Oct 09

College Ball: Best Player Leads Best Team

By Kassandra Posted in: andrewluck, stanford
Several people think I should be divided on my choice of college football teams given the state I'm from and where I attend college.

I say, let them speculate. 

However, there is no speculation needed. I am an Oregon girl at heart. I bleed Portland Trail Blazers black and red. I will forever love my high school's red and blue. I have followed the green and yellow of the Oregon Ducks.

Now though, I have but one color. One color which says it all. Cardinal red.

It's no surprise to any of you that I attend Stanford University; an incredible institution which marks it's 120th birthday this year.What comes with this, as a sports fan, is an opportunity to see the best player in college football, the Heisman Trophy front runner, and leader of undoubtedly the most intelligent quarterback in all of college football.

I am a fan of Andrew Luck. Watching him every week pick apart defenses is a game within the game. It seems that for Andrew, it's like playing the first round of a video game each week. And here's the catch: The Cardinal hasn't even needed him to be at his best yet.

Stanford is 5-0 on the season after a 48-7 drubbing of Colorado. The score would have been much worse had Andrew played in the fourth quarter.

Now I've heard of this little team in Eugene --  and their fans on this network -- who actually think their team has a chance at winning the pac-12 title. Oregon is my home state and I will always be an Oregon girl at heart (the state, not the university),. However, there's no doubt in my mind that the best college football team is in the south bay.

In fact, after 2010's "The Decision," I contemplated legal action against ESPN for stealing my declaration from a summer previous: "I, Kassandra, announce that I'm taking my academic talents to the South Bay."

Oregon lost to a very good team in their first game ... but they still lost. Stanford now stands at 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the Pac-12.

The naysayers will say that the Cardinal has not played higher quality talent. Perhaps that's true, however there is another thing to consider. In it's first game of the year, Stanford beat San Jose St. by 54 points. The Cardinal was supposed to beat the Spartans by that much. They did what they should have done. As a matter of fact, Stanford has beaten every spread it has faced in each of its five games so far. That tells us that the Cardinal is doing its job.

I linger on a number of national message boards (i.e. thescore; bleacherreport). All I seem to see there are fans of the ACC and SEC conferences claiming that their conference is the best in the nation.

What they don't take into account is the fact that teams in no other conference beat each other up as much as those in the Pac-12 (formerly the Pac-10). No other conference can even lay claim to that with a straight face.

In the SEC, sure LSU would like to boast about the fact they play Alabama. For every Alabama, there is a Mississippi St. or Kentucky. The point is, it all balances out.

True, Stanford has not played ranked competition -- that is yet to come in the form of Oregon, Arizona St. and perhaps others others -- but the high-octane and smothering defense should show that the Cardinal -- and the Pac-12 -- is ready to go up against anyone.

The biggest Pac-12 showdown will come when Oregon comes to Palo Alto on Nov. 12. I will be at the game. I will be wearing a red Cardinal t-shirt and probably white short-shorts. Try to find me if you can!

The Pac-12 is experiencing some growing pains, going from 10 teams to 12 this year. things are looking up for the conference. Teams like Arizona St., Washington and Washington St. are all seeing significant improvements this season.

But here's the bottom line: There is only one best player in college football. He leads an incredibly talented team of tight ends, running backs and wide receivers -- not to mention a stalwart offensive line. And the hard part to believe ... the Cardinal defense might just be better than its offense. 

So to all my Ducks fan friends: I apologize in advance for the drubbing you will receive at the hands of my Cardinal.


P.S.: Stanford's biggest rival is Cal-Berkeley. I received word earlier this week, that my senior-in-high-school sister signed a scholarship agreement to Cal. I love Jessica, but we are about to be collegiate rivals. That should make things even more interesting next season.

In Kassandra's Words features regular blogs throughout the year. Comments and questions are welcome and encouraged. Seasons begin and end, but our Blazers are forever. Please follow on twitter: @Kassandra227
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  1. great blog and will reserve further comment until after november and then will comment accordingly u know i bleed yellow and green as well as red black and silver go blazers

    by oregongal47 view (TG) on 10/9/2011 6:23 PM
  2. kassandra if you check here would you please know im in twitter jail and could use an attorney ty

    by oregongal47 view (TG) on 10/9/2011 6:34 PM
  3. @Kassandra:

    I will be looking for you in your red Cardinal T-Shirt and white short shorts. How many other thousands will be wearing the same thing. am I going to have to look at all those legs all after noon to find you? What a horrible assignment. I will watch for you.


    by Hg on 10/9/2011 8:29 PM
  4. Hello big sis! I'll give you your Luck this year, but next year when I'm at Cal, things will be much different. My Golden Bears will have no trouble with your Cardinal Red! :P

    by milwaukiejessi on 10/10/2011 8:28 AM
  5. So misguided you are. Sure, Luck is the front runner to the Heisman and he'll be the #1 pick in the NFL draft (although winning the Heisman as a QB and being the #1 pick is usually a bad omen) but Stanford just doesn't have enough athletic players to compete with the Sooners or Alabama or LSU. I will say this; they do have a great shot to beat the Ducks. However, if there's a rematch in the Pac-12 Championship, I see the Ducks getting payback on them .

    by blazerdarren77 on 10/10/2011 10:30 PM
  6. Darren, i think you're a bit mistaken. the pac-12 championship game will be played between the top team in the north division and the top team in the south division. since Stanford and Oregon are both in the north division, there's no way for them to play in the championship game (even though it appears they are the top two teams in the conference as a whole; my money in the south is on Arizona St.). i agree winning the heisman and being the top pick doesn't always translate into success. that's usually because the team with the top pick is the worst team in the league. Luck is a player, simply put, who makes those around him better. Manning made the colts better, and Elway made the broncos better. trust a girl who has seen Luck live eight times now ... he IS that good. i have to strongly disagree with you that Stanford does not possess the athleticism to compete with what seem to be considered the top teams in the country. the Cardinal is extremely athletic. i think what you're noticing is that they aren't the type of team who is flashy. the offense is more of a power, grind-it-out type of offense. it's not any worse, just perhaps different. as a point of note: Stanford is second in the country in rushing defense. i greatly look forward to seeing the ducks on nov. 12 on the farm.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 10/11/2011 10:32 AM
  7. @TG: it's probably too early to get into the true trash talking prior to the game. i know my team. we will win. again, i apologize in advance!

    @Hg: i go to every home game, and usually wear something similar to that. got to support my team and school!

    @Jessica: i'm glad you're studying music and will only be an hour away from me during the school year. i know we'll be having some interesting and lively conversations down the road about that, so i'm just going to leave it there for now!

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 10/11/2011 10:38 AM
  8. That's fair enough. Really looking forward to next year!

    by milwaukiejessi on 10/11/2011 1:33 PM
  9. Your right Kass, my bad. I forgot Cal and Stanford are in the north division w/the Oregon and Washington schools. There are exceptions to the rule like a Peyton and an Elway and Luck looks to be like them, but neither Manning nor Elway won the Heisman. As much of a Pac-12 homer as I am, if Stanford does run the table undefeated, I'm still putting my money on LSU, Bama, or Oklahoma (if I were a betting man) No other college team in the nation would come even close to them. Right now as I see it, it'll be Oklahoma vs. LSU or Alabama in the BCS title game. BTW wouldn't it be funny if the Colts had the #1 pick for Luck? Who better than Peyton to groom Andrew?

    by blazerdarren77 on 10/11/2011 4:27 PM
  10. i'm trying to talk about it as if he isn't going to win it. i think he will, but what i can tell you right now is that he's not being over hyped. he is as good as advertised. those teams you mentioned can be beaten; there's nothing insurmountable about it. Stanford has a unique offense; an offense geared toward tight ends and running the ball. i really think you're underestimating them without having been exposed to them as a team. they're much better then they're being given credit for, and i'll put them up against anyone this season. i think the colts could end up in a position to take him, but i'd hate to see him sit on the bench for four or five years before getting his shot. that seems like too much of a waste of talent.

    ~ KMM

    by Kassandra on 10/11/2011 8:34 PM
  11. If it worked for Aaron Rodgers waiting on Brett Favre, it'll work for Andrew waiting on Peyton (sorry, just had to get that Cal shot in)

    by blazerdarren77 on 10/11/2011 8:54 PM
  12. Nothing wrong with a good Cal shot! Look out for my Golden Bears the next couple of years!

    by milwaukiejessi on 10/17/2011 12:58 PM
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