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The Stanford Cardinal football program represents Stanford University in college football at the NCAA Division I FBS level and is a member of the Pac-12 Conference North Division. Stanford has a highly successful football tradition. The team is currently known as the Cardinal, adopted prior to the 1982 season. Stanford was known as the “Indians” from 1930 to January 1972, and the “Cardinals” from 1972 through 1981. A student vote in December 1975 to change the nickname to “Robber Barons” was not approved by administrators.
Stanford has fielded football teams every year since 1892 with a few exceptions. Like a number of other teams from the era concerned with violence in the sport, the school dropped football in favor of rugby from 1906 to 1917. The school also did not field a team in 1918 (due to World War I) or in 1943, 1944, and 1945 (due to World War II).
The school participated in the first-ever Rose Bowl against Michigan in 1902, in which they were routed 49-0. Its annual Big Game against California is the oldest and most storied rivalry in the Pac-12 and western United States. The Cardinal also compete for the Legends Trophy against independent rival Notre Dame.
The program has an all-time record of 628–448–49 for a winning percentage of .582 and has winning series records against all of its Pac-12 North rivals, except for the Washington Huskies, against whom they are tied 42–42–4.Stanford claimed national championships in 1926 and 1940. In 1926, led by legendary coach Glenn “Pop” Warner, the team was undefeated in the regular season and tied Alabama in the 1927 Rose Bowl. The 1940 team went unbeaten and untied after defeating Nebraska 21–13 in the 1941 Rose Bowl, but the team ranked #2 in the final AP poll released before the game was played.
Pop Warner’s era predated the AP poll, but Stanford has finished at least one season in the Top 10 in six different decades under seven different coaches: Claude E. Thornhill in 1934, Clark Shaughnessy in 1940, Chuck Taylor in 1951, John Ralston in 1970 and 1971, Bill Walsh in 1992, Jim Harbaugh in 2010, and David Shawin 2011, 2012, and 2015. Coach Shaw, as of the 2017 season, has the most wins of any Stanford coach in history. Stanford’s most recent season finish in the top 5 was in 2015 after the #5 Cardinal dismantled Big Ten West Division Champion #6 Iowa Hawkeyes 45–16 in the 2016 Rose Bowl to finish with a record of 12–2 (Stanford’s third 12-win season ever, after 2010 and 2012) and a final ranking of #3 in the final AP Poll and the final Coaches Poll (Stanford’s highest AP Poll ranking since 1940 and its highest Coaches Poll ranking ever).
The Cardinal have played in 29 bowl games in their history, including 17 appearances in bowls now comprising the College Football Playoff, specifically 15 Rose Bowls (the third-most appearances of any team, behind only USC’s 33 appearances and Michigan’s 22), the 2011 Orange Bowl, and the 2012 Fiesta Bowl.
Quarterback Jim Plunkett is the only Stanford player to win the Heisman Trophy, doing so in 1970. Stanford players have finished second in Heisman voting six times: quarterback John Elway was second to Herschel Walker in 1982; running back Toby Gerhart was second to Mark Ingram in 2009; quarterback Andrew Luck finished second to Cam Newton in 2010 and to Robert Griffin III in 2011; running back Christian McCaffrey finished second to Derrick Henry in 2015; and running back Bryce Love finished second to Baker Mayfield in 2017.
Vintage Designs for the Stanford Cardinal
Vintage Brand offers the world’s largest selection of retro college apparel and unique sports gifts designed from historical works of art. Sports fans will be able to add fan gear and fan apparel to their personal collections that haven’t been available before. Vintage Brand features a wide selection of retro designs on fan gear for college and pro sports leagues, including NFL, MLB, NBA, and NCAA merchandise created from historical works of art in the public domain. Truly for the sports fan who wants to capture the biggest games, most epic moments, major championships, or college football rivalries, the vintage sports artwork will allow you to remember and share the unforgettable memories celebrating the rich history of American sporting culture.