Saturday, October 3, 2009
Stanford sits alone atop the Pac-10
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Has Stanford arrived under Jim Harbaugh?
It's starting to feel like that, eh?
After beating UCLA 24-16, the Cardinal are 4-1 overall and 3-0 in the Pac-10. They will be on top of the conference no matter what by the end of the weekend, and they are just three wins away from bowl eligibility.
They may sneak into the national rankings, too.
Of course, they've also got tough road games -- Oregon State and Arizona -- ahead that will determine the ultimate trajectory of their season.
Toby Gerhart also should start showing up on Heisman Trophy lists. He rushed for 134 yards on 29 carries against a very good UCLA defense and scored three touchdowns -- he has eight touchdowns on the season. He entered the game ranking sixth in the nation with 129 yards rushing per game.
As for UCLA, the Bruins likely are eager to get starting quarterback Kevin Prince back from a broken jaw. He's projected to return to practice this week before Oregon visits on Saturday.
Kevin Craft didn't play terribly against Stanford -- he didn't throw an interception -- but he only averaged six yards on his 22 completions. He wasn't capable of making enough plays to win the game.
So Stanford takes a step up and UCLA a step back among the teams trying to push out of the conference's muddled middle.