Hypothetical scenario: If Stanford starts the season with Kevin Hogan, do you think the Cardinal are dreaming about more than just a Rose Bowl? Or are they still where they are now?
Hank Waddles, Go Mighty Card: I maintain that we can't really assume that Kevin Hogan was ready to play the way he is now back in September against Washington or even in mid-October at Notre Dame. Going into the season, most close observers of the team felt like an average quarterback was all this team needed to remain a top-ten team, but as good as the defense has been, it's now clear that an average quarterback might've taken this team to a national championship. Could Kevin Hogan have been that guy? Perhaps, but probably only if he had been given the job in the spring.
Scott Allen, Rule of Tree: Given that Hogan wasn't talked about all that much as a serious contender to win the job in the fall, I've got to believe that he simply wasn't quite ready. Had David Shaw decided to throw him into the fire anyway, might he have been ready enough by Stanford's trip to Washington in Week 3 to lead one drive that resulted in an offensive touchdown? Sure, it's possible, but only if we can go back and change all of Stanford's dropped passes in that game to catches.
After Taylor carried it a yard short of the end zone, Hogan broke out his bread-and-butter -- the bootleg. He rolled out to the right and drifted back as he looked for a receiver, but when he saw that Ertz was covered on his crossing pattern, he put his foot in the ground at the 9 yard line and rushed up field. He made one man miss, broke through another, then dove across the goal line for the game's first score and a 7-0 Stanford lead.
It was an epic 15-play drive that covered 93 yards and ate up just a tick over seven minutes. More important than that, the young freshman quarterback who was supposed to wilt beneath the pressure of the moment was showing no signs of youth. At this point in the game he had completed 12 of 13 passes for 96 yards and rushed three times for 18 yards and that touchdown. Don't look now, but one day he could be Stanford's next Heisman runner-up.