Last night, when LSU kicker Drew Alleman kicked a game-winning 25-yard field goal in overtime, the Tiger nation was not the only fanbase celebrating. Thirty-five miles south of San Francisco, there might have been a loud shout of celebration.
No matter how many spins Alabama fans and national media try to relay, the truth is that the Crimson Tide are now out of the equation.
Don’t fret college football fans because there is a team willing and ready to take Alabama’s place as the No. 2 in the nation and to have a shot at the national championship. That team is the 9-0 Stanford Cardinals.
Boise State has an easier shot at being undefeated but the Cardinals have the easiest path to the national championship. Stanford was No. 2 in the USA today poll released today and has the least resistant schedule remaining.
The Cardinals have three games remaining against Oregon, California and Notre Dame. The Cardinals will square off against the Ducks this week. However, this is a bad matchup for Oregon. Stanford has one of the most balanced offenses in the nation.
Andrew Luck might be getting all of the Heisman hype, and rightfully so, but the Cardinals are also 11th in the nation in rushing with 218.23 yards per game. The Ducks are currently 42 against the run and 44th against the pass.
Even if the Ducks can keep it close, the home-field advantage will be the difference.
Their game against California is nothing more than a formality. Which leaves Notre as the only remaining road block for an undefeated regular season. While it is true that the Fighting Irish could beat the Cardinals, it is unlikely. The Irish have folded every time they have played on the national stage.
This season, the Pac-12 will have their inaugural championship game. However, their current leader for the game is UCLA who Stanford has already defeated the Bruins 45-19.
While I still believe it was a financial mistake for Luck to return for his junior season, his team is on the verge of showing why he came back.
Luck has completed 194-of-272 passes for 2,424 yards and 28 total touchdowns.
The Heisman front-runner is on verge of fulfilling every young players dream. Leading his team to the national championship game and winning the Heisman trophy as icing on the cake.
However, Stanford is so much more than just Luck. They have the most balanced offense in the nation. They have college football’s best quarterback and a defense that is ranked 11th in scoring defense nationally.
The LSU Tigers are the best team in the nation. However, they have not proven that they can defeat an elite quarterback yet. They have not played a balance offense yet.
Stanford is only four wins away from giving the Tigers the test of a lifetime.