Stanford Celebrates Orange Bowl Win: Talk About the Future Is for the Future

Kristian SiutaCorrespondent IIJanuary 4, 2011

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 03:  Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Stanford Cardinal celebrates as he is lifted up by his players including Orange Bowl MVP Andrew Luck #12 (R) after Stanford won 40-12 against the Virginai Tech Hokies during the 2011 Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Impressive, dominating, emphatic and historic: All perfect words to use in describing not only Stanford's Orange Bowl victory Monday night, but the 2010 season in its entirety.

And to think, Stanford is the second best team in the Pac-10 conference. 

Keep in mind, Virginia Tech is in no way shape or form considered a slouch. As the Atlantic Coast Conference Champions, the Hokies rolled into Sun Life Stadium in Miami riding an 11-game winning streak.

However, Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck ended any hope of a 12th consecutive victory. 

With immense media attention surrounding Harbaugh's potential departure to the NFL and Andrew Luck's consideration of opting to turn pro, not one year early, but two years before his eligibility expires, Stanford marched on. 

Quite honestly, as the game unfolded, only one team was left standing. Stanford executed with precision, while Virginia Tech was attempting to hang on for dear life. Luckily enough, the Hokies had Tyrod Taylor at quarterback improvising when all else failed. 

As the 40-12 final score read, Stanford garnered all of the success and that was with Taylor making some incredible plays both through the air and with his mobility.

However, Stanford had a full-fledged team. From top to bottom and even across the sidelines, with impressionable and hall of fame faces, Stanford was just the better program on the field.

Certainly it has been a long, long time since the phrase "better program" and Stanford have been expressed in the same sentence, let alone the same article.

But the Cardinal's campaign finished in rewarding fashion. For the first time in Stanford's history, a top five finish will be a certainty and many would argue a close second behind the eventual national champion, could and should be in store.

Although, as soon as the game came to a close, the questions about the potential future of Stanford's football program resurfaced. Jim Harbaugh barely had a chance to enjoy the ride on his team's shoulders towards midfield before anyone and everyone stuck a microphone in his face. 

Rightfully so, both Harbaugh and Luck dodged the questions regarding "The League" because the night belonged to the Cardinal. The celebration unfolded accordingly, with smiles, teammates and coaches embracing, complete jubilation across the field and naturally the celebratory party favor, oranges being tossed back and forth. 

With 12 wins and an Orange Bowl triumph, it was finally Stanford's night to celebrate football excellence.