Editor’s note: Fourth in a series previewing each team in the Pac-12.

After losing in the season finale at home against BYU, Stanford coach David Shaw resigned after 12 seasons at his alma mater.

Shaw left the program as the winningest coach in Cardinal history, posting a 96-54 record. However, Stanford suffered back-to-back 3-9 campaigns. Since 2019, the Cardinal are just 14-28.

It will be strange next fall to see someone other than Shaw stalking the sidelines for Stanford. 

“I have the most respect in the world for coach Shaw. I wish him the best,” said one of his former players, defensive lineman Gabe Reid, who played for Utah last season. “He had an amazing run at Stanford. That’s kind of how it works out sometimes. His time was done. I hope he goes on to do great things.”

Shaw stepped down with optimism for the Cardinal future. 

“There are a lot of people that think this program is down. That’s what our record says,” Shaw said at his final news conference. “But I look at the components. I look at the people here, the support that I’m hearing coming from our athletic director, from our university president, the people that are behind the scenes. We’re not that far away.”

As USC, UCLA begin their farewell tour, which Pac-12 teams have the best shot at dethroning the Utes?
Is Cal coach Justin Wilcox on the hot seat?
What will Oregon’s Bo Nix do for an encore?
Will high-profile Clemson transfer give Oregon State’s offense a big boost?

Stanford hired Troy Taylor to replace Shaw. 

Taylor was Utah’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach from 2017-2018 before becoming the head coach at Sacramento State.

“We’re going to be very young. We lost a number of players to the transfer portal and with guys graduating early. Although it’s a challenge, we have really good, young players,” Taylor told the Pac-12 Network. “They need to get experience and get reps. But we’ll see. Last year, they had some struggles and some injuries. Trying to establish some depth and getting some guys in here to be able to play and practice is the crucial thing. Stanford has always recruited really good players. We’ll continue to do that.” 

The Cardinal will need to replace a number of players — like quarterback Tanner McKee — lost to the NFL draft and to the transfer portal. 

A return to relevancy for Stanford could be a slow climb. 

Because of Stanford’s high academic standards, landing players out of the transfer portal isn’t easy.

However, the Cardinal did add Penn offensive lineman Trevor Mayberry, the son of former Pro Bowl center Tony Mayberry. He could be Stanford’s new left tackle. 

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As he resigned, Shaw acknowledged that the new world of college football, including the transfer portal and NIL, has been a challenge for Stanford.

“Stanford historically doesn’t change quickly,” Shaw said. “We are methodical. ... It’s been difficult, but it’s been difficult for everybody.”

Utah trounced Stanford by a combined score of 94-14 the past two seasons. The Utes and Cardinal are not scheduled to play Stanford in 2023.

2022 record: 3-9 (1-8 Pac-12)

Utah ties

  • LB Spencer Jorgensen (Provo HS)
  • S Scotty Edwards (Olympus HS)

2023 schedule

  • Sept. 1 @Hawaii
  • Sept. 9 @USC
  • Sept. 16 Sacramento State
  • Sept. 23 Arizona
  • Sept. 30 Oregon
  • Oct. 13  @Colorado
  • Oct. 21 UCLA
  • Oct. 28 Washington
  • Nov. 4 @Washington State
  • Nov. 11 @Oregon State
  • Nov. 18 California 
  • Nov. 25 Notre Dame
Stanford’s Spencer Jorgensen is one of two Utah ties on the Cardinals roster — he played high school ball at Provo High.
Stanford’s Spencer Jorgensen is one of two Utah ties on the Cardinals roster — he played high school ball at Provo High. | Jed Jacobsohn, Associated Press
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