Stanford's football tea,ranked No. 4 in the BCS polls, will crush Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl game on Monday, January 3rd-- if size and spirit and class will win the night.
By chance, I am on the same floor of Miami's Fontainebleau Hotel with Stanford's coaching staff, and have been dwarfed in the elevator and in the lobby by some of the biggest football giants I've ever seen. Stanford are 3 point favorites to beat Virginia Tech.
A quick perusal of the Stanford roster of 104 players shows fully a third of them weigh in over 250 pounds and stand 6 feet, 5 inches or taller. Coach Harbaugh likes to recruit players he can literally look up to from his 6 foot 3 inch height.
Some 20% of the team weigh in at over 300 pounds, the weight level you usually see in professional football. Andrew Phillips, a starting guard, from Darnestown, Md. for example, is 6'5", 302 pounds, part of a wall star running back Stepfan Taylor can utilize to streak down the field.
They have their own dining hall, and a blackboard outside carries the team schedule, for practice later this morning, and ending with a team movie tonight.
What I have been able to learn is a feeling that undefeated Oregon-- the only team to defeat Stanford this year-- should have a fine chance to upset undefeated Auburn and star Cam Newton-- due to Oregon's very speedy defensive team.
A member of the Stanford coaching staff also suggested that Auburn should have been defeated by Arkansas and Alabama.
If Oregon beats Auburn and Stanford licks Virginia Tech, its possible Stanford could move up a notch or two in the national rankings, I'm told. Possible, but not certain.
And there's Virginia Tech's quite speedy wing-backs to contend with; a hell of a challenge.
I have to say to Coach Jim Harbaugh, who just shared the elevator with me down to the lobby, that I wish you a dynamite victory on Monday and many more successful seasons as head coach.
And having just met Harbaugh's parents as well, who are full of football wisdom (Jim Sr. a coach as well), there is a lot of football wisdom on Stanford's side. A Stanford win will mean so much prestige for a great university, more scholarly giants nationwide will beat tracks to get there.
Are they listening up in Cambridge, Mass.?