As far as I'm concerned, it's a three-game season.

The players and coaches can't think like that, of course. But we can, and Stanford will pound into submission its next two opponents, lowly Washington State and lowlier Colorado -- the two worst teams in the Pac-12, by far.

The next game Stanford could lose is Nov. 10, which starts a tough three-game stretch run against Oregon State, Oregon and UCLA.

So while Stanford is officially 5-2/3-1, only a monumental upset -- a Stanford-over-USC upset (and how often do those happen?) -- will prevent the Cardinal from being 7-2/5-1 when things get back to being interesting.

  • Result: Beat Cal 21-3

  • Grade: A

  • Comment: The game had an odd feel: Dominant as Stanford was, I couldn't help but think Cal was one play away from making it quite interesting.

    The Cardinal had the ball for 37 minutes, rushed for 252 yards, outgained the Bears 475-217, and yet the scoreboard wasn't nearly as lopsided as the play on the field.

  • Two missed field goals by Stanford (from 40 and 34 yards) had something to do with that.

    For those scoring at home, place-kicker Jordan Williamson is now 9 of 16 this season -- and only 7 of 11 inside 40 yards.

    After the game, coach David Shaw gave Williamson a vote of confidence and repeated what he has said all season when asked about Williamson's oft-errant FGs: It's not a matter of talent; it's a matter of consistency.

    So it seems there will be no change at place-kicker.

  • Outside linebacker Chase Thomas has ramped up his production the past two weeks.

    Thomas draws loads of attention from blockers and is asked to do more than his counterpart on the other side, Trent Murphy. But given the expectations entering the season, Thomas was fairly quiet until last week.

    He was very good at Notre Dame and even better at Cal with four tackles-for-loss, one sack, fumble forced, fumble recovered, pass break up.

    The performance earned him Pac-12 defensive player of the week honors.

  • Shaw also said Stanford will make greater use of option QB Kevin Hogan, who had a nifty touchdown pass against Cal (to Levine Toilolo).

    The "Hogan package" has been in the playbook for years (by other names). Stanford used it with Tavita Pritchard and Alex Loukas and even with Andrew Luck in 2010 (it was shelved last season).

  • The receivers had one of their most productive games, with Drew Terrell and Jamal-Rashad Patterson combining for five catches for 64 yards.

    (Ty Montgomery is due back this week, Shaw said.)

    Terrell continues to be a first-class punt returner.

  • Tailback Stepfan Taylor needs 418 yards to break Darrin Nelson's school rushing record of 4,033 yards.

    At his current pace of 121 ypg, Taylor would pass Nelson on Nov. 17 in Eugene.

    Of course, that assumes he doesn't get all 418 the next two weeks.

  • Next up: vs. Washington State

  • The matchup: Stanford opened as a 21-point favorite, which should give you some idea of the expectations.

  • My reaction: Only 21?

    Here's what the Cougars have going for them: They're coming off a bye.

    Here's what the Cardinal has going for it: Everything else.

  • WSU is last in the league in rushing and 11th in run defense -- that combination spells doom against Stanford.

    I know, I know: Mike Leach's system doesn't rely on the running game. Fine. The Cougars don't throw it well, either -- they're 10th in the league in passing efficiency.

    Make it 45-10 and wake me on Nov. 10.