Of Monday Hangovers, Booty Calls, And The Biggest Upset In College Football HistoryS


To put Stanford's win over USC into the proper perspective this morning, you should know that the Stanford Tree woke up with a raging hangover, empty tequila bottles strewn about his apartment and a pair of panties dangling from his upper branches. OK, that just means it's Monday. For real perspective, how about this e-mail I received yesterday from a Stanford grad:

"I keep thinking I should be conflicted over all of this, given that Stanford's victory allows Cal to get to No. 2 (almost No. 1 if not for LSU's big comeback)."

Yep, the 24-23 win at USC was so stunning, Cardinal supporters are worried about how it affects their arch-rival. God, they don't even know how to properly celebrate. Having grown up in the Bay Area, this doesn't surprise me at all. Unlike Texas or Oklahoma, where football is religion and one wrong word can get your scrotum ripped, we are by comparison a sleepy backwater. In the great department store of college football, we are the casual wear department.

But that doesn't make Saturday's result any less significant. Even if no one else is saying it, can I call this what it is? The biggest upset in college football history. USC opened as a 41-point favorite, and by game time the line was at 39-40. If the point spead is the standard, then this beats the runnerup, Oregon State (+36) over Washington, 21-20, in 1986. Other fun facts:

• Going into the game, Stanford was 2-14 since the start of last season and had been outscored 72-3 in the previous six quarters.
• It was the first start for quarterback Tavita Pritchard, who had thrown three passes in college.
• Stanford's defense was allowing 47 points per game in Pac-10 play.
• The Cardinal trailed 23-14 in the fourth quarter.

But for the Stanford-didn't-win-it-USC-lost-it crowd, well, things like this just don't happen without being part of some bigger picture. The fact that Stanford was even in a position to win it at the end means that this program has turned some sort of corner. The Cardinal played harder, made the the big plays when they counted and may have had a bit of divine assistance when Mark Bradford pulled down Pritchard's pass in the left corner of the end zone for the winning TD. This caused all sorts of confusion among the Versus announcers, by the way: One of whom boldly predicted — after the TD catch had tied it — that Stanford would go for the one-point conversion instead of two.

It's kind of a neat moment, too, for Jim Harbaugh, who played high school football across the street from Stanford — at Palo Alto High — before becoming the quarterback at Michigan (after Stanford admissions had turned him down). While at Paly, Harbaugh was so famous for locking his keys in his car during football season that teammates built him a jimmy device in shop class so that they wouldn't have to continually drive him home. It's that singularity of purpose that leads one to believe that he just may have a future in this football business.

On the other hand, you have John David Booty, who the same night his team lost in the biggest upset in college history, was seen doing shooters at Les Deux, an LA nightclub. It could be said that he was drowning his sorrows; if by that you meant "being draped by blondes."

Actually I'm just relieved that the Stanford band didn't march onto the field prematurely and ruin this one. That very easily could have happened.

Biggest Upset In College Football History? [Democratic Underground]
LA Nightclub Gets Booty Shots After Trojan Loss [SportsbyBrooks]
Stanford Upset Of USC Even Shocks Commentators [SportsbyBrooks]
Stanford Shocker [YouTube]