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Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, and Stanford

That is all the BruinsNation should be thinking about right now.  Yesterday we got this email from fellow blogger Heath Tingle, who runs a blog called the "college game":

Is it too early to talk about next year in college football? Who looks to be contenders for next year, which team is enjoying their best run but will lose a lot? Which teams will hold serve? Coaches on the hot seat, who needs to win big next year?
I wrote him back that there is only thing I am thinking about right now when it comes to Bruin football.  That is making up the bitter memories of 2001. Stanford is the only thing on my mind, and judging by all the posts from the Nation, it is obvious, it is the only thing on the mind of all UCLA fans coast to coast.  And Stanford is not going to be a cakewalk.  This is not like playing an Indiana or a Vanderbilt.  This is not like playing a Baylor, Kentucky or a Wake Forest. Stanford is going to be a formidable opponent, featuring a good coach, and Trent Edwards, who may have been the best QB if he played in the Big-10, SEC or even Big-12 (second to Young).  Stanford has bounced back after an embarrassing loss to UC Davis:
Joke goes like this: A scarred and pilloried Stanford team limps to Washington State amid mocking chants of "UC Davis!" And, er, wins, 24-21, with Edwards passing for 257 yards and three touchdowns and adding 92 yards rushing for good measure.

Perhaps the Cougars, who have been throwing up all over themselves this year, just "Couged it," as their fans are wont to say when another game slips away. Then Stanford won again, besting Arizona 20-16.

"To discredit Stanford is unfair," Arizona coach Mike Stoops said. "Trust me, they're not inept by any stretch of the imagination." Stoops assertion was further validated when the Cardinal last weekend rolled to a 45-7 lead on Arizona State -- a team that had gone nose-to-nose with LSU and USC.

Stanford's eventual 45-35 victory made it 4-2 overall, and a 3-1 Pac-10 mark rated the Cardinal fourth in the conference, with unbeaten and eighth-ranked UCLA headed to The Farm on Saturday.
And one of the main reasons for their bounce back after UCDavis is the coaching of Walt Harris:
Harris made his players run. And run. He met with the upperclassmen and told them their legacy was at stake, that their leadership would determine whether the season swirled into the toilet.

He told them they were humiliating everyone who once wore the Cardinal jersey with pride.

In other words, he called them out.

"I think that's what needed to be done," Edwards said. "Coach Harris forces you to adapt to his ways. I don't think there is any choice but to buy in."

Fact is, Stanford should be competitive. There are 17 starters back from a 4-7 team that lost five games by a combined 22 points in 2004.

A Harris-coached team previously had been left for dead, only to confound naysayers. In 2001, Pittsburgh started 1-5 but won six straight to conclude the season, include a 34-19 victory over North Carolina State in the Tangerine Bowl.
This is a huge game.  I know we have heard the cliché about Dorrell turning the corner endless times now, but the fact is nothing is going to feel right until we exorcise the demons which have been hovering over this football program after some ugly losses since December 5, 1998.  And that game at the firm four years ago was one of those seminal moments for this program which ultimately lead to the heartbreaks, frustrations and season-ending debacles of last years.  We have been on a good vibe roll during last few weeks, but all that can be gone with one bad game this Saturday. And a moral victory is going to taste just as shitty like it did after the SC game last season.  We have to win this weekend.  Here is to hoping that the 2LiveDrews are keeping everyone in check, keeping their teammates head on straight, not getting to caught up on the recent press clips, and focused on just one thing - beating Stanford.  It is all about Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, Stanford, and beating Stanford. GO BRUINS.