Stanford football will start the new year in Miami


Andrew Luck gets a chance to shine in the glitz and glamour of Miami against one of the top pass defenses in the nation.

Fifth-ranked Stanford (11-1) accepted an invitation to the Discover Orange Bowl, where the Cardinal will face Atlantic Coast Conference champion Virginia Tech (11-2) on Monday, Jan. 3. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. and will be televised on ESPN. It's the first-ever meeting between the schools.

"I am very proud of our football team and I am happy to accept the invitation to have our team play in the Discover Orange Bowl against Virginia Tech," Stanford Director of Athletics Bob Bowlsby said. "Our team has completed a very successful regular season and I am certain they will play very well against an excellent Virginia Tech team."

Stanford is making its second straight bowl appearance and 22nd overall, having compiled a 9-10-1 record in previous postseason games. This marks the Cardinal's third bowl appearance in the state of Florida, where it competed in the 1986 Gator Bowl and 1993 Blockbuster Bowl, and first January bowl showing since it faced Wisconsin in the 2000 Rose Bowl.

Under head coach Jim Harbaugh, Stanford won 11 games for the first time in school history and also set a school-record with eight conference victories.

"It means our team played well and deserved something good to happen," Harbaugh said. "It should be a great matchup. Now that we know who we play, we're looking forward to practice Monday."

The Cardinal has the nation's eighth-highest scoring offense with an average of 40.3 points a game. Stanford scored a school-record 484 points.

In addition, Stanford is ranked 14th nationally in total offense (467.33), 17th in rushing offense (211.0) and 30th in passing offense (256.33).

The Cardinal also ranks in the top 25 nationally in five defensive categories, including scoring defense (11th; 17.73), interceptions (17; t-11th), passing efficiency defense (21st; 113.11), total defense (24th; 325.75) and rushing defense (24th; 125.42).

Virginia Tech has won 11 straight, including a 44-33 victory over Florida State in the Dr. Pepper Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Game to earn the right to represent the ACC in the Discover Orange Bowl. The Hokies lost their first two games.

The Hokies will be making their fourth appearance in the Discover Orange Bowl and third in the past four seasons, dropping games to Kansas in 2008 and Cincinnati in 2009.

The Discover Orange Bowl has been played annually since January 1, 1935 and along with the Sugar Bowl and Sun Bowl, is the second oldest bowl game in the country, behind the Rose Bowl, which was first played in 1902 and annually since 1916.

— Palo Alto Online Sports

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Like this comment
Posted by real Stanford fan
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 5, 2010 at 9:03 pm

How many of you Stanford "fans" are going to the game? Or are you going to let the East Coasters buy up the tickets and make Stanford miserable playing there?

Like this comment
Posted by Tom
a resident of another community
on Dec 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm

Every sports commentator/analysts on every program I've heard said that this pairing is crazy - that it should be the traditional Big 12 Midwest against the Pac 10 in the Rose Bowl. Sending Stanford as far away across country as a team could go is nuts!! They all said this 'makes no sense'. And it doesn't. Pasadena is 400 miles south of here, How many students can afford to fly to Miami, pay lodging, etc? Stanford personnel - Harbaugh included have complained about attendance. Many locals are turned off. Stanford has alienated so many alumni and locals with their $$$ greediness over ticket prices over the years and now the crazy night time schedule for the benefit of TV on stations that many people can't even get. And will the Stanford band "perform" at half time??

Like this comment
Posted by Tpm
a resident of another community
on Dec 6, 2010 at 9:29 am

How many Stanford fans will go to Miami? Stanford has about 7,000 undergrads and 7,000 grad students. The game is on a Monday night - probably 4:00 p.m. here. . And according to the Mercury News today, Stanford is stuck with 17,500 tickets. If they aren't sold, the money is taken out of the travel expense money Stanford gets from the Pac-10. On top of that, the Bowl games will be viewed only on ESPN. So those who can't afford Dish, Direct TV, Comcast, and the other cables are out of luck. The various football conferences, college presidents, and coaches had better take back college football and rid of this BCS. College football is being destroyed.

Like this comment
Posted by real Stanford fan
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 6, 2010 at 9:48 am

Alumni buy a lot more of these tickets than students.

Like this comment
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 6, 2010 at 10:32 am

Stanford should have been invited to the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin vs Stanford would have been a perfect matchup. Crazy. (Guess I'm not a real fan.)

Like this comment
Posted by Orange Bowl
a resident of another community
on Dec 6, 2010 at 6:56 pm

One correction - Virginia Tech beat Cincinnati in the 2009 Orange Bowl

Like this comment
Posted by AK
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

For those thinking its crazy that Stanford is having to travel to Florida for a bowl keep in mind Virginia Tech was sent to San Francisco for the 2002 Diamond Walnut Bowl against Air Force played at Pacific Bell Park. The band made the trip and the fans traveled well. No big deal.

Like this comment
Posted by real Stanford fan
a resident of Stanford
on Dec 7, 2010 at 8:37 am

It is "no big deal" if the "fans" actually buy the tickets and go to the game. Are YOU a real Stanford fan?

Like this comment
Posted by AK
a resident of another community
on Dec 7, 2010 at 10:13 am

True the fans do have to buy the tickets and travel but the point was that the Virginia Tech fans did buy the tickets and made the trip. My brother was attending Virginia Tech at that time as a member of the band and he said they had a great time making the trip across county. It wasn't as bad as everyone thought it would be when it was announced. I highly doubt many of the students were able to go except the ones involved with the band, cheer, and team though. Majority of the crowd was probably Alumni, especially those that live on the west coast and normally don't get to attend their school's games. For the Stanford team I think it will be a fun trip but like you said, for the fans its going to take some effort to get there.

Like this comment
Posted by Un-Luck-y
a resident of Barron Park
on Dec 7, 2010 at 10:38 am

"Stanford should have been invited to the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin vs Stanford would have been a perfect matchup. Crazy. (Guess I'm not a real fan.)"

Unfortunately, due to a quirk in the BCS process, the Rose Bowl could not invite Stanford. The Rose Bowl was contractually obligated to take TCU (the top at-large team) because one of it's "traditional" teams (Oregon, as the Pac-10 champion) was selected for the national championship game. The bowl that has to take the top at-large rotates every year and it just happened to be the Rose Bowl this year.

This clause was added to help placate the non-BCS conferences as it assures that the top at-large gets into one of the BCS bowls. It's just unfortunate that the year that Stanford is so good that 1) Oregon makes the national championship game and 2) it was the Rose Bowl's turn to take the top at-large.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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