Andrew Luck

Stanford, Luck, Pac-12 breathe huge sigh of relief

After watching the first half, dinner plans took precedence. Sensing greatness over the next couple hours, I recorded the rest of the Stanford/USC game, adding an hour for good measure. But the game was TOO good. While finding parking in Berkeley before dinner Dave Flemming breathlessly told us about USC scoring another touchdown to take an early second half lead, and there was no way I could wait until we got home from dinner.

Stanford/USC was officially a check-the-phone-every-two-minutes game, restaurant manners be damned.

It was a good thing, too. With three overtimes, the game stretched longer than four hours, meaning even with the extra hour Tivo granted me the end of Stanford’s wild 56-48 win over the Trojans wasn’t recorded. But one didn’t need to see the game live or on delay to know what this means.

— Stanford, No. 6 in the BCS going into yesterday, stays undefeated. With No. 5 Clemson losing to Georgia Tech, the Cardinal might actually move up. Pretty crazy to think about considering USC had the lead four different times last night.

— The Pac-12 conference muckety-mucks couldn’t have been happy with USC’s spirited performance as it was going on. If Stanford wins out, they could be in line for a BCS title game matchup against LSU or Alabama. If Stanford lost in L.A. it wouldn’t just negate their national championship chances, but also render their matchup in a couple weeks against Oregon not quite meaningless, but much less important.

— Then there was the Heisman element, with the trophy effectively changing hands several times on national TV.

— If I was watching the game live I probably would’ve given up on Andrew Luck’s Heisman chances at least three times. Especially after that pick-6 by Nickell Robey to give the Trojans the lead with 3 minutes to go in regulation. By his reaction it looked like Luck just saw his Heisman chances vanish after that INT, too.

— Now he’s far and away the front-runner. Luck hasn’t been challenged much this year, but he responded to the INT with a game-saving drive where he went 4-for-6 for 32 yards, throwing for two first downs and running 16 yards for another first down.

— There were two plays after this, including Stanford’s fumble recovery in the end zone that sealed it, but the last impression the Heisman voters got last night was Luck’s 2-pt conversion throw to Coby Fleener.

— Great win in a hostile environment for Stanford, which means they’re still in the conversation in terms of enjoying one of the best 3-year runs in school history.

 

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