Stanford loss to Utah was a shocking an upset as any so far this season, but ESPN analyst Lou Holtz has a perfectly logical explanation for why the Cardinal fell flat against the Utes – midterms.
“There’s no doubt that Stanford did not play well. But I know coming from an academic institution, this is a time for midterm exams,” Holtz explained. “Players are not focused, they don’t get to practice on time, they’re worn out, they’re tired, they don’t get much sleep, and you do not play very well. And that is exactly what it looked like to me with Stanford. I don’t know that for a fact, but that looked like a football team that was in midterms.”
We all know the rigorous nature of Stanford’s curriculum and the distraction of midterms would be an excellent excuse as to why the Cardinal pretty much flushed their national championship dreams down the toilet.
Only one problem, though – Stanford isn’t in midterms.
According to the Stanford academic calendar, Stanford operates on the quarter system and consequently its quarterly exams aren't until December (and then March and June). Not saying some of the players didn't have tests, just not the major ones to which Holtz was referring. However, Utah was in the middle of midterms. Apparently, the Utes curriculum isn’t daunting enough to distract them from football.
But Holtz definitely gave it the ol’ college try when it came to giving Stanford a plausible excuse for its epic fail. Truth is, they just lost the game and ultimately many of the opportunities that were there for the taking.
UPDATED: As noted by a couple Stanford folks who emailed, there are exams this week, some called them midterms, some said they were just regular tests. So, we're not really sure. At a school like Stanford, I'm sure every day in every class has its own unique challenges whether there's a test or not. Still, in almost every email, the writer didn't buy that as an excuse for the loss.