Stanford has been tabbed a likely candidate to break the SEC's run of seven consecutive BCS championships because it plays an SEC-like style. The Cardinal relies on a pounding rushing attack and punishing defense, a stark contrast from the proliferation of up-tempo spread offenses across college football.
Stanford head coach David Shaw doesn't "necessarily take (those comparisons) as a compliment," however.
"We play the style of football I grew up with," Shaw told the San Jose Mercury News. "It's not because that's the way they play at Alabama or LSU. That means nothing to us.
"I'd rather have people say we're old school," Shaw added. "That's what makes me happy."
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"With what we do, you can draw a line from the 49ers of the 80s to (Jon) Gruden ... to here," Shaw said. "It's the west coast passing game with a physical running game."
Stanford opens its 2013 season Saturday night against San Jose State in the annual Bill Walsh Legacy Game.