No. 15 Stanford

What do you say after you’ve said goodbye to Christian McCaffrey?

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How about. . . how are you doing, surgically-repaired knee of QB Keller Chryst?

If the knee of Chryst, the son of Denver Broncos assistant Geep Chryst and the nephew of Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst, is sound, the Cardinal still will have to elbow their way into the Pac-12 picture. USC and Washington are deservedly getting more pre-season love.

Some of that will get sorted out early, when Stanford travels to USC on Sept. 9. But that only puts more pressure on Chryst, who suffered a major ACL knee injury in the Sun Bowl. Chryst was 6-0 as a starter, throwing for 10 touchdowns and 905 yards.[membership level="0"] The rest of this article is available to subscribers only - to become a subscriber click here.[/membership] [membership]

Without all-purpose whirlwind McCaffrey, who had a Heisman-worthy career, Stanford isn’t as glossy as USC and Washington. But explosive Bryce Love is more than capable at running back.

And David Shaw, who is 64-17 in six years at Stanford, is more than capable of keeping the Cardinal in the hunt for big things.[/membership]