CHRIS DUFRESNE / COLLEGE FOOTBALL MAILBAG

Cardinal's sinful loss bad news for Pac-12, USC title hopes

Chris Dufresne takes time out (he gets three per half) each Friday during the season to answer questions on college football. This week's topics: Stanford's big hangover, belittling the Big Ten and the usual other 'brilliant' stuff.

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Unbuckling the mailbag:

Question: USC hangover? As a Stanford fan, this is painful but familiar.

Alicia Dingsdale

Answer: You're not kidding. Stanford looked like it spent its bye week after USC wasting away again in Margaritaville.

Blew out my flip-flop, stepped on a pop-top, cut my heel, had to cruise on back home (to Palo Alto).

Stanford played like it was sleeping off four double shots of Walt Harris with a Buddy Teevens chaser.

The 17-13 loss at Washington takes Stanford football back to the discombobulated, pre-Jim Harbaugh days. Stanford was besieged by dropped passes, delay-of-game penalties and unimaginative play-calling.

Washington stacked the box all night with eight defenders and not once did the campus of "outside the box" consider a misdirection play?

Stanford still had a chance to win until an offside penalty allowed Washington to run out the clock.

We should all appreciate now the true greatness of Andrew Luck. Any chance they could give him this year's Heisman Trophy?

The defeat did not bode well for the Pac-12 or for USC, which was hoping a strong Stanford showing could help mitigate the Trojans' Sept. 15 defeat.

Instead, USC just became "Wait a minute: You lost to the team that lost to the team that lost to LSU by 38?"

Good luck climbing back from that.

Maybe the Washington game was an aberration, but it's frightening to think of Stanford taking Thursday night's outfit into Notre Dame on Oct. 13.

Q: If you want to disparage the BIG (Ten) for its lackluster season so far, that's fine. However, the Rust Belt comment is uncalled for. Would you call the South the Redneck or Hillbilly Belt?

Pamela Mason

Lawrenceville, N.J.

(The Ohio State University, Class of '76)

A: I actually refer to people from Florida as living in the "Sansabelt." And anyone with a hunting license from Arkansas, situated in the general area between Fayetteville and Little Rock, I refer to as "Living Inside the Pelt Way."

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