totally incapable of processing anything else. Then, when you finally come to, you're supposed to spend days -- if not weeks -- lamenting what could have been. It's the emotion of it all. It's part of what makes college football the most compelling sport to follow in America.

So, given that "devastating" loss, Shaw was supposed to start his press conference by shouting obscenities, flipping over the podium, and becoming an instant YouTube sensation. Stanford Stadium was supposed to be strewn with fans suspended in catatonic shock. Cardinal players were supposed to speak in hushed tones, act like all was lost, and lament that the only thing left to play for now was pride.

I didn't see any of that. Certainly not among the players and coaches. Lance Anderson had just watched his defense play a large role in Stanford's first loss in over two months, allowing season highs in points, rushing yards, and big plays. But when I saw Anderson, he didn't have the thousand-yard stare. They weren't wheeling him out of the press box because he was too shocked to move. Hell, he had the same look on his face that he probably has when he's checking his email.

The players? Same thing. Disappointment? Sure. Devastation? Not even close.

And if I did see any loss-related hysteria among Stanford fans, it was contained to a very small scale. Heck, if anything, I actually saw people defending Shaw and some of the decisions that were made. I almost couldn't believe it.

Why is that? How was Stanford able to handle that loss so well? The sacrastic side of me thinks that maybe it's further proof that Stanford just doesn't understand how big-time college football works. After all, hasn't the Cardinal program reached a level where just one loss causes dreams to be shattered, coaches to be placed on the hot seat, and fans to spiral into the doldrums for weeks? That's how you're supposed to do it.

Or -- and this is the more likely answer, in my mind -- it's another example of Stanford doing big-time college football on its own terms. Some fanbases and programs seem utterly unable to deal with losing. You know who they are. But instead of treating one loss like it's the end of the world, Stanford Football largely seems better equipped to deal with it. More importantly, it also knows how to move on and rebound.

You know what David Shaw's record is after a loss? 12-1. Think about that for a second. 12-1. That's remarkable on several levels. One, the fact that Shaw has only lost 14 games in nearly five full seasons as the head coach at a school like Stanford.

By the way, just for reference, the Cardinal lost 11 games in 2006. Sorry for the reminder.

It also speaks to how Shaw and the staff have been able to stay on the same page, and to keep the players focused on the task at hand, win or lose. I noticed this during the week after that Northwestern game. No shouting, no desperation, no long faces. The coaches were just setting out to correct the mistakes the team had committed against the Wildcats, and the players were merely placing a higher emphasis on execution in their next game. Nothing more, nothing less.

Of course, while the team was quietly going to work, most Stanford fans were running around screaming that the sky was falling. Some internet columnist was even openly questioning whether Shaw trusted his players (and, even worse, whether his players had given Shaw any real reason to trust them). The nerve of that guy.

Shaw took center stage on this again when the media spent much of Tuesday's media luncheon pestering the coach about the team's mental state and the possibility of an emotional letdown. "Practice [Monday] night was great," Shaw responded to one of several such inquiries. "Meetings were great. A lot of guys had smiles on their faces. We're 8-2 overall, 7-1 in the most competitive conference in America. We don't have time to wallow."

Shaw also noted that half of Oregon's yardage came on just four plays. It wasn't like they were moving right through Stanford like two bowls of Raisin Bran. He tipped his cap to the Ducks for capitalizing on Stanford's errors, instead of throwing his own players under the bus. Sometimes, the other team just plays better than yours. After all, as coaches like to say, the other team is on scholarship, too.

So, as he has all season, Shaw has remained steady when others have been ready to pull the ripcord. Instead of blowing everything up and starting over from square one, Shaw and the staff have largely remained true to how they want to play football. It's a large reason why Stanford's mood after the Oregon game was one of resolve, not of despair.

Then there's this: as disappointing as that loss was, the Rose Bowl is still a hell of a consolation prize. I realized it as soon as the Card failed to cover the final onside kick. I also think many Cardinalmanics realized it pretty quickly, too.

And if Stanford wins out, Pasadena may actually be a worst-case scenario. Are you going to complain if we're all walking into that stadium on January 1? I don't think so.

Now, don't get it twisted; that result was disappointing. It sure would have been nice to still be smack in the playoff mix (though, judging from this week's rankings, the Card may not be as far out of it as it seems). It would have been great to have survived another chaotic weekend in the Pac-12, which is less like football and more like crabs in a barrel.

But Stanford players, coaches, and fans were not acting like all was lost on Saturday night. Mostly because it wasn't. And mostly because they know their team is better equipped to bounce back than others.

********** ********** **********

RANDOM PAC-12 THOUGHTS

Some folks seemed to be freaking out a little when Stanford's offense didn't show much urgency on offense in the fourth quarter. I wasn't. It's called clock management. And when you're playing the Ducks, you are always managing the clock and trying to keep the ball out of their hands. Even though big passing plays were there to be had, it was smart to keep pounding the rock, even down by 12 points early in the fourth quarter...

Michael Rector ate his Wheaties Saturday morning. Great game by him, I thought...

All of this being said, it seemed like Stanford was just slightly out of sync against Oregon, like they were trying to match Oregon's mental tempo when they didn't really need to. And that resulted in some unfortunate, uncharacteristic mistakes...

Stumbled onto the Pac-12 Network's replay of the 1982 Big Game the other day. Next time I'm in the office, I'm going to have to stop by the programming department and see if they can grab the tapes of some other Big Games. Like 1990, for example. Or 2000...

Josh Rosen and Luke Falk must've had fun getting out of bed on Sunday morning. Every time I looked up, those guys were picking themselves up off the turf...

Washington State shouldn't have even needed Falk's last-second heroics. Why were they throwing the ball and taking shots at the end zone when they had the lead? That unnecessary interception set up UCLA's go-ahead drive. Didn't make any sense. You would think these coaches would know situational football...

Now I can admit it: I always kinda like to see the Cougs do well...

Does any Pac-12 quarterback take more sacks in the red zone than Cody Kessler?

I'm liking more of that Myles Gaskin kid the more I see of him...

Not a Pac-12 thought, but... I'm calling it now. The Golden State Warriors are going 98-0...

Not a Pac-12 thought, but... overpriced and underwhelming is not a good combination. I'm talking to you, Umami Burger...

********** ********** **********

PAC-12 PICKS

USC @ Oregon (-4). I literally have no idea whom to pick here. So, when in doubt, go with the home team. Don't be surprised if this one goes to overtime. I like Oregon by 6.

Arizona @ Arizona State (NL). Big win for the Wildcats last week. Can they keep it going in Tempe? I'll say yes. I like Arizona by 6.

UCLA @ Utah (-2). The Utes get their groove back. I like Utah by 9.

Washington (-15) @ Oregon State. Is it women's basketball season yet in Corvallis? I like Washington by 16.

Colorado @ Washington State (-15). This game kicks off at 7:45 p.m. It may not end until midnight. I like Washington State by 20.

Last week: 3-2 (straight-up), 3-2 (ATS).
This year: 24-11 (straight-up), 20-14 (ATS).

********** ********** **********


The 2015 season marks Troy Clardy’s 23rd year of following the Cardinal as a columnist, broadcaster, and announcer. Troy also calls baseball, softball, and soccer games for the Pac-12 Network. In its 14th season of Cardinal commentary, Clardy’s Corner appears Wednesdays during the college football regular season on TheBootleg.com. His “TreeCast with Troy Clardy” podcast is available for download via the Cardinal Sports Radio app from VSporto on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can also check him out online at TroyClardy.com, follow him on Twitter @TroyClardy, or Like him on Facebook.






Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com(sign-up)!


The Bootleg Top Stories

Follow\r\n@TroyClardy\r\n\r\n

\r\n

As the final seconds ticked off of Oregon's upset victory over Stanford, I headed out of the radio booth and started making my way down to the field. While I passed through the doors of the press box and onto the stairwell, the Stanford coaching staff was hustling down from their booth upstairs.

\r\n\r\n

Cardinal defensive coordinator Lance Anderson and I nodded a greeting at each other before we all headed down the stairs. I looked for it in his eyes. I didn't see it.

\r\n\r\n

Minutes later, David Shaw strode into his postgame press conference. Almost immediately, and completely unprovoked, Shaw dismissed the notion that his team had just suffered a crushing loss, and focused on what was now at stake in Big Game. Based on that, I certainly didn't see it with him.

\r\n\r\n

Soon after, I talked to Stanford WR Michael Rector. Chatted with DL Brennan Scarlett. Hung around LB Kevin Anderson. Stuck around the room a little longer than normal, even after all of the players had cleared out. At no point did I see it, nor did I ever sense it.

\r\n\r\n

The Cardinal had just dropped a 38-36 loss to the Ducks. They had blown their best chance of staying in the playoff race. And they would have to wait at least one more week to clinch the Pac-12 North. But if Stanford was supposed to be reaching for the panic button on Saturday night, I didn't sense it. Not one bit.

\r\n\r\n

You know how college football works these days. You lose one game, and it's all over. You're supposed to be completely distraught and totally incapable of processing anything else. Then, when you finally come to, you're supposed to spend days -- if not weeks -- lamenting what could have been. It's the emotion of it all. It's part of what makes college football the most compelling sport to follow in America.

\r\n\r\n

So, given that \"devastating\" loss, Shaw was supposed to start his press conference by shouting obscenities, flipping over the podium, and becoming an instant YouTube sensation. Stanford Stadium was supposed to be strewn with fans suspended in catatonic shock. Cardinal players were supposed to speak in hushed tones, act like all was lost, and lament that the only thing left to play for now was pride.

\r\n\r\n

I didn't see any of that. Certainly not among the players and coaches. Lance Anderson had just watched his defense play a large role in Stanford's first loss in over two months, allowing season highs in points, rushing yards, and big plays. But when I saw Anderson, he didn't have the thousand-yard stare. They weren't wheeling him out of the press box because he was too shocked to move. Hell, he had the same look on his face that he probably has when he's checking his email.

\r\n\r\n

The players? Same thing. Disappointment? Sure. Devastation? Not even close.

\r\n\r\n

And if I did see any loss-related hysteria among Stanford fans, it was contained to a very small scale. Heck, if anything, I actually saw people defending Shaw and some of the decisions that were made. I almost couldn't believe it.

\r\n\r\n

Why is that? How was Stanford able to handle that loss so well? The sacrastic side of me thinks that maybe it's further proof that Stanford just doesn't understand how big-time college football works. After all, hasn't the Cardinal program reached a level where just one loss causes dreams to be shattered, coaches to be placed on the hot seat, and fans to spiral into the doldrums for weeks? That's how you're supposed to do it.

\r\n\r\n

Or -- and this is the more likely answer, in my mind -- it's another example of Stanford doing big-time college football on its own terms. Some fanbases and programs seem utterly unable to deal with losing. You know who they are. But instead of treating one loss like it's the end of the world, Stanford Football largely seems better equipped to deal with it. More importantly, it also knows how to move on and rebound.

\r\n\r\n

You know what David Shaw's record is after a loss? 12-1. Think about that for a second. 12-1. That's remarkable on several levels. One, the fact that Shaw has only lost 14 games in nearly five full seasons as the head coach at a school like Stanford.

\r\n\r\n

By the way, just for reference, the Cardinal lost 11 games in 2006. Sorry for the reminder.

\r\n\r\n

It also speaks to how Shaw and the staff have been able to stay on the same page, and to keep the players focused on the task at hand, win or lose. I noticed this during the week after that Northwestern game. No shouting, no desperation, no long faces. The coaches were just setting out to correct the mistakes the team had committed against the Wildcats, and the players were merely placing a higher emphasis on execution in their next game. Nothing more, nothing less.

\r\n\r\n

Of course, while the team was quietly going to work, most Stanford fans were running around screaming that the sky was falling. Some internet columnist was even openly questioning whether Shaw trusted his players (and, even worse, whether his players had given Shaw any real reason to trust them). The nerve of that guy.

\r\n\r\n

Shaw took center stage on this again when the media spent much of Tuesday's media luncheon pestering the coach about the team's mental state and the possibility of an emotional letdown. \"Practice [Monday] night was great,\" Shaw responded to one of several such inquiries. \"Meetings were great. A lot of guys had smiles on their faces. We're 8-2 overall, 7-1 in the most competitive conference in America. We don't have time to wallow.\"

\r\n\r\n

Shaw also noted that half of Oregon's yardage came on just four plays. It wasn't like they were moving right through Stanford like two bowls of Raisin Bran. He tipped his cap to the Ducks for capitalizing on Stanford's errors, instead of throwing his own players under the bus. Sometimes, the other team just plays better than yours. After all, as coaches like to say, the other team is on scholarship, too.

\r\n\r\n

So, as he has all season, Shaw has remained steady when others have been ready to pull the ripcord. Instead of blowing everything up and starting over from square one, Shaw and the staff have largely remained true to how they want to play football. It's a large reason why Stanford's mood after the Oregon game was one of resolve, not of despair.

\r\n\r\n

Then there's this: as disappointing as that loss was, the Rose Bowl is still a hell of a consolation prize. I realized it as soon as the Card failed to cover the final onside kick. I also think many Cardinalmanics realized it pretty quickly, too.

\r\n\r\n

And if Stanford wins out, Pasadena may actually be a worst-case scenario. Are you going to complain if we're all walking into that stadium on January 1? I don't think so.

\r\n\r\n

Now, don't get it twisted; that result was disappointing. It sure would have been nice to still be smack in the playoff mix (though, judging from this week's rankings, the Card may not be as far out of it as it seems). It would have been great to have survived another chaotic weekend in the Pac-12, which is less like football and more like crabs in a barrel.

\r\n\r\n

But Stanford players, coaches, and fans were not acting like all was lost on Saturday night. Mostly because it wasn't. And mostly because they know their team is better equipped to bounce back than others.

\r\n\r\n********** ********** **********\r\n\r\n

RANDOM PAC-12 THOUGHTS

\r\n\r\n

Some folks seemed to be freaking out a little when Stanford's offense didn't show much urgency on offense in the fourth quarter. I wasn't. It's called clock management. And when you're playing the Ducks, you are always managing the clock and trying to keep the ball out of their hands. Even though big passing plays were there to be had, it was smart to keep pounding the rock, even down by 12 points early in the fourth quarter...

\r\n\r\n

Michael Rector ate his Wheaties Saturday morning. Great game by him, I thought...

\r\n\r\n

All of this being said, it seemed like Stanford was just slightly out of sync against Oregon, like they were trying to match Oregon's mental tempo when they didn't really need to. And that resulted in some unfortunate, uncharacteristic mistakes...

\r\n\r\n

Stumbled onto the Pac-12 Network's replay of the 1982 Big Game the other day. Next time I'm in the office, I'm going to have to stop by the programming department and see if they can grab the tapes of some other Big Games. Like 1990, for example. Or 2000...

\r\n\r\n

Josh Rosen and Luke Falk must've had fun getting out of bed on Sunday morning. Every time I looked up, those guys were picking themselves up off the turf...

\r\n\r\n

Washington State shouldn't have even needed Falk's last-second heroics. Why were they throwing the ball and taking shots at the end zone when they had the lead? That unnecessary interception set up UCLA's go-ahead drive. Didn't make any sense. You would think these coaches would know situational football...

\r\n\r\n

Now I can admit it: I always kinda like to see the Cougs do well...

\r\n\r\n

Does any Pac-12 quarterback take more sacks in the red zone than Cody Kessler?

\r\n\r\n

I'm liking more of that Myles Gaskin kid the more I see of him...

\r\n\r\n

Not a Pac-12 thought, but... I'm calling it now. The Golden State Warriors are going 98-0...

\r\n\r\n

Not a Pac-12 thought, but... overpriced and underwhelming is not a good combination. I'm talking to you, Umami Burger...

\r\n\r\n********** ********** **********\r\n\r\n

PAC-12 PICKS

\r\n\r\n

USC @ Oregon (-4). I literally have no idea whom to pick here. So, when in doubt, go with the home team. Don't be surprised if this one goes to overtime. I like Oregon by 6.

\r\n\r\n

Arizona @ Arizona State (NL). Big win for the Wildcats last week. Can they keep it going in Tempe? I'll say yes. I like Arizona by 6.

\r\n\r\n

UCLA @ Utah (-2). The Utes get their groove back. I like Utah by 9.

\r\n\r\n

Washington (-15) @ Oregon State. Is it women's basketball season yet in Corvallis? I like Washington by 16.

\r\n\r\n

Colorado @ Washington State (-15). This game kicks off at 7:45 p.m. It may not end until midnight. I like Washington State by 20.

\r\n\r\n

Last week: 3-2 (straight-up), 3-2 (ATS).\r\n
This year: 24-11 (straight-up), 20-14 (ATS).\r\n

\r\n********** ********** **********\r\n\r\n


The 2015 season marks Troy Clardy’s 23rd year of following the Cardinal as a columnist, broadcaster, and announcer. Troy also calls baseball, softball, and soccer games for the Pac-12 Network. In its 14th season of Cardinal commentary, Clardy’s Corner appears Wednesdays during the college football regular season on TheBootleg.com. His “TreeCast with Troy Clardy” podcast is available for download via the Cardinal Sports Radio app from VSporto on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can also check him out online at TroyClardy.com, follow him on Twitter @TroyClardy, or Like him on Facebook.

\r\n

\r\n




\r\n

Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com(sign-up)!

\r\n\r\n\r\n","mobileBody":" Follow @TroyClardy

As the final seconds ticked off of Oregon's upset victory over Stanford, I headed out of the radio booth and started making my way down to the field. While I passed through the doors of the press box and onto the stairwell, the Stanford coaching staff was hustling down from their booth upstairs.

Cardinal defensive coordinator Lance Anderson and I nodded a greeting at each other before we all headed down the stairs. I looked for it in his eyes. I didn't see it.

Minutes later, David Shaw strode into his postgame press conference. Almost immediately, and completely unprovoked, Shaw dismissed the notion that his team had just suffered a crushing loss, and focused on what was now at stake in Big Game. Based on that, I certainly didn't see it with him.

Soon after, I talked to Stanford WR Michael Rector. Chatted with DL Brennan Scarlett. Hung around LB Kevin Anderson. Stuck around the room a little longer than normal, even after all of the players had cleared out. At no point did I see it, nor did I ever sense it.

The Cardinal had just dropped a 38-36 loss to the Ducks. They had blown their best chance of staying in the playoff race. And they would have to wait at least one more week to clinch the Pac-12 North. But if Stanford was supposed to be reaching for the panic button on Saturday night, I didn't sense it. Not one bit.

You know how college football works these days. You lose one game, and it's all over. You're supposed to be completely distraught and totally incapable of processing anything else. Then, when you finally come to, you're supposed to spend days -- if not weeks -- lamenting what could have been. It's the emotion of it all. It's part of what makes college football the most compelling sport to follow in America.

So, given that \"devastating\" loss, Shaw was supposed to start his press conference by shouting obscenities, flipping over the podium, and becoming an instant YouTube sensation. Stanford Stadium was supposed to be strewn with fans suspended in catatonic shock. Cardinal players were supposed to speak in hushed tones, act like all was lost, and lament that the only thing left to play for now was pride.

I didn't see any of that. Certainly not among the players and coaches. Lance Anderson had just watched his defense play a large role in Stanford's first loss in over two months, allowing season highs in points, rushing yards, and big plays. But when I saw Anderson, he didn't have the thousand-yard stare. They weren't wheeling him out of the press box because he was too shocked to move. Hell, he had the same look on his face that he probably has when he's checking his email.

The players? Same thing. Disappointment? Sure. Devastation? Not even close.

And if I did see any loss-related hysteria among Stanford fans, it was contained to a very small scale. Heck, if anything, I actually saw people defending Shaw and some of the decisions that were made. I almost couldn't believe it.

Why is that? How was Stanford able to handle that loss so well? The sacrastic side of me thinks that maybe it's further proof that Stanford just doesn't understand how big-time college football works. After all, hasn't the Cardinal program reached a level where just one loss causes dreams to be shattered, coaches to be placed on the hot seat, and fans to spiral into the doldrums for weeks? That's how you're supposed to do it.

Or -- and this is the more likely answer, in my mind -- it's another example of Stanford doing big-time college football on its own terms. Some fanbases and programs seem utterly unable to deal with losing. You know who they are. But instead of treating one loss like it's the end of the world, Stanford Football largely seems better equipped to deal with it. More importantly, it also knows how to move on and rebound.

You know what David Shaw's record is after a loss? 12-1. Think about that for a second. 12-1. That's remarkable on several levels. One, the fact that Shaw has only lost 14 games in nearly five full seasons as the head coach at a school like Stanford.

By the way, just for reference, the Cardinal lost 11 games in 2006. Sorry for the reminder.

It also speaks to how Shaw and the staff have been able to stay on the same page, and to keep the players focused on the task at hand, win or lose. I noticed this during the week after that Northwestern game. No shouting, no desperation, no long faces. The coaches were just setting out to correct the mistakes the team had committed against the Wildcats, and the players were merely placing a higher emphasis on execution in their next game. Nothing more, nothing less.

Of course, while the team was quietly going to work, most Stanford fans were running around screaming that the sky was falling. Some internet columnist was even openly questioning whether Shaw trusted his players (and, even worse, whether his players had given Shaw any real reason to trust them). The nerve of that guy.

Shaw took center stage on this again when the media spent much of Tuesday's media luncheon pestering the coach about the team's mental state and the possibility of an emotional letdown. \"Practice [Monday] night was great,\" Shaw responded to one of several such inquiries. \"Meetings were great. A lot of guys had smiles on their faces. We're 8-2 overall, 7-1 in the most competitive conference in America. We don't have time to wallow.\"

Shaw also noted that half of Oregon's yardage came on just four plays. It wasn't like they were moving right through Stanford like two bowls of Raisin Bran. He tipped his cap to the Ducks for capitalizing on Stanford's errors, instead of throwing his own players under the bus. Sometimes, the other team just plays better than yours. After all, as coaches like to say, the other team is on scholarship, too.

So, as he has all season, Shaw has remained steady when others have been ready to pull the ripcord. Instead of blowing everything up and starting over from square one, Shaw and the staff have largely remained true to how they want to play football. It's a large reason why Stanford's mood after the Oregon game was one of resolve, not of despair.

Then there's this: as disappointing as that loss was, the Rose Bowl is still a hell of a consolation prize. I realized it as soon as the Card failed to cover the final onside kick. I also think many Cardinalmanics realized it pretty quickly, too.

And if Stanford wins out, Pasadena may actually be a worst-case scenario. Are you going to complain if we're all walking into that stadium on January 1? I don't think so.

Now, don't get it twisted; that result was disappointing. It sure would have been nice to still be smack in the playoff mix (though, judging from this week's rankings, the Card may not be as far out of it as it seems). It would have been great to have survived another chaotic weekend in the Pac-12, which is less like football and more like crabs in a barrel.

But Stanford players, coaches, and fans were not acting like all was lost on Saturday night. Mostly because it wasn't. And mostly because they know their team is better equipped to bounce back than others.

********** ********** **********

RANDOM PAC-12 THOUGHTS

Some folks seemed to be freaking out a little when Stanford's offense didn't show much urgency on offense in the fourth quarter. I wasn't. It's called clock management. And when you're playing the Ducks, you are always managing the clock and trying to keep the ball out of their hands. Even though big passing plays were there to be had, it was smart to keep pounding the rock, even down by 12 points early in the fourth quarter...

Michael Rector ate his Wheaties Saturday morning. Great game by him, I thought...

All of this being said, it seemed like Stanford was just slightly out of sync against Oregon, like they were trying to match Oregon's mental tempo when they didn't really need to. And that resulted in some unfortunate, uncharacteristic mistakes...

Stumbled onto the Pac-12 Network's replay of the 1982 Big Game the other day. Next time I'm in the office, I'm going to have to stop by the programming department and see if they can grab the tapes of some other Big Games. Like 1990, for example. Or 2000...

Josh Rosen and Luke Falk must've had fun getting out of bed on Sunday morning. Every time I looked up, those guys were picking themselves up off the turf...

Washington State shouldn't have even needed Falk's last-second heroics. Why were they throwing the ball and taking shots at the end zone when they had the lead? That unnecessary interception set up UCLA's go-ahead drive. Didn't make any sense. You would think these coaches would know situational football...

Now I can admit it: I always kinda like to see the Cougs do well...

Does any Pac-12 quarterback take more sacks in the red zone than Cody Kessler?

I'm liking more of that Myles Gaskin kid the more I see of him...

Not a Pac-12 thought, but... I'm calling it now. The Golden State Warriors are going 98-0...

Not a Pac-12 thought, but... overpriced and underwhelming is not a good combination. I'm talking to you, Umami Burger...

********** ********** **********

PAC-12 PICKS

USC @ Oregon (-4). I literally have no idea whom to pick here. So, when in doubt, go with the home team. Don't be surprised if this one goes to overtime. I like Oregon by 6.

Arizona @ Arizona State (NL). Big win for the Wildcats last week. Can they keep it going in Tempe? I'll say yes. I like Arizona by 6.

UCLA @ Utah (-2). The Utes get their groove back. I like Utah by 9.

Washington (-15) @ Oregon State. Is it women's basketball season yet in Corvallis? I like Washington by 16.

Colorado @ Washington State (-15). This game kicks off at 7:45 p.m. It may not end until midnight. I like Washington State by 20.

Last week: 3-2 (straight-up), 3-2 (ATS).
This year: 24-11 (straight-up), 20-14 (ATS).

********** ********** **********


The 2015 season marks Troy Clardy’s 23rd year of following the Cardinal as a columnist, broadcaster, and announcer. Troy also calls baseball, softball, and soccer games for the Pac-12 Network. In its 14th season of Cardinal commentary, Clardy’s Corner appears Wednesdays during the college football regular season on TheBootleg.com. His “TreeCast with Troy Clardy” podcast is available for download via the Cardinal Sports Radio app from VSporto on Tuesdays and Fridays. You can also check him out online at TroyClardy.com, follow him on Twitter @TroyClardy, or Like him on Facebook.






Are you fully subscribed to The Bootleg? If not, then you are missing out on all the top Cardinal coverage we provide daily on our award-winning website. Sign up today for the biggest and best in Stanford sports coverage with TheBootleg.com(sign-up)!

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