Stanford coach David Shaw: SEC comparisons not a compliment

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."

Shaw sees the Stanford offensive approach, which started in 2007 when he was the offensive coordinator for current San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh, as merely a natural extension of what Bill Walsh started.

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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."

Shaw played for Walsh at Stanford from 1991-93. Shaw later worked with Gruden as a quality control and quarterbacks coach with the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders.

Stanford opens its 2013 season Saturday night against San Jose State in the annual Bill Walsh Legacy Game.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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