Dec. 20, 2010
Here is some news and notes regarding Stanford as the Cardinal continue its preparations for Virginia Tech with the Discover Orange Bowl just two weeks away.
Stanford will be making its second straight bowl appearance and 22nd overall when the Cardinal square off against Virginia Tech in the Discover Orange Bowl. Stanford is 9-11-1 in 21 previous bowl games and 2-6 in its last eight bowl appearances dating back to the 1986 Gator Bowl. Stanford's last bowl victory came in the 1996 Sun Bowl, when the Cardinal shutout Michigan State, 38-0.
Stanford will be making its third bowl appearance in the state of Florida, having competed in the 1986 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, where it lost to Clemson, 27-21 and the 1993 Blockbuster Bowl in Orlando, where it defeated Penn State, 24-2.
Stanford's has made 12 appearances in the Rose Bowl, making the Grand Daddy of Them All the team's most frequented bowl destination. Besides the Rose Bowl, do you know Stanford's second most frequented bowl game? The Sun Bowl, with three appearances in 1977, '96 and 2010.
Stanford and Virginia Tech will be meeting for the first time at the Discover Orange Bowl. The two teams have played one common opponent - Wake Forest - coming away with convincing victories in each game. Stanford scored a 68-24 victory over the Demon Deacons on Sept. 18 while the Hokies posted a 52-21 victory in Blacksburg on Oct. 16.
ESPN's Monday Night Football announcing team of Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Jon Gruden and Michele Tafoya will be calling the action from Miami.
John Platz will be on the call for Stanford's men's basketball game against Cal on January 2 before catching a red-eye flight to Miami to handle his sideline reporting duties during the Orange Bowl the next day.
A crew from the CBS Evening News was on campus last Thursday shooting a feature with Owen Marecic, which is tentatively scheduled to air on January 3.
After posting a 1-11 record in 2006, Stanford improved to 11-1 in just a four-year span under head coach Jim Harbaugh. The last FBS team to win one game and then as many as 11 games four years later was the Louisville Cardinals, who finished 11-1 in 2001 after enduring a 1-10 season in 1997. The Pitt Panthers won the 1976 national championship with a 12-0 record under Johnny Majors, four years after posting a 1-10 record in 1972.
There are seven, fifth-year seniors one sixth-year senior on Stanford's roster who were on the 2006 roster, including Brian Bulcke, Sione Fua, Derek Hall, Zach Nolan, Andrew Phillips, Richard Sherman, Austin Yancy and James McGillicuddy.
Looking for some Stanford-Virginia Tech connections? Stanford's sports performance coordinator Shannon Turley graduated from Virginia Tech in 2000 while Virginia Tech's interim head lacrosse coach, Megan Burker, who ranks as the Cardinal's all-time leading scorer with 143 goals, graduated from Stanford in 2006.
With Andrew Luck finishing second in the Heisman Trophy balloting, Stanford became the sixth school to have Heisman runners-up in consecutive seasons. Toby Gerhart finished second to Alabama's Mark Ingram in the closest voting in Heisman history last season.
Andrew Luck had many reasons to smile during Heisman weekend in New York, but perhaps his most joyous moment came when he learned teammate Owen Marecic had finished tenth in the voting. He couldn't reach for his cell phone any faster.
One of the highlights of Heisman weekend is the Wendy's High School Heisman Dinner on Friday night, where the top prep student-athletes from around the country are honored in a dinner and ceremony at the Marriott Marquis hotel. Sitting with Andrew Luck at the Stanford table were two former high school Heisman award winners and current Stanford student-athletes Sam Finlayson (men's water polo) and Angela Duckworth (women's swimming and diving).
This humorous moment from the Home Depot College Football Awards Show in Orlando. Former Pitt defensive standout Hugh Green was the presenter of the Maxwell Award, which Andrew Luck as one of three finalists. One of the handful of highlights ESPN showed from Green's marvelous collegiate career was a sack of West Virginia quarterback Oliver Luck, who was sitting next to Andrew during the awards show. "Hey, that's me," said the older Luck, prompting laughter from the entire Stanford contingent.
Make sure to read Austin Murphy's touching piece (The Season After) on the Phillips' family in the December 20th issue of Sports Illustrated.