When I think of the Stanford Cardinal, I can’t help but picture that boisterous guy yelling “Heisman!” behind Christian McCaffrey in the post-game Rose Bowl interview. That unknown man was partially right, though. McCaffrey deserved to win the Heisman Trophy last year, but Derrick Henry was just a little more deserving.
With McCaffrey coming back as a junior in 2016, he will most likely be the favorite to take home the coveted award. He finished his sophomore campaign with an unbelievable 2,019 yards and eight rushing touchdowns to go along with a team-high 45 catches for 645 yards and five more scores.
Stanford will have to rely heavily on McCaffrey with Kevin Hogan graduating. The senior quarterback had his best year for the Cardinal in 2015, leading the team to a No. 6 final ranking and a huge 45-16 victory over Iowa in the Rose Bowl.
Who’s going to replace a guy like Hogan? Look no further than sophomore quarterback Keller Chryst. The young gun is a former four-star, highly-touted high school recruit from Palo Alto, Calif., and many are touting him the next big thing to come through Stanford. He attempted just nine passes last year, completing five for 59 yards and a score.
If Chryst lives up to the hype, McCaffrey has another great year and the Stanford defense is as formidable as usual, the Cardinal could run away with the Pac-12 and maybe even make the College Football Playoff.
Next: 10. Michigan Wolverines