PASADENA -- From coaching staff to players, Stanford longed to seize this moment and stage a dazzling show on national TV to impress a nation of doubters and skeptics.
The Cardinal, deep inside, wanted respect -- and believes it has done enough to get it.
Instead, Stanford will put on its best face and graciously accept what it earned.
Victory, though mildly unsatisfying. Ultimate success despite visible flaws.
Stanford's 20-14 win over Wisconsin in the 99th annual Rose Bowl won't silence those not ready to place the program as among the nation's best. It won't persuade the masses that these highly intelligent young men belong in the same conversation as the so-called ``factory'' schools, particularly those hailing from the heralded Southeastern Conference.