Let's take a look ahead and rank the top 25 players who will return next season in the Pac-12.
2016 ScheduleAll times ET
The Cardinal won't sign more than 15 players on national signing day, but they have eight ranked in the ESPN 300 and will be one of David Shaw's best.
2017 Football Class Rankings
National signing day is rapidly approaching, and the combination of multiple commitments along with the release of the final ESPN 300 player rankings has spurred changes throughout the class rankings. Ranks 11-20 (Insider)
The Cardinal have two of nation's best
Stanford has two players make the final #CFBrank top 50. Christian McCaffrey (RB) comes in at No. 36, while Solomon Thomas (DE) is No. 45. Final #CFBrank
Kyle Bonagura ESPN Staff Writer
Here is Stanford's schedule in 2017: TBD vs Rice (will be first game); Sept. 9 at USC; Sept 16 at San Diego State; Sept. 23 vs UCLA; Sept. 30 vs Arizona State; Oct. 7 at Utah; Oct. 14 vs Oregon; Oct. 26 at Oregon State; Nov. 4 at Washington State; Nov. 10 vs Washington; Nov. 18 vs California; Nov. 25 vs Notre Dame
Filling the void left by Christian McCaffrey's departure will fall to Bryce Love at Stanford; he's not the only Pac-12 player with big shoes to fill.
Oregon and Washington State should feel good about their returning players, but the same can't be said for Stanford after it lost Christian McCaffrey.
Stanford's small but high-quality 2017 class gained its first defensive lineman Sunday with the addition of Dalyn Wade-Perry. Here's how the 6-foot-3, 335-pound ESPN 300 DT fits into the mix:What he brings: Wade-Perry is a big body with very good playing strength and good first-step.
From Deshaun Watson to Jonathan Allen to Dalvin Cook, it was a bowl season filled with spectacular performances. Here are the best of the best.
Thomas shoots up Kiper's Big Board
Stanford's Solomon Thomas has shot up Mel Kiper's Big Board into the top 10 as the 6-foot-3, 270-pound defensive end has sought after speed and versatility as a pass rusher. Big Board (Insider)
Cardinal leap to No. 12 in final rankings
Stanford improves by five spots following its Sun Bowl victory. The season featured a great start and a great finish. Now, about that troublesome midsection. Power Rankings
Just six Pac-12 teams made bowl games, but the conference still produced several outstanding postseason performances. Here's our Pac-12 All-Bowl team.
With Solomon Thomas entering the 2017 NFL draft, the Cardinal once again will need some help, including a new leader, on its defensive line.
Will USC enjoy a Rose Bowl boost heading into 2017? With QB Sam Darnold returning, the Trojans appear to be the team to beat in the Pac-12.
Alabama loses the bulk of its menacing defense, but there's plenty of talent waiting in the wings. Expect Florida State to return to the ACC summit, but Michigan might slide in the Big Ten.
Final AP Poll: Stanford finishes at No. 12
The Cardinal (10-3) managed to beat UNC 25-23 in the Sun Bowl even without Christian McCaffrey. Five Pac-12 teams make the final ranking. Final AP Poll
One reason for optimism for the teams in Mark Schlabach's Way-Too-Early Top 25 is the talent on the way in 2017. Here's a look at how next season's best teams are faring in recruiting.
After an extraordinary Rose Bowl performance, USC quarterback Sam Darnold is a front-runner for the Heisman in 2017.
The Rose Bowl, featuring USC vs. Penn State, was a high-drama, high-scoring affair that rates among the best of the season.
Stanford's small but high-quality 2017 class gained another big piece with the addition of offensive tackle Foster Sarell, a top 15-national prospect.
Jeffrey Okudah, the nation's top-ranked safety, announced his commitment to Ohio State at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.