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David Shaw improves to 8-0 vs. Cal as Stanford wins another Big Game

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Cal may be heading in a positive direction and they may have beaten Washington and USC this season, but getting over the Stanford hurdle is still too tough a task for the Golden Bears at this time. Stanford once again topped Cal in The Big Game, winning this year’s delayed edition of the game by a score of 23-13.

Stanford nearly shutout Cal in the second half and closed out the game with 10 points in the fourth quarter. Cal scored a late touchdown with the game essentially decided in every facet except for the final score with 10 seconds remaining. Bryce Love, perhaps playing in his final game for Stanford, carried the football 22 times for 74 yards. Cameron Scarlett scored a touchdown on the ground in the fourth quarter, and quarterback K.J. Costello completed 18 of 29 passes for 237 yards and a touchdown. JJ Arcega-Whiteside led all players with 109 receiving yards on five receptions. Turnovers were crucial in the game, with Cal turning the football over three times to just one turnover by Stanford.

Stanford’s current nine-game winning streak in the rivalry remains the longest winning streak for either team in the series. Cal’s last win came in 2009 with a team that included Shane Vereen topped a Cardinal team with Andrew Luck and Toby Gerhart. Jim Harbaugh was the head coach of the Cardinal. Harbaugh and Luck would get the Stanford winning streak against Cal started up the next season, and David Shaw has continued to keep Stanford on top of the classic rivalry. Shaw is 8-0 in the series.

Both Stanford and Cal should be heading to the postseason to play in a bowl game, so the season is not over yet for either program. Stanford and Cal could land in a number of different bowl games including the Sun Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl and Cheez-It Bowl as the most likely destinations from which to choose.

David Shaw predicts future Stanford-UCLA Pac-12 Championship Game with Chip Kelly

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Stanford and UCLA played a wildly entertaining high-scoring game over the weekend that largely flew under the radar given the other significant games in the Pac-12 this past weekend with USC looking to ruin Notre Dame’s playoff hopes and the Apple Cup carrying its own playoff and Pac-12 championship implications. But if you watched it, Stanford head coach David Shaw believes you got a glimpse into the future of the Pac-12 championship battles to come between the Cardinal and Bruins.

Praising his counterpart at UCLA, Chip Kelly, Shaw lauded the first-year UCLA head coach on a fine job this season after Stanford topped UCLA 49-42 Saturday in the Rose Bowl.

I truly believe this is the future of the Pac-12 Championship Game right here,” Shaw said after the game. “What (Kelly) is starting to do here, I’m really excited for him. Thankful that we won the game today, but give a lot of credit to him. It’s going to be a lot of fun watching these two teams play over the next few years.”

UCLA ended its season with a record of just 3-9, but the Bruins played better in the second half of the season and scored a highlight win against USC, which put the rival Trojans on the brink of not being bowl-eligible (which became official with a loss to Notre Dame). Despite the record, UCLA became a fun team to watch, and Shaw certainly seemed to agree with that sentiment. Of course, Shaw also is taking a shot at USC, whether he intended that to be the case or not.

Stanford and UCLA have met in the Pac-12 Championship Game once, with the Cardinal topping the Bruins 27-24 in 2012. That was UCLA’s last appearance in the game. Stanford has played in the game three times since.

What do Urban Meyer and Jimbo Fisher have that Nick Saban doesn’t? A No. 1 overall NFL draft pick

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The NFL draft is coming up later this week, and a handful of college football coaches could potentially have their first player chosen first overall. Among those looking to join a short list of active head coaches with a top overall draft pick on their watch includes Penn State’s James Franklin, USC’s Clay Helton and Wyoming’s Craig Bohl.

There are just six active head coaches in FBS that have sent a player to the top of the NFL draft order, and only one of those coaches are currently at the same school they had a player go No. 1 overall. Stanford’s David Shaw was the head coach of the Cardinal when Andrew Luck went with the first overall pick of the 2012 NFL Draft to the Indianapolis Colts. The other five coaches on the current list have since moved on to another job since they had a player go with the first pick in the draft. Three of those active coaches will have new jobs starting this fall.

Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M was the head coach of Florida State when quarterback Jameis Winston went first overall in 2015. More recently, Sonny Dykes was the head coach at Cal when Jared Goff went to the Los Angeles Rams in 2016. Dykes is now the head coach at SMU. And just last year, Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin saw defensive end Myles Garrett go to the Cleveland Browns from Texas A&M with the first pick.

The two other coaches on the list of active coaches with a top draft pick are Urban Meyer of Ohio State and Mark Richt of Miami. Meyer was getting settled in at Florida after leaving Utah, but he was watching admirably as Utah quarterback Alex Smith went to the San Francisco 49ers with the first pick in 2005. Richt’s top draft pick from his time at Georgia was quarterback Matthew Stafford, who was taken first overall by the Detroit Lions in 2009.

You may have noticed (as if the headline didn’t give it away) there are some notable head coaches in college football without a top overall draft pick. Despite all the success of Nick Saban at Alabama, including a factory of NFL talent sent through the draft in recent years, a top overall pick continues to elude Saban. Not that he is worried about such a thing of course. Alabama’s NFL draft output is far more impressive when you realize quantity and quality are not short on supply in Tuscaloosa. During Saban’s time at Alabama, the highest draft pick from the school has been running back Trent Richardson with the third overall pick of the 2012 NFL draft (Cleveland Browns). Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus also went third overall to the Buffalo Bills in 2011.

But again, Alabama may not have a first overall pick, but the Crimson Tide lead the pack when it comes to first-round draft picks.

Here is a list of all the active head coaches with one No. 1 overall NFL draft pick:

  • Kevin Sumlin, Arizona: Myles Garrett, DE (2017)
  • Sonny Dykes, SMU: Jared Goff, QB (2016)
  • Jimbo Fisher, Texas A&M: Jameis Winston, QB (2015)
  • David Shaw, Stanford: Andrew Luck, QB (2012)
  • Mark Richt, Miami: Matthew Stafford, QB (2009)
  • Urban Meyer, Ohio State: Alex Smith, QB (2005)

Wyoming’s Josh Allen is considered one of the favorites to be chosen with the first pick Thursday night in the NFL draft, which would add Craig Bohl to the list (and he gets some of the credit for No. 2 pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Carson Wentz, too). Penn State running back Saquon Barkley would add James Franklin to the list. UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen is another trendy pick for the top pick, but his head coach, Jim Mora, is no longer an active coach at this time. Sam Darnold of USC would add Clay Helton to the list, and Lincoln Riley would make the jump into the conversation if Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield happens to go first overall.

We’ll find out Thursday night if a new coach joins the list or not.

Stanford’s David Shaw wins 2017 Dodd Trophy as coach of the year

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Stanford head coach David Shaw is taking some hardware with him into the offseason. The Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Foundation and the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl announced Shaw has been named this season’s Dodd Trophy winner as their coach of the year.

“We are proud to present college football’s most prestigious coaching award to Coach Shaw this year,” said Jim Terry, chairman of the Dodd Foundation. “Coach Dodd always emphasized that a coach’s role reached well beyond the football field into all aspects of life. Coach Shaw truly exemplifies the spirit of the award with his continued commitment to excellence in the classroom, on the football field and throughout the community.”

The Dodd Trophy is awarded to the coach who is deemed to best represent the qualities that make up the award; scholarship, leadership, and integrity in addition to success on the field.

Dodd previously was named the Pac-12 Coach of the Year after leading Stanford into the Pac-12 Championship Game and seeing running back Bryce Love emerge as a Heisman Trophy contender (Love finished second behind Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield). Shaw was recognized for his work off the field as well as a member of the Football Advisory Committee for USA Football.

Shaw beat out finalists Paul Chryst (Wisconsin), Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern), Scott Frost (UCF), Mark Richt (Miami), Kirby Smart (Georgia), and Dabo Swinney (Clemson) for the award. Winners from the previous two years and coaches in their first years at new institutions are not eligible for the award. Shaw is the second straight Pac-12 coach to win the award, joining Mike MacIntyre of Colorado who won the award in 2016.

Keller Chryst returns as Stanford’s starting QB vs. Utah

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There is an old football logic that suggests a player should never lose his job to an injury. Stanford head coach David Shaw appears to live by that mentality as it was announced on Friday that senior quarterback Keller Chryst will return to the starting lineup this week. While Chryst is expected to start, Stanford also announced K.J. Costello is also expected to get some playing time for the Cardinal Saturday night at No. 20 Utah.

Chryst was picked off twice in Stanford’s loss to San Diego State in mid-September and was then roughed up against UCLA in the first quarter and taken out of the game due to an injury. That led Costello to take over the starting duties for last week’s game against Arizona State. Against the Sun Devils, Costello completed 15 of 24 passes for 173 yards and a touchdown. He has thrown three touchdowns without an interception in the past two games. Making the job easier for Costello has been the continued dominance of running back Bryce Love, who continues to pile up the rushing yardage and wiggle his way into the Heisman Trophy spotlight.

Now, with Stanford still very much in the thick of the Pac-12 North race despite having two losses on their record so far, the Cardinal are in the odd position of having a bit of a quarterback controversy smack-dab in the middle of the season. Costello has shown more of an ability to provide some athleticism and versatility to the Stanford offense in limited exposure compared to Chryst. But having Love running the ball allows Stanford to, more often than not, be able to work out some issues in the passing game until Shaw can feel comfortable making a decision with one guy over the other.