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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Stanford chat summary

By Kevin Gemmell

In case you missed it, we had a great chat Monday with a lot of really good Stanford-oriented questions. Here’s a link to the complete, two-hour chat session with all of the bloggers and ESPN.com writers. Stanford stuff starts at 1:29 (10:29 for those of us still sucking down coffee on the West Coast). I pulled a few highlights for your reading/debating enjoyment.

Comment from gl: (Repeating now that Kevin is here :)) ...What chance does an undefeated Stanford have of sneaking past a 1-loss OU/OSU or SEC team into the title game? Does a 1-loss Stanford or Oregon deserve at-large BCS attention, or is the Pac-12 too down this year?

Kevin Gemmell: GL: Stanford needs to run the table. That simple. Their strength of schedule isn't strong enough to support them on 1-loss. And they need help from Notre Dame, Oregon et. all to boost that schedule. It's going to come down to computers, and unless some teams start dropping in front of them, Stanford doesn't compute for the national championship. Nothing wrong with the Rose Bowl, though.

Kevin Gemmell: As for a one-loss Stanford team, I think that's a possibility for at-large, but they'd rather it not come to that.

Comment from Tyler: Wisconsin vs. Stanford in the Rose Bowl? I think it’s destined to happen.

Kevin Gemmell: Tyler: Would love to watch that game. It can be called the “What Could Have Been” Bowl.

Comment from LAW: I still don't get the doubts about Stanford. 5-0 this year, win every game by 27+ points, haven't yet trailed in a game or been tied (except 0-0). Also they've won 13 straight are are 17-1 last two seasons. I admit they haven't played anyone yet this season, but I don't get why you would predict against them...

Kevin Gemmell: LAW: There are doubts BECAUSE they haven't trailed and BECAUSE they haven't played a tough schedule. I'm with you. I think they are a complete team. But I can also understand where the criticism comes from. The couple of times they have faced adversity early in games (UCLA and Colorado) they have risen up and performed wonderfully.

Comment from Michael: Yes, but who has Stanford played? LSU would have beat them too – Oregon will beat Stanford and play Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

Kevin Gemmell: Michael: I'd like to see that Stanford/LSU matchup. I can't say for sure LSU would win or that Stanford would win. But I'd love to see Stanford's TEs and Luck go against that defense.

Comment from bobby: Besides Oregon, who in the Pac-12 has the best shot at Stanford?

Kevin Gemmell: Bobby: USC is always a threat. They can throw the ball and if there is a hole in Stanford's defense, it's the secondary. I wouldn't sleep on Washington. They are proving to be tougher than expected.

Comment from Jason: Does Stanford have the speed to play with Oregon this year?

Kevin Gemmell: Jason: Maybe not the speed, but they have the matchups. The trio of tight ends (6-6, 6-6, 6-8) are mismatches for everyone in the conference -- maybe the country. When they run their three-tight end sets, it's fun to watch dumbfounded defenses try to figure out who to cover.

Comment from Chris: If the Trojans can punch Luck in the mouth, they might have a chance.

Kevin Gemmell: Chris: Big if. Stanford has allowed just two sacks all year (and one of them was Luck running out of bounds behind the line of scrimmage). But Luck is very tough -- tougher than I expected when I first met him. He'll take his licks and get right back in there. I think underestimating him, on any level, is a big mistake.

Comment from Jason: Last year Stanford's D just looked slow against Oregon. Why will they not look slow this year?

Kevin Gemmell: Jason: A big reason is the addition of Jason Tarver as co-defensive coordinator. They are playing an NFL-style 3-4 defense with all of the strands and intricacies that go along with it.

Comment from khermanson61: Kevin. Compare Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck in their campaigns for the heisman. Wilson's numbers are superior and the heisman is not about being the better pro prospect.

Kevin Gemmell: Khermanson62: Good question. Luck does a lot of things that make him NFL-ready. Quick release, pro-style offense, reads defenses. Not saying that Wilson doesn't do all of those things, I just think Luck does them better. Remember, Luck has really good numbers, but he's in a system that is more geared toward the run. I think their ratio is about 55 percent run, 45 pass (don't quote me). And then there is the fact that he's been calling the plays from the field the last couple of weeks in the no-huddle. That's an amazing talent to have.