If you aren't familiar with Ted Miller's Best/Worst Case Scenario Posts, then you definitely need to check them out:
This is fourth in a series looking at potential dream and nightmare scenarios for all Pac-10 teams, starting at the bottom and working up from my 2010 predictions.
Understand: These are NOT predictions. They are extreme scenarios and pieces of fiction.
After easy wins against Sacramento State and UCLA, the Cardinal return back home to face Wake Forest. After narrowly escaping with a win last year, the Demon Deacons are looking for revenge. And after three quarters it looked like they would get it. But thanks to two 4th Quarter Andrew Luck Touchdowns, Stanford goes to 3-0 with a 24-17 Win.
The Cardinal then go on what is possibly the toughest two game road trip ever, at South Bend and Eugene. After a 33-15 loss against Notre Dame, the Cardinal lose a game with many questionable calls, 37-30. The game ends with a classic "What's Your Deal" shouting match between Harbaugh and Kelly.
The two game losing streak doesn't faze the Cardinal though, as they go home and knock off the 10th Ranked Trojans 34-17. After defeating the Cougars, Stanford climbs into the Top 25 with three consecutive wins against the Huskies, Wildcats, and Sun Devils.
Stanford enters their final two games against California and Oregon State needing to win both to clinch their first Rose Bowl berth in 10 Years. They came close. Tied at 27 with 5 Minutes left in the 4th Quarter, Andrew Luck's pass was Intercepted, and the Golden Bears marched down the field for the game winning Touchdown.
A week later, a depressed Cardinal Team looks flat against the Rose Bowl bound Beavers, and Oregon State is one step closer to Pasadena with a 38-20 Win.
After doing great on Finals and a good three weeks of practice, a rejuvenated Stanford team goes to San Diego to take on the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Jim Harbaugh's club holds on for a 23-17 Win, and the Cardinal finish the season 9-4.
Worst Case Scenario after the break
Going into the season, Stanford fans thought that maybe this was the year things turned around. Well, maybe next September. After beating Sacramento State, the Cardinal lose five straight, putting a dagger through any Bowl Game hopes.
Things do begin to turn around in late October when Stanford beats Washington State, lose a close one in Seattle, and then defeat the Arizona schools to get to 4-6.
Needing wins against California and Oregon State to reach bowl eligibility, the Cardinal come out tight in the Big Game. At Halftime, the Golden Bears lead it 14-3. But Stanford flicks the switch in the 3rd Quarter, and find themselves leading 17-14 with 15 Minutes to play. After promising drives for both teams resulting in zero points, QB Kevin Riley finds a Cal Reciever in the back of the end zone to put the Bears back on top 21-17 with 5 Minutes left. Andrew Luck's first pass of the next drive is Interecepted, and Cal goes on to win 28-17.
A deflated Cardinal team sulks into the game against Oregon State, and the Beavers rout Stanford 40-10.