As the BCS rankings came out for the first time Sunday, one thing was clear: Stanford was not getting help from the computers.
The Cardinal (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12 North) placed eighth in the BCS rankings, but with two high-profile games on the horizon that ranking could change quickly.
The first comes Saturday when No. 22 Washington (5-1, 3-0 Pac-12 North) comes into Stanford Stadium having won three in a row and scoring at least 30 points in every game this season.
“They’ve clicked into something,” Washington coach Steve Sarkisian said. “It’s hard to create a lot of space.”
Stanford has yet to allow more than 19 points and leads the Pac-12 in rushing defense (59.5 yards per game) and total defense (294.8).
“I started the season with something that Jon Gruden used to say,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “‘In order for a team to be good, the great players have to play great, the good players have to play to the best of their ability and the role players have to fill their roles.’”
Stanford has a three-game winning streak against Washington, including last year’s 41-0 pounding of the Huskies in Seattle.
“The Stanford game allowed us to reexamine the type of team we are,” Sarkisian said.
Shaw recognized this right after that game.
“They looked like a different team right after our game,” Shaw said. “They’re playing with a lot of confidence and when you can play with confidence, you play at a high level.”
The Huskies come in with sophomore quarterback Keith Price, who Sarkisian said is mentally comparable to former Southern Cal quarterbacks Matt Leinart and Mark Sanchez.
“As you get to know Keith, the moments have never been too big for him,” Sarkisian said. “He just goes and plays.”
Price has rivaled Andrew Luck’s numbers with 1,466 yards to go along with 21 touchdown passes this season.
Stanford vs. Washington
WHEN: Saturday, 5 p.m.
WHERE: Stanford Stadium
TV: ABC (KGO, Ch. 7)
RADIO: KTCT (1050 AM)