In the wake of the SEC's announcement that the conference will be requiring all member schools to schedule at least one football opponent from the other power conferences on an annual basis came news this past week that Notre Dame and Georgia had agreed to play a home-and-home series in 2017 and 2019. Lost in this news was the announcement by the Stanford Cardinal that they had come to an agreement with - wait for it - Rice for 2016 and 2017.
Does it surprise you to hear that the 2017 game between the Bulldogs and the Irish will be only second time these two historic teams have met? The first and last time was in the 1981 Sugar Bowl when Herschel Walker became the running back that every UGA back would be compared to for the next 33 years and counting. But let's get back to Stanford.
This made me think about who the Trees have played and I was astonished to learn that they have NEVER played a regular season game against an SEC team and have played SEC teams only four times in their entire history, the last instance being in 1978.
Stanford versus the SEC:
The Cardinal have never faced Tennessee, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Florida, Auburn, South Carolina, Kentucky, or Vanderbilt.
They have played Arkansas once in a regular season game back in 1970 but the Hogs were part of the now-defunct Southwest Conference at that time. Stanford also has single match-ups with Missouri (1970) and Texas A&M (the 1992 Pigskin Classic) who were decades away from being part of the SEC.
Other historical "power" teams they have played outside of Notre Dame (28 games) and the Pac-12 are few and far between:
- Nebraska - 1 game: 1941 Rose Bowl, Pasadena, CA.
- Ohio State - 5 games, last meeting in 1982.
- Michigan - 9 games, last meeting in 1976.
- Texas - 4 games, last meeting in 2000.
- FSU and Miami (FL) - no games.
Don't expect this trend to change anytime soon.
Stanford Future Non-Conference Opponents
2014 - UC Davis, Army, at Notre Dame
2015 - at Northwestern, Notre Dame
2016- Rice, Northwestern, at Notre Dame
2017 - at Rice, at Virginia, Notre Dame
2018 - Virginia, at Notre Dame
2019 - at Northwestern, TBA - Notre Dame
2020 - Northwestern, BYU
2021 - at Northwestern
2022 - Northwestern, BYU
2023 - at BYU
2024 - no games scheduled at this time.
2025 - at BYU
The Stanford fans will whine that they play a 9-game conference schedule but this doesn't excuse the trend from the near century that they have been fielding a team. I am sure most of you have some respect for the Trees and may even like them (especially since they have helped Bama out a time or two).
That said, I am calling Stanford out. Time for the Cardinal to step up and play with the big boys.