Recent History: Tedford, God love him, is 7-1 in the Big Game. Before he came on board, Stanford had won 11 of 13 between 1989 and 2001, including seven straight.
Stanford Scouting Report: The Cardinal is off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2001, Tyrone Willingham's final season before jumping ship to South Bend. And if they beat, speak of the devil, Notre Dame this weekend, the Cardinal will have their first 4-0 start since 1986. Good times if you're into that kind of thing (since you're reading this, you're probably not). As for how they're getting it done, it's rather simple: all Andrew Luck, all the time. Tabbed as a Heisman contender before the start of the season, Luck has not disappointed. He has 11 totals TDs through three games, and his 192.3 rating is good for fourth in the nation. He was particularly brilliant in Stanford's nationally televised tilt against Wake Forest, which can only help his Heisman campaign. The play of the offensive line has been superb. Not only has Luck not been sacked, but their work has also allowed the Cardinal running game to surpass expectations. Cardinal runners are averaging 8 yards a rush, and have scored 10 touchdowns. Defensively, they allow only 227.7 yards a game, which places them among the top 10 teams in the country. They have been especially rude to opposing passers, allowing a grand total of 270 yards through the air in three games.
How the Bears Can Win: Make no mistake, Stanford is the better team. They have a better offense and a better defense, and one of the best quarterbacks in the country. They should win this game. Funny, that was more or less the case last year. The Bears biggest hope is probably that Luck will repeat his performance from last year's Big Game, where he was simply dreadful. He completed only 10 of his 30 passing attempts, and his interception deep in Cal territory with less than two minutes left sealed the deal. In truth, if it hadn't been for Toby Gerhart and his 4 TDs, it would have been a blowout. Guess who's not around anymore? That's right. Guess who is? Shane Vereen, who used the Big Game to set a then-career high with 193 yards on the ground. Fun times.
Prediction: Whose axe? Our axe! The Bears upset the Cardinal again and take home the axe for the third straight year. 7-4 heading into the final game of the season.