A Stanford Football Calendar Favorite: October 6

Oct. 6, 2009

STANFORD, Calif. - A first down is 10 yards. A touchdown is 6 points. Put those two numbers together on a calendar -- as in October 6, or 10/6 -- and you get a most memorable date in modern Stanford football history.

Stanford's 2007-season upset of No. 2 ranked USC -- now recognized as one of the greatest college football upsets of all time -- cemented the date October 6 as the most hallowed date on the Stanford Football calendar.

In the last 40 years, not only has Stanford won each time it has played a football game on October 6, the nature of each Cardinal win on that date has been truly remarkable. Here is a summary of each of these remarkable, memorable October games:

October 6, 1973: Stanford 24, Illinois 0. Champaign, Ill.
Why remarkable? It was Stanford's last nonconference road shutout win. Since 1973, 35 Stanford football seasons have gone by -- and counting -- without a Stanford team equaling that rare nonconference road game achievement.

October 6, 1979: Stanford 27, UCLA 26. Stanford, Calif.
Why remarkable? Ken Naber kicks a 56-yard field goal on the last play to win the game for Stanford. The ball hit the left upright as it went through the goalposts, clearing the crossbar by just three feet. Two Stanford freshmen are key on the pressure play; the snapper was Mike Teeuws, and the holder was John Elway.

October 6, 1984. Stanford 20, UCLA 17. Pasadena, Calif.
Why remarkable? Little-used backup quarterback Fred Buckley, subbing for injured starter John Paye, leads Stanford to an upset win at the Rose Bowl over a heavily-favored UCLA team that would finish 9-3. A win in southern California is always a prize, and was fairly rare in that decade of Stanford football.

October 6, 1990. Stanford 36, Notre Dame 31. South Bend, Ind.
Why remarkable? Four rushing touchdowns by running back Tommy Vardell leads the Cardinal over the nation's No. 1 ranked team at Notre Dame Stadium. 'Touchdown Tommy' becomes a well-known moniker, not only on the Stanford campus but throughout the college football world.

October 6, 2007. Stanford 24, USC 23. Los Angeles, Calif.
Why remarkable? It was USC, it was Los Angeles Coliseum, and it was as David versus Goliath as any Stanford-USC matchup has ever been. Prognosticators had been predicting a 40-point Stanford defeat. The game-winning, final-minute, Tavita Pritchard-to-Mark Bradford touchdown pass has been replayed thousands of times on television, and the game earns a prominent spot in the list of all-time upsets -- in any sport.

This amazing list of games comprises every Stanford football game played on October 6 during the past four decades. In other words, the Cardinal not only wins every time it plays a football game on October 6, it wins the game in historic fashion.

Truly, five-for-five for the archives!

Where will you be on Saturday October 6, 2012?

© 2009 John F. Platz. All rights reserved.

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