Stanford coach David Shaw does not want to hear comparisons between his Cardinal and the SEC.
Despite the fact that many pundits (this one included) think Stanford is the closest thing to an SEC team that’s not in the SEC, Shaw doesn’t think the similarities are favorable.
“I don’t necessarily take it as a compliment,’’ Shaw said of the comparison to the SEC.
“We play the style of football I grew up with. It’s not because that’s the way they play at Alabama or LSU. That means nothing to us.’’
Is Shaw throwing out fightin’ words five months before the national championship?
Before SEC folks get all up in arms, Shaw went on to say that Stanford’s style of play appears different because everyone else in the Pac-12 runs the spread offense not because it's trying to emulate the nation's best conference.
Stanford, much like an SEC offense, prides itself on crisp passing and a strong running game. It’s also invested a lot of time recruiting its trenches, which makes its offensive and defensive lines look more like those from the SEC than the Pac-12.
Shaw traces his coaching style back to Bill Walsh’s 49ers and Jon Gruden’s Raiders. It’s not speedy or pretty, but in the end it nets wins. And that’s evident by Stanford's three consecutive trips to BCS bowl games and a strong sentiment that this year will mark the fourth.