Stanford football success thanks to better academics than Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Duke


Since Jim harbaugh arriving at Stanford before the 2007 season, the Cardinal maintained his status as one of the Pac-12’s most consistent programs. Stanford recorded a 120-58 record between Harbaugh and coach terms David Shaw, including six seasons with 10 or more wins and three Pac-12 titles.

Although the Cardinal hasn’t won the Pac-12 since 2015, it remains one of the top two programs among FBS elite college schools alongside Northwestern. Stanford visits Vanderbilt on Saturday for a game between two of the Power Five’s most selective schools.

When asked why Stanford had been more successful in football than other elite college schools Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Duke, he didn’t fire any punches.

“I’m trying to give you the best answer I can, because I don’t want to disrespect any of this group. But we are the best academic institution in this bunch, ”said Shaw. “The US News & World Report (rankings) is out again, and we’re # 6. We’re still not happy with it, but we’re the highest ranked college program in college football (FBS) since that too. long as I can remember. So this ability for us to come in and say, “Hey, you want to play Division I college football and get the best education in the world to play Division I college football?” We’ve been able to get a lot of those rookies, not to mention this group, we’re also the only one that’s really recruiting nationally.

“Most of them are still recruiting regionally, but I think our academic prestige allows us to recruit from coast to coast. So that leaves us with a better pool of talent – or not necessarily a better pool, just a larger pool. We have guys on our team from Florida, Georgia and DC, Midwest, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. I think it helped a ton. But the fact that our academic prestige is world-renowned helps a lot. “

Stanford is in fact tied for sixth place in the US News & World Report’s “Best National Universities 2022” ranking, slightly ahead of Duke (tied for ninth), Northwestern (tied for ninth) and Vanderbilt (tied for ninth place). at the 14th). The Cardinal also sits 13th in 2022 recruiting according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings, while Northwestern is 34th and Vanderbilt 37th – Duke is a little behind in 45th. In recent rounds of recruiting, Stanford has typically finished 10-20 spots ahead of the Wildcats and Commodores with Duke a little behind.

However, many academically-oriented Power Five programs have used their “public Ivy” status to their advantage in recruiting, including Michigan, UCLA, California, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas, and more. .

Coach Vanderbilt Clark Lea did not have a chance to respond to Shaw’s comments on Tuesday, as his press conference was held before the Stanford one. But Lea has made it clear that he doesn’t plan to use the Cardinal’s schedule as a working model, as a former coach. Derek mason – previously Stanford’s defensive coordinator under Shaw – appeared to try early in his tenure.

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“I’ve said it before, but I admire the success Coach Shaw had there,” Lea said. “I think every school, every program is different. For me, I think we have the potential for even higher heights here at Vanderbilt with Chancellor (Daniel) Diermeier and (Sports Director) Candice Lee and Vandy United and all the energy and excitement around this athletics department and this program. I think when you look at being a top 15 school and being in Nashville, Tennessee, and playing in the SEC – that’s a formula that does not exist anywhere else. We don’t want to be an imitator of anyone. We want to find our success, and we feel that we find our success – which will take time – that there is no limit to what can be accomplished here. “


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