The success of the last two season of Stanford football will be hard to ever match. The Cardinal was 23-3 in the 2010 and 2011 seasons with BCS bowls at the end of each campaign. Last year’s 11-2 record included a 41-38 overtime loss to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl
The rise to national prominence began under the guidance of the outspoken Jim Harbaugh, who coached his last game in Palo Alto to move across the bay to take over the San Francisco 49ers. Stanford’s success continued last year with rookie head coach David Shaw on the sidelines.
Of course, the common thread between the two was the quarterback – Andrew Luck.
Shaw enters his second season with the unenviable task of continuing Stanford’s recent success without Luck, whom the Indianapolis Colts strapped with the unenviable task of replacing Peyton Manning when they made him the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Luck is far from the only significant player Shaw and Stanford must replace heading into 2012, but he is at the top of the list.