STANFORD — David Shaw has been telling his players for months to put last season's Rose Bowl victory behind them and go for greater success next time they take the field.
That time has finally arrived.
Stanford's prolonged offseason officially ends today, when the defending Pac-12 Conference champions begin preseason practice. The Cardinal will be one of the last teams in the country to start training camp because it will be one of the last to start the regular season.
Stanford kicks off one of the most anticipated slates in school history at home against San Jose State on Sept. 7, about a week later than most of college football. The Week 1 bye is due, in part, to a lack of scheduling flexibility created by the regular-season finale against Notre Dame on Nov. 30.
"There are pluses and minuses," said Shaw, who has won Pac-12 Coach of the Year in each of his first two seasons. "You'd love to work a bye into the schedule. But we can see San Jose State play. We can see other teams play. It's good to
watch and see good teams struggle. They make early season mistakes, and then you can learn from those mistakes."