Stanford Cardinal 2021 College Football Preview

Stanford Cardinal 2021 College Football Preview

Created July 22, 2021

2020 Recap

Record – 4-2

ATS – 4-2

Stanford TOOK A LICKING but KEPT ON TICKING. They lost their first two games of the plandemic season (Oregon, Colorado) but get full marks for running the table the rest of the way. Sure, they were all close shaves (combined 10 points!), but wins are wins baby. They could have packed it in, but didn’t. On to 2021, yo.

2021 Stanford Cardinal Outlook


The Cardinal got a pretty good season out of QB Davis Mills LY and he’s off to the NFL. That leaves Stanford with a very inexperienced QB room. That battle will almost certainly be between highly-touted freshman Tanner McKee (6-6, 228) and last year’s back-up Jack West. Stay tuned. Three of their top-four THROW GAME targets are back but they lose #1 WR Simi Fehoko. We have high hopes for the rushing attack that sputtered AGAIN last season (133 YPG, #9 PAC 12) given the return of their top-two RBs. Austin Jones had 9 (!) rushing TDs and three 100-yard games in 2020 and Nathaniel Peat averaged 7.0 YPC. The OL has good size but lose a couple of starters including an NFL-bound center.


The stop unit has been pretty crappy by their standards the L2Y (#9, #7 PAC 12 total defense), and they lose some key contributors including leading tackler LB Curtis Robinson and leading sacker DL Thomas Schaffer. They’ve got to find a way to stop the run (#112 FBS LY) (!) and it’s not clear how much talent they have up front. DE Thomas Booker is a keeper (4 sacks, #4 tackles 2019). LB Levani Damuni is a good piece to build around (#2 tackles) and that unit looks to be in good shape overall. The secondary struggled LY (64%, just 2 INT) and they hope that new stars can emerge at CB. We’re not as high on this year’s D as many but would be happy to be wrong.


The group was average at best last year and they need to find a replacement for long-time PK Jet Toner. There’s nothing to get excited about here other than Joshua Karty is a very highly-regarded recruit and will take over for Toner.

Schedule Analysis

Overall – The schedule-maker must have a BLOOD VENDETTA going with Stanford as the docket is brutal. They have twelve P5 opponents and miss Arizona and Colorado from the South. At least they have 4L5 games at home.

Potential ATS Trouble Spot – at Oregon St (November 13th)

This game follows yuuuge games with Washington and Utah AND precedes the “BIG GAME” with Cal.

Season Win Total

per 5Dimes July 22

Over 4 -105

Under 4 -115

Update August 20

Over 4.5 +110

Under 4.5 -130


Lean: Over. < if you can still find a ‘4’ >

The roster doesn’t look great and the schedule is PURE EVIL but that number is too low. Don’t think they’ll go 3-9 or worse.

MEGAmazing Tidbits

TRIVIA TIME, yo. Who’s the only Stanford Cardinal player to win the Heisman Trophy? Andrew Luck? Nope. Christian McCaffrey? Nope. John Elway? Nope. It was QB Jim Plunkett who won the award in 1970. That’s a FACT CHECK TRUE.


Not so long ago, the Cardinal would rattle off double-digit win seasons like NOBODY’S BUSINESS. The defense doesn’t look great on paper, who knows what they’ll get from the QB position, and the schedule doesn’t do them any favors. Having said all that, they might be better than we think and give them a shot to book six wins and get to a bowl game. 

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