STANFORD -- Not until early this week did Stanford begin full-force preparations for Saturday's high-stakes, warp-speed showdown at top-ranked Oregon. But in a larger sense, Cardinal coach David Shaw has been preparing all year for the three hours in Autzen Stadium.
Whether he was evaluating recruits last winter or making personnel decisions this fall, Shaw had Oregon on his mind.
"You have to shoot for the team on top," he said.
Oregon is the three-time defending Pac-12 champion, a national title contender and the one team that has repeatedly dominated Stanford during the Cardinal's time on the national stage.