This time nobody is saying that a Stanford victory at USC is impossible. Coach Jim Harbaugh hasn’t remarked that some people think his team could lose 1,000 to zero. The Las Vegas oddsmakers haven’t ridiculed the matchup by making USC a 40-point favorite.
Nobody is laughing at Stanford anymore.
But that was the mood two years ago, on Oct. 6, 2007, when the Cardinal last ventured to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
USC had won 35 consecutive home games. Stanford, 1-11 the year before, was coming off a 38-point loss and starting a quarterback who had thrown three passes in his college career.
“They absolutely seemed to have no chance,” said Tony Sinisi, odds director for the Las Vegas Sports Consultants. “Stanford looked like a zero shot to win.”
But the “zero shot” won, shocking USC and 85,125 spectators on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Tavita Pritchard to Mark Bradford with 49 seconds to play. The final score was 24-23.