Here is the opening to my column about Stanford winning the Pac-12 title:


There was something redundant about the Pac-12 championship game. Stanford defeated UCLA for the second time in six days, which proves the Cardinal are better than the Bruins. It is not clear if they will play each other next week.

The prize for beating the plucky Bruins, 27-24, is a trip to the Rose Bowl, the Cardinals’ first trip to the Promised Land since 2000. All of this makes you think the Bruins are a bunch of stooges. But that wasn’t the case. They played beautifully and made the Cardinal sweat. UCLA showed no respect for Stanford’s passing game. The Bruins loaded the box to stop Stepfan Taylor’s running, and dared quarterback Kevin Hogan to throw. For most of the game, Hogan wasn’t a good thrower, and that meant the Stanford run game was no big deal. In my notebook I wrote, “Hogan vanished.”

To read the full column click here