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An (Almost Completely) Unbiased Guide to Tomorrow's Big Game

Scott Lucas | November 21, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

When the Stanford Cardinals (5-5, 3-4 in the Pac 12) head up to Kabam Field to take on the California Golden Bears (5-5, 4-3 in the Pac 12) in tomorrow’s big game, the contest will likely be closer than would have been expected at the beginning on the season. It's a tale of opposites: Cal has put together a reasonable record after a disastrous 1-11 season last year, and the Cardinals have been in free fall. Though the Trees have taken the Axe for four straight years, the team is only favored by a touchdown going into the 117th Big Game. Here’s an explanation of what you’ll overhear at tomorrow’s game.

“Can you believe both teams are playing for a Bowl Game?”: Stanford, which lost to Michigan State in the Rose Bowl last year, has gone to bowl games in five of their last six seasons. This year hasn't gone so well for them, but they could still make a post-season appearance with a win. Same for the Bears, who, with a win in either of their two next games, are likely to be eligible for their first appearance since their 2011 loss in the Holiday Bowl. That's a surprise because...

“Sonny Dykes really pulled himself together this year”: The Texan transplant in his second year as Cal’s head coach has rebounded immensely from a disastrous record last year. But if Cal falls tomorrow—and to BYU in the season closer next week—expect Dykes to become the most hated Texan in Berkeley since Dubya. If Dykes can engineer a win, on the other hand, he’ll be the most popular Texan in Berkeley since, well, ever. It all depends on the question...

“Will Stanford’s offense show up?”: Despite looking like a total goober in the promo shots plastered around the Bay Area, Cal’s sophomore QB Jared Goff has captained a strong offense, passing for 3,398 yards, 30 TDs and four interceptions this season. Goff is one touchdown away from a tie with the school record for touchdowns, held by Pat Barnes in 1996. On the other hand, Stanford’s offense is one of the paltriest in the conference, with an average of just 23.9 points per game. They’ll probably score more than that tomorrow, though, because...

“Cal’s defense is a worse joke than the Stanford Band”: The Bears don’t just rank near the bottom of the Pac-12 in sacks and passing yards allowed—they rank near the bottom of the five top conferences combined. Against a Stanford offensive line that is bigger, stronger, and (we’re guessing) just plain meaner, the Bears will be forced to all but give up on pass defense and focus on stopping Stanford’s run plays. By contrast, Stanford’s defense, unlike their band, is one of the best in the country. We're making jokes about the Stanford band here, because it's important to keep the rivalry up, despite the fact that...

“The Daily Cal says that students don’t care about the Big Game” A column in the student newspaper claimed that neither school gives a shit about sports. At least the Stanford Daily knows how to keep up the rivalry. Speaking of which...

"Stanfurd Can Suck It": At least that's what we're hearing today in our decidedly Cal-leaning newsroom. Sorry Stanford, you'll have to settle for being richer, smarter, and better looking—Cal is taking back the Axe this year.

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