Important things to note before the 116th Big Game

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

This should be fun...

If you look around, and if you look hard, you can still find them.

The red shirts say, "I believe in Stanford football."

The people wearing these shirts are somewhere in their mid-20s, and they've probably been wearing them to Stanford gamedays ever since they endured Walt Harris' 1-11 football team in 2006.

The point is that it wasn't too long ago that Cal was (basically) the toast of the West Coast and Stanford should have considered dropping down to the FCS level.

But now, these roles have been reversed. And Stanford should win Big Game on Saturday, and it should win quite easily. It should be quick and graphic. The starters should not play the entire game, and under David Shaw we know they won't.

Why? Well, Cal is in the middle of its darkest year since going 1-10 in 2001 (the season that got Tom Holmoe fired and Jeff Tedford hired). And the numbers don't really lie:

- Cal is 123rd in the nation in scoring defense, ahead of only Idaho and New Mexico State (44.4 points allowed per game).

- Cal is 114th in sacks allowed. (31 total.)

- Cal is 90th in the country in rushing defense, allowing 188 yards per game to opponents. (New Mexico State is last, giving up 312 rushing yards a game. How is that even possible? Are they playing Oregon every other week?)

- Cal is 123rd in opponents' punt returns, allowing 20+ yards per return.

Other important things to note:

- Cal hasn't been to a Rose Bowl since 1959.

- Cal hasn't won a Rose Bowl since 1938.

So enjoy Saturday. Drink in the bitterness and resentment of the Golden Bear faithful. Because it's not likely that we'll see a Cal team this bad matched up against a Stanford team this good for quite some time. It's not likely that you'll have this much ammo to use against those Cal fans that you work with or are related to for quite some time.

Because you can't forget that what's happening to Cal this season can happen to Stanford, too.

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