Will Stanford Challenge the Oregon Ducks for the Pac-12 North Title?

Michael TierneyAnalyst IDecember 27, 2010

Jim Harbaugh may be the new San Francisco 49ers' General Manger's choice as Head Coach.
Jim Harbaugh may be the new San Francisco 49ers' General Manger's choice as Head Coach.Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Chip Kelly is perhaps the best head coach and offensive mind in the country right now. He perfected the spread option with the "run first" reality that happens so quickly that opponents may fain injury for a blow. The Cardinals had the second best offense in the Pac-10 (YPG) and had a pretty good shot at the Ducks this year, but lost.

Will Stanford beat the Ducks and go undefeated next year? Probably not and here is why:

1. Stanford loses the best NFL-quality quarterback in the nation, Andrew Luck.

2. Luck's backup quarterback Alex Loukas graduates as well.

3. A redshirt freshman quarterback will learn the offense (on the job).

4. Starting fullback/linebacker Owen Marecic graduates.

5. Their two best wide receivers Doug Baldwin and Ryan Whalen also graduate.

6. Their other best wide receiver, Chris Owusu, will leave early for the NFL.

7. Three starters on the O-line graduate (Derek Hall, Andrew Phillips, and Chase Beeler).

8. Stanford also loses four defensive starters.

9. Cal will return nearly all of their offense and will have a good defense.

10. Oregon will be better than Stanford on offense and defense.


The biggest change at Stanford might be Coach Jim Harbaugh leaving to coach the San Francisco 49ers.

The San Francisco 49ers’ President/CEO Jed York recently stated that the newly selected general manager will be the guy making the decision on the next head coach.


Floyd Reese, Ted Sundquist, Randy Mueller, and Tom Donahoe are the leading candidates for the general manager position. Jon Gruden and Jim Harbaugh are the leading candidates for the head coach. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Jim Harbaugh is just down the street. This job pays just a bit more than any future openings in Ann Arbor.


Jim Harbaugh may be wearing a slightly different shade of red next year, Luck will make more than Jim next year, Stanford might take at least four losses next season, and Cal will challenge Oregon for the Pac-12 North title in 2011—but Oregon goes on to another BCS Bowl.