The Stanford Cardinal had a very favorable draw in 2015, with many of their toughest games at their impervious home field and a very easy October.
They will not be afforded that luxury in 2016. Until their season finale Thanksgiving weekend in Palo Alto, Stanford will have a nine game stretch that involves six road contests.
Stanford starts out with a home date with Kansas State on Friday night, which will be fun for neutral purposes but is hardly what the Cardinal want to draw a sellout in the Bay Area. After a bye week, they are given the gauntlet immediately with an early tilt with USC at home and then head on the road to Pasadena to battle UCLA.
Although Stanford's home games are very winnable from this point on (Oregon State, Washington State, Colorado, and Rice), none of them will attract quite as much attention as their road slate. They go to Tucson to outscore Rich Rod's Wildcats. They head into the trenches in Seattle to battle Washington. They travel to South Bend to face a potential national title contender in Notre Dame. They travel to Autzen for another tilt with troublesome Oregon. And the Big Game is starting to become a competitive contest again with cross-Bay rivals Cal.
Here is the schedule for Stanford in 2016.
Friday, Sept. 2 Kansas State Wildcats
Saturday, Sept. 17 USC Trojans
Saturday, Sept. 24 at UCLA Bruins
Friday, Sept. 30 at Washington Huskies
Saturday, Oct. 8 Washington State Cougars
Saturday, Oct. 15 at Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Saturday, Oct. 22 Colorado Buffaloes
Saturday, Oct. 29 at Arizona Wildcats
Saturday, Nov. 5 Oregon State Beavers
Saturday, Nov. 12 at Oregon Ducks
Saturday, Nov. 19 at California Golden Bears
Saturday, Nov. 26 Rice Owls