With six remaining undefeated teams from Power-5 conferences and other top-tier programs like Ohio State, Clemson and Notre Dame sitting with only a single loss, it makes sense that squads with two defeats on their resume may feel “dead” when it comes to the College Football Playoff. However, ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit does not necessarily see it that way and he gave real hope to a particular fan base in the most recent episode of Herbstreit & Fitzsimmons.
While Herbstreit isn’t exactly projecting a CFP appearance for the Stanford Cardinal, he isn’t slamming the door shut.
“If there’s a team out there that I think people are writing off a bit prematurely because they have a couple of losses, I’d say it’s Stanford. I know Stanford is way down in the rankings as far as they AP has them down at 20. It’s easy to look at a team with two losses and say, oh there’s no way they can work themselves back in, but there is going to be chaos. It happens every year. For you to just jump to assumptions…in my opinion, is wrong.”
Stanford isn’t even the top-rated team with two losses (Auburn) in either major poll but the Cardinal do have showcase games remaining against both Washington and Notre Dame. If David Shaw’s team could navigate that stretch without another blemish, it would then have the opportunity to pick up a Pac-12 Championship victory and, then, the door could crack open with quite a bit of help elsewhere.
As Herbstreit notes, chaos usually reigns in college football but it does take some manipulation to place Stanford back in the thick of the race.