BCS Special Article Stanford: Nothing To Do With Luck
While Andrew Luck is shocking the NFL world by leading the Colts to a possible playoff berth and a 9-5 record in his first 14 games, his Alma Mater isn’t exactly dicking around with the NCAA either. a 3-point loss and a goal line debacle kept Stanford from a trip to the BCS National Title game. Thanks to Alejandro second straight year blowing Oregon’s season, Stanford crept stealthily into the Rose Bowl. The Cardinal were out of sight and out of mind for the entire year thanks to Oregon’s explosive tendencies and Notre Dame’s unfathomable run to the title game. The man behind Stanford’s magic? Try professional badass, freshman starting Quarterback Kevin Hogan.
Andrew Luck was considered the surest NFL Draft pick at Quarterback since Peyton Manning…the man he replaced in Indianapolis of course. You’re familiar with Luck’s story though, so we need not speak about his three-year degree in architecture, 9-5 start to a career, or the breaking of all of Peyton’s rookie records. The more intriguing story today is the one of the freshman who has become the replacement for Luck at the University of Stanford. Kevin Hogan began the season as the backup to not professional badass Josh Nunes. Nunes was injured or benched during the game against Colorado (I have no idea which) and thus began the story of Hogan. Hogan averaged only 192.8 yards over the five-game winning streak he led Stanford on to end the season. There was nothing flashy about Hogan and nothing intriguing about the way he gets the W’s for the Cardinal. Hogan clearly does not light up the stat sheet the way Matt Barkley does, cause gasps like Johnny Manziel does, or carry the team on his back the way Colin Klein does. Hogan does something those quarterbacks did not do enough of, he manages the game and makes the plays his team needs when the team needs them. The play may not be a 30 yard pass or a 20 yard scamper. The play may be throwing the ball away to avoid a sack, taking a sack to avoid an interception, or scrambling for a meager 3 yards in order to extend a drive. The play could be turning and handing the ball off to Stepfan Taylor 30 times a contest. The epitome of Hogan’s competitiveness was brightest under the brightest lights Stanford has seen all season. Stanford went into the Autzen Zoo and managed to steal a game from Oregon and in turn put itself in the driver’s seat for a Pac-12 North (and a de facto Pac-12 Championship and Rose Bowl berth because the Pac-12 South is awful). The play of the game? Hogan diving on a fumble, securing the ball for Stanford and allowing the Cardinal to kick the game winning field goal. I know this is a lot to ask, but the play can be seen by fast forwarding the following video to the 2:25:00 mark: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tv4yWeOyins. Now, Hogan did start the fire when he fumbled the ball, but his hustle play saved the game, gave Irish fans a new folk hero, and took the air out of Autzen Stadium. No one is saying Hogan has the potential Andrew Luck did whilst he was leading the Cardinal to BCS bowls, but Hogan is a pure-bred winner, competitor, and badass. Stanford may have lost Andrew Luck this past season, but Hogan is proving the success of the Cardinal had nothing to do with Luck. Stanford will continue to win as long as players who have the intangible attributes of being competitors and winners like Luck and Hogan are leading the charge of the Palo Alto school.