Jim Harbaugh and the Stanford Cardinal are off to an impressive start to their season, winning their first three games by a combined score of 155-41 and have the third-highest scoring average (51.7 points per game for those of you too lazy to do the math) in the country. The Cardinal have a good chance to start the season 4-0 as they get ready to head to South Bend to take on Notre Dame this Saturday.
Though they may be without wide receiver Ryan Whalen, who has led the team in receiving the last two years. Whalen dislocated his elbow during Saturday night's complete dismantling of Wake Forest and his coach certainly doesn't plan on telling us whether or not Whalen will play against the Irish.
"As soon as I tell you you're going to tell Notre Dame," Harbaugh said at his weekly news conference.Well Harbaugh may not want to tell Notre Dame what Whalen's status is, but nobody is forcing me to keep my mouth shut. The kid dislocated his elbow. I've never had the honor of doing that myself, but I'm guessing it's not the type of injury one can just come back from in a matter of days. He's not going to play.
Why does it matter?
"I'd want to know about the status of every player on their team, what percent they are, how many plays they are going to play. That's valuable information," Harbaugh said.
There. Now Notre Dame knows. Sorry, coach.
The truth is that even if Whalen is somehow ready to play on Saturday, there isn't that much reason to play him. Going into Notre Dame Stadium and coming away with a victory is never easy, but Stanford can -- and should -- win without Whalen. They still have Andrew Luck, and he has other targets to throw to in Doug Baldwin and Stepfan Taylor.
Giving Whalen a week off to recover is the best route to take with a trip to Autzen Stadium to face Oregon looming after Notre Dame.