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CHRIS DUFRESNE / COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAILBAG

Cardinal's sinful loss bad news for Pac-12, USC title hopes

Chris Dufresne takes time out (he gets three per half) each Friday during the season to answer questions on college football. This week's topics: Stanford's big hangover, belittling the Big Ten and the usual other 'brilliant' stuff.

September 29, 2012|Chris Dufresne
  • Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes (6) walks off the field with teammates after losing to Washington, 17-13, on Thursday, in Seattle.
Stanford quarterback Josh Nunes (6) walks off the field with teammates… (Ted S. Warren / Associated…)

Blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop-top, cut my heel, had to cruise on back home (to Palo Alto).

Stanford played like it was sleeping off four double shots of Walt Harris with a Buddy Teevens chaser.

The 17-13 loss at Washington takes Stanford football back to the discombobulated, pre-Jim Harbaugh days. Stanford was besieged by dropped passes, delay-of-game penalties and unimaginative play-calling.

Washington stacked the box all night with eight defenders and not once did the campus of "outside the box" consider a misdirection play?

Stanford still had a chance to win until an offside penalty allowed Washington to run out the clock.

We should all appreciate now the true greatness of Andrew Luck. Any chance they could give him this year's Heisman Trophy?

The defeat did not bode well for the Pac-12 or for USC, which was hoping a strong Stanford showing could help mitigate the Trojans' Sept. 15 defeat.

Instead, USC just became "Wait a minute: You lost to the team that lost to the team that lost to LSU by 38?"

Good luck climbing back from that.

Maybe the Washington game was an aberration, but it's frightening to think of Stanford taking Thursday night's outfit into Notre Dame on Oct. 13.

Q: If you want to disparage the BIG (Ten) for its lackluster season so far, that's fine. However, the Rust Belt comment is uncalled for. Would you call the South the Redneck or Hillbilly Belt?

Pamela Mason

Lawrenceville, N.J.

(The Ohio State University, Class of '76)

A: I actually refer to people from Florida as living in the "Sansabelt." And anyone with a hunting license from Arkansas, situated in the general area between Fayetteville and Little Rock, I refer to as "Living Inside the Pelt Way."

You graduated from Ohio State at the height of Big Ten powers, so you know the conference is nowhere near the level it was then when Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler roamed the Earth.

And what a No. 1 Ohio State team you had in 1975 before having it all go "poof" in the Rose Bowl against a gutty little UCLA team you crushed, 41-20, early in the season.

OK, I'm sorry. That's hitting below the rust belt!

Q: If you rank any Big Ten team this week, you're nuts. I can never remember the conference so pitiful. We are absolutely awful.

Nebraska the class of the conference?

Watch Purdue go to the Rose Bowl.

Joel Schechter

A: I'd love to see Purdue back in the Rose Bowl — but only if Drew Brees came back to play quarterback.

Q: I agree K-State certainly seems to be the "flavor of the month." Does their schedule set up favorably for October and November?

Michael J. Hennessey

A: Kansas State is one of the great early-season stories, but I wonder how long these guys can keep this up. Bill Snyder's Wildcats should get to 6-0 with upcoming games against Kansas and Iowa State, but then it gets tricky. Kansas State plays at West Virginia on Oct. 20 and later travels to Texas Christian and Baylor before closing the season at home against Texas.

I don't see a national title run, but another 10-3 season should earn Snyder another coach-of-the-year award.

Q: I do take umbrage with your points about Kansas State and its boring program.... Dude, I get it. You're media and want to give your readers the most controversial quote possible, but is it not refreshing to every once in a while hear an athlete, college or otherwise, speak in the first person and talk about the concept of team and not just toot his own horn?

John Maholm

A: This is going to shock you, but Chris Dufresne thinks you are right. It is refreshing to see a team come together for a collective purpose.

There's nothing worse than jocks speaking in the third person and thinking they are "all that." I used to hate "Bo knows this" and "Bo knows that" and all that "The Boz" stuff at Oklahoma.

Chris Dufresne is here to tell you it's more than Chris Dufresne that puts this mailbag together every Friday. It would not be possible without the diligent effort of you, the letter contributors, not to mention copy editors, designers and headline writers. And all the other people out there, like Al Gore, who made the Internet possible.

Chris Dufresne thanks you.

Q: What is a lucky shutout? Any such thing as an unlucky shutout?

@ryro23

A: Yes. An unlucky shutout is when you hold your opponent to no points but your team bus blows a tire on the way back to the airport. And then the baggage handlers mislabel your team's equipment and you end up with the clown suits and juggling balls from Circus Vargas.

Listen, the point I was making with Oregon's 49-0 win over Arizona last Saturday was that it wasn't as impressive as it looked.

Arizona was 0 for 6 in the red zone. You'd think the Wildcats could score three points by accident.

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