I'm not going to get too crazy in doing a Stanford review. They have not won a game this year and if SC can't produce a solid win in Palo Alto then that will say a lot more about SC than it does about Stanford. Stanford Head Coach Walt Harris is on the hot seat and the Stanford AD is noncommittal on his return for next year.
I think the Oregon St. Game opened up the Trojans eyes as to where they needed to improve their game. There are still a lot of questions and only solid performances that turn into wins will calm things down in the eyes of the Trojan faithful. There has been a lot of talk that the comeback that fell short in Corvallis really showed that this team has what it takes to be explosive. That may be, but that fire in the gut has been missing from this team and hopefully they got their wake up call this past weekend.
Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian need open the playbook a little more so that SC isn't as predictable as some think. Keeping ahead of the competition will always keep opposing teams on their toes and not prepared for the unexpected. A couple of new looks or a few more new formations could be all it takes to mix things up a little bit. The game against Stanford is a great opportunity to really try a few new things out while working on the core of SC's game.
SC has always controlled their own destiny this season but they control it even more so now. Stringing together a bunch of wins to finish the season may put them back into the BCS title game though it's more likely winning out would mean a trip to the Rose Bowl and that's not a bad consolation.
Pete Carroll has tweaked this team as needed this season, mostly because of injuries and he will continue to do so in order to put the most competitive team on the field. Those who get their chance need to step up and show their talent. Those already in prominent roles need to solidify their game so that this team can make a strong finishing run. There is no reason why this team can't make a statement and show their critics that they do belong at the top. Now's the time to do it.