David Shaw and Stanford endured a 2021 season which was almost as miserable as USC's season under Clay Helton and Donte Williams. The Cardinal were crushed by injuries, so it's not as though their program suffered because of mismanagement. (That was USC's story.) Nevertheless, Stanford cratered late in the season and didn't even make a bowl game. It was one of the most depressing and empty seasons Shaw has seen in his distinguished career.
If a coach who has succeeded handsomely goes through a rough year, it's notable what he says when preparing for the next season. Some coaches, when coming off a bad year, will be humble and quiet and will downplay expectations. Other coaches will express total confidence in their ability to fight back and silence the doubters.
You can put David Shaw in the latter camp.
Pac-12 columnist and talk-show host John Canzano, on the premiere of the Canzano And Wilner podcast, picked up a quote from Shaw.
"We're a tiger lying in the weeds," Shaw said.
The Stanford coach is clearly feisty. He wouldn't be feisty if he didn't firmly believe in his team.
Stanford plays a cupcake game against Colgate to start its season on Sept. 3. Then comes the Cardinal's first big game of 2022: versus USC on Sept. 10.
You know David Shaw thinks he can beat USC and Lincoln Riley.
The Trojans have to watch for that tiger, lying in the weeds, on The Farm in Palo Alto.
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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire