Stanford was ranked 24th in Sports Illustrated’s college football preview, released Wednesday.
The Cardinal’s offense will be powered this year by redshirt sophomore quarterback Andrew Luck, who will take the place of Minnesota Vikings draftee Toby Gerhart as the offense’s focus. Luck threw for 2,575 yards and 13 touchdowns with only four interceptions during the 2009 season, helping the team to an 8-5 record.
Also returning are strong receivers in Ryan Whalen and Chris Owusu, along with a rushing trifecta in Stepfan Taylor, Jeremy Stewart and Tyler Gaffney. A maturing secondary will help prevent defensive gaps that led to 3,024 pass yards against last season, one of the worst in the Football Bowl Subdivision.
Stanford was not ranked in the top-25 in the preseason Associated Press and USA Today Coaches Polls. It did, however, have a strong showing in each; it received the 29th most votes in the country in the AP Poll, and the 32nd most votes for the Coaches Poll. Stanford has not received preseason votes in football since 2002.