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Doc 5: Unexpected blowouts -- No. 3 Stanford

LaMichael James Stanford 2011
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STANFORD, CA - NOVEMBER 12: LaMichael James #21 of the Oregon Ducks breaks in the clear and rushes fifty eight yards for a touchdown against the Stanford Cardinal at Stanford Stadium on November 12, 2011 in Stanford, California. Oregon won the game 53-30. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** LaMichael James

This offseason we will count down various topics from Monday through Friday, bringing you the top five of the important and definitely some not so important issues in college football. It's the Doc Five, every week until we will thankfully have actual games to discuss.

We have reached May 19, which means we are officially 100 days away from the beginning of the 2014 college football season when Abilene Christian faces Georgia State on Aug. 27. To keep the college football discussion on the tip of our tongues, we’re keeping up with some themes for our weekly Doc Five.

On the heels of the NFL Draft last week we brought you the top individual seasons from players who went undrafted. This week, with Memorial Day and Memorial Day Weekend on the horizon, we’ve really begun the peak of grilling season. We’ll definitely be lighting up the grill this weekend, so that got us thinking about teams who really got lit up over the past five seasons, especially when we were expecting a great matchup or expecting an entirely different outcome.

We know that the Memorial Day connection is probably a stretch, but we’re going to run with it anyway.

Let's discuss.

TOP FIVE UNEXPECTED BLOWOUTS

No. 3 Stanford (2011 vs. Oregon)

The game for the Pac-12 North title was going to be a barnburner. At least that's what we all thought, anyway.

Both Oregon and Stanford were undefeated in the Pac-12 heading into their matchup in Palo Alto, Calif. in 2011. No. 6 Oregon had a blemish on its record after losing in the first game of the season to LSU, but No. 3 Stanford didn't, and it was widely assumed the winner of the game would go to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl.

The winner did, and the winner was Oregon. It just didn't happen the way anyone thought it would as the Ducks used an efficient ground game and timely passing to blitz Stanford 53-30.

(It's one of those times where the latter half of the sentence still sounds perfectly sensical if Stanford and Oregon were reversed, especially after watching the 2013 game.)

The Cardinal pulled within a single possession three different times in the first half, but each time it did, Oregon had an answer, including right at the beginning of the third quarter. After Stanford had cut the lead to 22-16 at halftime, Darron Thomas hit Josh Huff for a 59-yard touchdown less than two minutes into the third quarter. The rout was on from there, as Oregon scored 31 second-half points.

Thomas threw three touchdowns on just 11-17 passing for 155 yards and LaMichael James ran for three scores on 20 carries for 146 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Stanford's Andrew Luck was 27-41 for 256 yards and threw three touchdowns too, but he also tossed two interceptions, including one that was returned 40 yards for Oregon's final score.

Somewhat surprisingly, Oregon had a letdown game the next weekend at home to USC, losing to the Trojans 38-35. However, because of the win over Stanford, Oregon claimed the North title via tiebreaker and beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.

Because Oregon was its only regular-season loss of the year, Stanford went to a BCS bowl too and lost to Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl.

(Stay tuned on Friday. One of these teams has earned the top spot in this week's Doc 5 for another game in another season.)

For more Stanford coverage, visit Rivals' CardinalsSportsReport.com

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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