Three-point stance: Cardinal face daunting task

1.Not that Stanford isn’t used to being 4-0 and ninth in the nation, but the Cardinal have lost its past six games when ranked in the top 10. Stanford hasn’t beaten a top-10 team since the Rose Bowl season of 1970 and it hasn’t begun 5-0 since the Rose Bowl season of 1951. To accomplish both of those tasks, all the Cardinal must do is beat No. 4 Oregon at Autzen Stadium, where the Ducks have won 12 straight games. Ho hum.

2.Time and again, you’ve heard a losing coach say the video on Sunday didn’t look as poor as he feared on Saturday. Not Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson. After the Yellow Jackets’ 45-28 loss to North Carolina State, Johnson sounded stupefied as he described 85 missed assignments by his veteran team. “These are guys that have played for two or three years,” Johnson said, “and it is not new stuff. This is just mental lapses and holes in concentration.” I imagine Georgia Tech is in the midst of a long week of practice.

3.Oregon announced Tuesday that it has signed Chip Kelly to a six-year, $20.5 million contract through the 2015 season. The bonuses available early in the deal -- $60,000 for a top-10 finish, for example -- diminish or disappear as his salary escalates. As an employee, I’m all for bonuses. But if I’m an athletic director, I wonder: Aren’t we paying the coach big bucks to win championships? Why am I paying a bonus, too?