Pac-10 Road Trip Blog: Stanford: We don't need no stinkin' media

As KVAL Sports arrived in Palo Alto for Stanford practice on our Pac-10 tour, we had already been informed we (and any other media) weren't welcome to watch practice.

Want to see Andrew Luck throw a pass? Sorry, not here.

Look at possible replacements for the departed Toby Gerhart? Nope, forget it.

So what's the deal? Does Jim Harbaugh's offense have some top-secret weapon the Cardinal doesn't want the world seeing?

"There's really no benefit for us to let the media watch," Harbaugh told a local reporter covering the Cardinal. "We don't need any extra exposure."

That may be true, now that Stanford has no viable Heisman trophy candidate. Toby Gerhart, and his 1,871 rushing yards from 2009, is gone. Andrew Luck is a sophomore that has shown he can keep the Cardinal in the game, if nothing more. In fact, we had NO Luck at Stanford, as Harbaugh refused to let us talk to the quarterback who will be backed up by the likes of redshirt freshmen Josh Nunes and Robbie Picazo.

Seven starters return on defense, including Thomas Keiser, who had nine sacks a year ago. "We feel the defense didn't hold up our end of the bargain last season," says Keiser, "and we're going to change that this year."

Leading tackler Bo McNally is gone off a defense that gave up 26.5 points per game, and only got to the quarterback 21 times. But, the Cardinal opens with Sacramento State at home, travels to UCLA, and hosts Wake Forest before heading to Notre Dame. That will set up the October 2nd game at Autzen against the Ducks.

"We had good success against those teams last season," says Harbaugh, referring to USC and Oregon, "but we're focused on the future, specifically this afternoon's practice."

The Cardinal open the season Sept. 4. Then, we'll see what top-secret plans have been in the works in Palo Alto.