The Sweep: All Stanford

Back in the Dark Era of Stanford football, we remember posters claiming that only one or two of the players on that year's Stanford roster would start for another Division I team. Fast forward two years and put that theory to the test, as we do with the other Division I team we know best. How many Stanford players make our hybrid squad? Plus, where is Touchdown Toby on our Heisman ballot? Read on!

As always, we begin the Sweep with a Top 25. These are our best guess as to where all the teams will end up ranked, not power rankings that attempt to actually rank said teams on strength, as there are plenty of other sources for that.

This week, the poll falls off a cliff after No. 4 and takes another plunge after No. 13. Still, Cardinal fans would be wise to read all the way through lest they miss a team of interest...

2009 Week 10 Top 25
1. Texas (0)
2. Florida (0)
3. Alabama (0)
4. TCU (0)
5. Cincinnati (+3)
6. Boise State (+1)
7. Georgia Tech (+2)
8. Ohio State (+7)
9. Iowa (-3)
10. Oregon (-5)
11. USC (+1)
12. Utah (+2)
13. Pittsburgh (+5)
14. Penn State (-3)
15. Miami (+1)
16. LSU (-5)
17. Wisconsin (0)
18. Oregon State (+8)
19. Arizona (+1)
20. Oklahoma State (+2)
21. Stanford (+5)
22. Houston (+1)
23. Texas Tech (+1)
24. South Florida (+1)
25. Clemson (+1)

Just missed: West Virginia, Auburn, Oklahoma
Dropped: Notre Dame, Cal, Oklahoma
Added: Oregon State, Stanford, Clemson

Questions, comments, concerns? Dannovi on this site or

Starting Elevens

So we remember back in the Dark Era of Stanford football (stick around the basketball board this season, you'll see what we mean) posters claiming that only one or two of the players on that year's Stanford roster would start for another Division I team. They were probably largely right, but have the times ever changed.

We thought it would be interesting to look now at which of Stanford's starting 22 would start for an established Division I school. Seeing as this author knows Michigan the best, the Wolverines it is. (Plus, defensively, Michigan is a mess as well, particularly in the back seven, allowing for a more apples-to-apples comparison with the Cardinal.)

Here goes:

QB Andrew Luck
RB Toby Gerhart
FB Owen Marecic
WR Ryan Whalen
WR Roy Roundtree
OT Steve Schilling
OG David DeCastro
C David Molk (assumed healthy)
OG Andrew Phillips
OT Chris Marinelli
TE Kevin Koger

DE Brandon Graham
DT Ryan Van Bergen
DT Mike Martin
DE Tom Keiser
LB Shayne Skov
LB Steve Brown
LB/S Bo McNally
CB Donovan Warren
S Delano Howell
S Troy Woolfolk
CB Richard Sherman

Special Teams
P Zoltan Mesko
K Nate Whitaker
KR Chris Owusu
PR Daryl Stonum

Overall, Stanford has two of four specialists, five of 11 defenders and seven of 11 offensive players. The Card are 6-3 and moving in the right direction while Michigan is 5-5 and moving in the wrong direction, so that Stanford would compose a slight majority of the roster makes sense. Still, the Wolverines have still solidly outrecruited Stanford for the last four years, so that Stanford is playing at a level where most of its players would start for other BCS teams speaks volumes about where the Card have come -- and how well they've been coached.

Because of how Michigan's roster happens to look, Stanford's back seven gets overrepresented. There's no way a unit that gives up so many yards through the air should has four BCS-level starters. Conversely, Stanford's front four and punter are shortchanged, because Michigan is NFL-caliber at those positions.

(For the record, we'd take this Franken-team to go no worse than 10-2. We suppose you can achieve those results combining any two teams' rosters, but it still looks darn impressive to our eyes. Admittedly, finding the No. 4 DB and the No. 3 LB were the toughest challenges, which should come as no surprise to Stanford fans.)

We'd be interested to see other posters replicate this effort with their respective teams. Florida, Georgia/Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, TCU, Missouri and more… we know they're represented by our posters, what do you guys think? On average, we guess Stanford probably starts eight of its offensive guys and three or four of its defensive guys on a top-25 caliber team. Let's see if that plays out.

Heisman Talk

It's easy to blindly pump up your guy for Heisman, especially when "your guy" is Toby Gerhart, who just ran for a single-game school record in an upset of a top-10 team and is on the verge of rebreaking your school's single-season record. Still, there are some folks out there that are having equally amazing seasons, so if we had a Heisman ballot, here is how it would look:

1. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame
2. Ndamukong Suh, Nebraska
3. Toby Gerhart, Stanford
4. Tim Tebow, Florida
5. CJ Spiller, Clemson
6. Jacquizz Rodgers, Oregon State

Notice first that Case Keenum, Colt McCoy and Mark Ingram are nowhere to be found on this list. Keenum, join the Timmy Chang/Texas Tech club of quarterbacks that put up ridiculous college numbers and never amount to anything. McCoy's thrown nine picks this year and Ingram might not even be the most explosive playmaker on Alabama, thanks to wide receiver Julio Jones. (Of course, the same can be said about Stanford and Andrew Luck, which leads to my one question re: Gerhart's candidacy. What would Stanford's record be without Gerhart? All their wins have come by multiple scores, there are plenty of talented tailbacks in the wings and the quarterback isn't too shabby either. It's not unrealistic to think they could still be 6-3 or 5-4 at worst.)

I give Clausen the nod because his stats are incredible for a team that is seemingly perpetually on the verge of tanking and lost its All-World wide receiver early on: 20 touchdowns, three picks, 68 percent accuracy. For the Irish to keep moving like neither Charlie Weis nor an injured Michael Floyd are a drag speaks volumes about Clausen.

Suh gets the Charles Woodson Memorial No. 2 slot we reserve for the Defensive Player of the Year, lest he otherwise get no recognition. Spiller and Rodgers are simply electric, and, this year, Tebow is proving he can help Florida win grind-it-out games too. He's automatic in the clutch and so he checks in right behind Touchdown Toby.

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 (sign-up)!

The Bootleg Top Stories