|First meeting||October 11, 1900
Stanford 35, San Jose State 0
|Latest meeting||September 7, 2013
Stanford 34, San Jose State 13
|All-time series||Stanford leads, 52–14–1 (.784)|
|Largest victory||Stanford, 54–0 (1953) and 57–3 (2011)|
|Longest win streak||Stanford, 11 (1900–53)|
|Current win streak||Stanford, 6 (2007–present)|
The Bill Walsh Legacy Game (formerly known as the San Jose State–Stanford football rivalry) is a college football rivalry between the San Jose State Spartans football team of San Jose State University and the Stanford Cardinal football team of Stanford University. The rivalry is currently on a hiatus due to scheduling conflicts in their respective non-conference schedules. Since 1900, both institutions played against each other in non-conference play. San José State and Stanford have never played in the same conference, as both universities had different values that resulted in different outcomes.
The regional rivalry began due to both universities being located approximately 23 miles between each other on the Interstate 280 and founded in the 19th century. Although San José State and Stanford are known for their respective workforce productivity in Silicon Valley, both had different goals ever since their own establishment. For example, Stanford primarily focuses on research, whereas San José State mainly emphasizes teaching. In consequence, Stanford joined the Pacific Coast Conference – which became the Pac-12 Conference – whereas San José State joined the California Coast Conference then fought their way to become a member in the Mountain West Conference. The rivalry was dedicated to Bill Walsh during the 2007 NCAA Division I FBS football season, who was a San José State alumnus and former coach for Stanford Cardinal football, by renaming the rivalry to the Bill Walsh Legacy Game.
The rivalry is currently in Stanford's favor with a 52–14–1 record, where 63 of the 67 meetings were played in Stanford, California. This rivalry is significant to both teams due to its history, influence in the Silicon Valley, and truly dissimilar cultures at both institutions.
The series between the two schools officially became known as the Bill Walsh Legacy Game in 2007 after the death of Walsh, who played college football at San Jose State and was a head coach at Stanford and has been on hiatus since 2013.
The series between San Jose State and Stanford began in 1900 with a home-and-home series between the two schools in the same season. Stanford won both games, 35–0 on October 11, 1900 in San Jose and 24–0 on October 24, 1900 at Stanford.
On November 13, 1954, San Jose State defeated Stanford for the first time, with a 19–14 score.
Throughout the over-100-year history of the series, most games in this series have been played at Stanford. Since Spartan Stadium at San Jose State opened in 1933, only the 1995, 2001, and 2006 games have been played there.
Stanford's longest winning streak in this series is 11, beginning in 1900 and ending in 1953. This win streak covered the first 11 games in the series. San Jose State's longest winning streak is three, achieved from 1981 to 1983 and again from 1998 to 2000.
The games from 1979 to 1982 pitted Stanford star quarterback John Elway against his father, Jack Elway, who served as the SJSU head football coach from 1979 to 1983. The two teams split the series 2–2, with the younger Elway defeating his father's team in 1979 and 1980, and the elder Jack Elway defeating his son's team in 1981 and 1982.
On July 23, 2014, at the Mountain West Conference football media days event, San Jose State coach Ron Caragher revealed that the two schools are having "initial conversations about resuming their football series by moving to a neutral site at the new Levi's Stadium." San Jose State athletic director Gene Bleymaier later stated: "Even if we have to look out to 2020 and beyond, I'd like to get a long-term agreement in place with Stanford." San Jose State is booked for 2015, and Stanford is booked for 2016.
Stanford designated its August 30, 2014 season opener against UC Davis as the "Bill Walsh Legacy Game"
|San José State||Stanford|
|Most total points in a game||92|
|Most points in a win||44||68|
|Most points in a loss||38||39|
|Fewest total points in a game||18|
|Largest margin of victory||0||54|
|Smallest margin of victory†||35||34|
|Total points scored in series||1,119||2,226|
|Shut-outs of opposing team||0||9|
† – The game with the smallest margin of victory shown is the most recent, which is 35–34 in San José State's favor during the 2006 NCAA Division I FBS football season.
|San Jose State victories||Stanford victories||Tie games|
- "Rivalry Finder: Stanford versus San Jose State". sports-reference.com/cfb. Retrieved June 13, 2014.
- Smith, Michelle (September 12, 2007). "Walsh's legacy all over this game". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- Durkin, Jimmy (September 4, 2013). "Stanford, San Jose State football series coming to an end". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- Kroichick, Ron (September 5, 2013). "Shaw fires back on imminent end of Stanford-San Jose State series". Stanford Sports. SFGate.com. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- Wilner, Jon (September 12, 2013). "Stanford and San Jose State: The end of the Bill Walsh Legacy Game series (at least for now)". College Hotline. MercuryNews.com. Retrieved June 1, 2014.
- Durkin, Jimmy (July 24, 2014). "Stanford, SJSU game might move to Levi's Stadium". San Jose Mercury News.
- Durkin, Jimmy (August 23, 2014). "San Jose State football: Bleymaier says school adjusting to NCAA changes". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved August 23, 2014.
- "San Jose State Spartans vs. Stanford Cardinal football series history". Winsipedia. Retrieved 27 January 2018.
- "Games of the Bill Walsh Legacy Game". Winsipedia. Retrieved 27 January 2018.