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Kevin Hogan-Cody Kessler comparison highlights latest Stanford material

Kevin Hogan completed 76.3 percent of his passes in Stanford's final three games last season. Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

As kickoff creeps closer, we've reached preview season. Online publications are offering various thoughts on Stanford's 2015 prospects. This one provides an interesting angle on the team from Notre Dame's perspective (the Irish visit the Cardinal to close the regular season).

The Bootleg's R.J. Abeytia delves into the burning questions surrounding Stanford this fall. His extensive piece includes an interesting statistical comparison between Kevin Hogan and USC quarterback Cody Kessler over the final three games of last season.

Remember that after a year of struggle and inconsistency, Stanford's offensive efficiency shot through the roof during the final three games of 2014, so the quality of Hogan's play is a fascinating variable entering 2015. Along those lines, Rule of Tree contends that star receiver Ty Montgomery's graduation will actually help Hogan maintain his late-season effectiveness by encouraging him to spread the ball around to an array of targets.

Similar optimism regarding Stanford's attack has permeated the national media. While there isn't a consensus as to where the Cardinal should be ranked -- some analysts have tabbed them in their preseason top 10, while others have left them out of the top 25 entirely -- The Sports Quotient's look at the team shares optimism about Hogan, Christian McCaffrey, and the young defense while assigning a no. 24 national ranking.

Meanwhile, important football-related research continues at Stanford, where David Camarillo -- an assistant professor in bioengineering and mechanical engineering -- suggests that football helmet tests may not account for concussion-prone actions. Cardinal players have been collecting data for Camarillo's research by wearing his high tech mouthguards, which log impact information, over the past several years.

Elsewhere, Stanford continues to enjoy recruiting success in one of defensive coordinator Lance Anderson's focus areas, as Salt Lake City wide receiver prospect Simi Fehoko has committed to the Cardinal over BYU and Utah.