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Doc Five: Teams that could break the SEC’s BCS streak – No. 5, Stanford

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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 one more year of the BCS remaining, which means one more year of everyone trying to beat the SEC's BCS dominance.

The streak is very impressive. On Jan. 4, 2006, Texas beat USC for the BCS title. Vince Young became a star in the NFL, then became a bust in the NFL, and desperately tried to make a NFL comeback since then. Reggie Bush dated Kim Kardashian, had his Heisman taken away and won a Super Bowl since then. That was also two teams ago for Bush.

That was the last time a team outside the SEC won the national championship. The SEC has won seven in a row since then, and only one game was decided by single digits. Alabama's 42-14 win over Notre Dame in January drove home the point that the SEC is just playing a different game than everyone else.

But there is hope ... we think. There's a few teams that could break the SEC's run so the BCS doesn't retire with an eight-title SEC streak. And one of the teams that could do the trick is Stanford.

[Also: Recruit picks Miami after dismissing NCAA investigation]

If you thought Stanford was going to fade a bit after Andrew Luck and Jim Harbaugh left, that's fair. They're among the best young franchise quarterbacks and best coaches in the NFL now. And Stanford has never been a consistent force in football either.

But David Shaw's team last year made a good argument that it is here to stay. There was a third straight BCS appearance, a Rose Bowl victory against Wisconsin, which capped off a 12-2 season. And the roster turnover isn't that bad.

Tight end Zach Ertz will be very tough to replace because he created a ton of matchup problems. Running back Stepfan Taylor and his 1,530 yards are gone too. Outside linebacker Chase Thomas and cornerback Terrence Brown need to be replaced too. But at this point, Stanford can be trusted to fill those spots with other capable replacements, and there's a lot back.

Quarterback Kevin Hogan will become a star this year. Those who don't know him already will after 2013. He was great after taking over the starting job as a redshirt freshman in the middle of last season, and has the look of a future NFL first-round pick. Add in that the bulk of the offensive line returns and the defense returns seven starters, and Stanford will be in good shape. It's a tough, well-coached team that has shown it can beat top competition. Also, Stanford gets Oregon and Notre Dame at home this season.

Had Stanford beaten Notre Dame in an overtime game last season, it might have had the chance to knock off the SEC in a BCS title game. This season, there's a chance the Cardinal will get that shot.

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