The Stanford Cardinal proved tonight what most of us on the West Coast always knew: if not for the Oregon Ducks, they would be playing for a National Championship.
In its first BCS bowl game in more than ten years, Stanford survived a close first half to blowout the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Orange Bowl, 40-12.
With the victory, the #4 Cardinal reached 12 wins for the first time in the school’s history. Now the question remains: what’s next for Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck?
Luck, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, threw for 287 yards and four touchdowns Monday night to lead Stanford past Virginia Tech (No. 13 BCS, No. 12 AP) 40-12.
It was a performance reminiscent of Elway, the former Stanford quarterback who is expected to become the Denver Broncos’ chief football executive this week. He served as an honorary captain, and ex-Stanford QB Jim Plunkett was also on hand to lend support.
The Cardinal (12-1) likely will end the season ranked in the top 5 for the first time since the unbeaten 1940 team finished No. 2. Their success comes only four years after they went 1-11 and hired Harbaugh as coach to lead a turnaround.