3rd: Pac-12 (2nd in North Division)
21st: Division I
2017 In A Sentence: The Cardinal won the Pac-12 North again, but fell to USC in the title game, meaning two of Stanford’s four regular-season losses came to the hated Trojans.
Biggest Shoes to Fill: Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year DL Harrison Phillips led the nation’s FBS linemen with and eye-popping 103 tackles and is one of several football players on defense that head coach David Shaw will need to replace.
Key Player: RB Bryce Love is yet another Stanford running back that is dominating the Pac 12 and is currently the frontrunner in the early race for the Heisman this season. Though he could have chosen to enter the NFL draft after rushing for 2,218 yards and 19 TDs last season, he is staying in school for his senior year where he enters the season as the preseason favorite for the coveted award.
Fearless Prediction: Will this be the year where Stanford’s conservative offensive playcalling takes a back seat in order to showcase the Cardinal’s intimidating weaponry? Love and newly-healthy QB K.J. Costello on paper should be able to blow away most of the teams on their schedule. But will it be enough to get past USC and rise above the rest?