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Football: Pac-10 ballot — No. 5

No. 5: Stanford. Jim Harbaugh has brought the Cardinal back to respectability much faster than most expected, and with a good nucleus of returners, Stanford appears poised to crack the upper half of the conference. The Cardinal went 5-7 last season, notching good wins over Oregon State and Arizona and suffering narrow road losses to Notre Dame, UCLA and Oregon. Toby Gerhart was a revelation at running back and the Cardinal hopes the passing game improves with the introduction of redshirt freshman Andrew Luck at quarterback. Granted, Luck has no college experience, but it is believed he has all the physical tools to excel. Stanford, much like Cal, still needs to find some playmaking receivers. The defense should once again be solid, with Clinton Snyder anchoring the linebacking corps and defensive ends Tom Keiser and Erik Lorig providing a pretty good pass rush tandem. Safety Bo McNally is underrated. The Cardinal also brought in a nationally acclaimed recruiting class, and a few true freshmen could make an impact immediately.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.

  • AMYthicalprogram

    Erik Lorig? – I thought he was stil making up his mind where to play.

    This seems about right but I hope we crush them in Palo Alto.

  • Jethro

    I also see Stanfurd at the 5th spot with a 5-4 Pac-10 record.

    They play Cal, Oregon, UCLA, ASU, and Wash at home. They should win 3 of those games.

    They play USC, Oregon St., Az, and Wash St. on the road. They should win 2 of those games.

  • Pete Carroll

    Let’s start the debate now. Will J.O. go with the conventional wisdom (http://myespn.go.com/blogs/pac10/0-10-69/Sorting-out-the-Pac-10-middle.html) and pick SC or will he go out on a limb, at the risk of being called a homer, and pick Cal to win the PAC-10?

    JO has only been the Cal beat writer for a bit over a year so he doesn’t have a history of picking against Cal like that guy at the SJ Merc. J.O. correctly and appropriately picked SC last year. He’s always taken a conservative stance with his predictions. But I, Pete Carroll, believe that J.O. will be a visionary this year and will pick the California Golden Bears to win the PAC-10 this year and might I add, aligning himself with me – Pete Carroll.

    What say you BearTalk fans and even you the multi-persona Patty Cakes, who will J.O. pick to win the PAC-10?

    PC

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Why doesn’t JO post the news that Scroggins just committed to USC? Coward! Once again we got the best.

  • Jan K Oski

    The Furd does look good with all of their TEs. But, I doubt Hairball will make the birds bowl eligible with them and the way he made +500 offers for this year. I see a sinking ship very soon, as do Furd fans who show a complete lack of interest. Too bad, I’d enjoy competitive big games year after year.

    Go BEARS!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Were you saying the same thing when they swept 7 straight from you in the Dennis Green/Ty W era? Even with one of your best teams in ’91 you couldn’t beat them and your QB made a complete fool of himself that day.

  • Shawn

    You think Cal doesnt remember the humiliating loss 2 years ago at the The Farm (it was awful, I was there)? Jahvid & Co. will be out to prove that was a fluke. And our secondary will have it easy against a RS Frosh QB. Stanford will most likely be better this year, but not good enough to take back the Axe.

    Go Bears!

  • Rocko

    I think in ’91 the team was still thinking about the victory over USC, well it was more than a victory. The Bears came back in their bowl game and beat Clemson pretty handily and the QB redeemed himself as I recall.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    LOL. That 91 team was our wrost in recent memory. I bet you can’t even name 5 players off of that team.

  • iamalcindor

    JO, the top 5 teams look right, I think it should be in the following order

    Oregon
    U$C
    BURQAlee
    Little OSU
    Stanford

    First 2 interchangable.

    But you really dropped the ball with UW, U of Eh and pucla.

  • BluenGold

    I could post something pointing out the absurdity of trying to tie the 2009 team team to the 1991 season and roster, but it would probably be deleted by the CCTimes. Why is it that moron the troll posts endlessly about JO being clueless and a coward, but anyone who posts something taking exception gets their post deleted?

  • Larry

    Maybe J.O. IS the Troll? Just Kidding.

    I predict Stanfurd going 6-6 at (J.)Best this year. However, with a Freshman QB, probably 4-8. 6-6 if the defense is better than average. 4-8 if not.

  • Rocko

    Name five players from the ’91 team? I can’t name five SC players between ’91-2009! Why would I care? I do remember some guy named OJ however, but that’s more for what he has done off the field than on!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Rocko – No surprise at all you don’t know anything about the greatest college football program in the past 7 years. Thanks for confirming my assumptions.

  • BluenGold

    Why should Rocko care about the U. of Sports Corruption football program, which, by the way, is far from the greatest program in the country over the last 7 years, if at all. In case you have not figured it out, this is a Cal sports blog and almost all people are here to post about Cal sports, not some corrupt team from SoCal. If you want to talk about your team, go away and post on another blog. It is way past time for you to leave.

  • Rocko

    MoreNCsarecoming Says:
    July 24th, 2009 at 8:42 pm
    Rocko – No surprise at all you don’t know anything about the greatest college football program in the past 7 years. Thanks for confirming my assumptions.

    Your contribution to that so called greatness is your postings on this web site?

  • Clovis is Cal Country

    Stanford at #5 is too high. Harbaugh has not yet proven he can win half his games, and trying to do so now with a freshman qb is nearly impossible. This isn’t high school. The Pac-10′s best have struggled as freshmen. Sorry Jethro but of the home conference games you listed, Stanford may only beat UW. And the only conference road game the frosh signal caller may win is vs WSU. Stanford may make progress this year, while not posting a record as good as last year’s 5-7 mark.