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Dominating Cal: Stanford's Most Convincing Big Game Wins

You may have seen CalBear81's FanPost about Cal's top 10 Big Game upsets. With the stage set for another potential upset Saturday (don't count on it), I present 10 of Stanford's most dominating Big Game wins. Positive thinking, see? I tried not to include upsets, such as Stanford's 20-0 win in 1968. The Cardinal was favored in most, if not all, of these games, just as it is Saturday. Let's hope for a similar result.

1897: Stanford 28, Cal 0

After blanking the Bears 20-0 in '96, Stanford recorded the first back-to-back shutouts in Big Game history behind Steuart Cotton's three touchdowns. Forrest Fisher and Jack Daly also scored for Stanford at San Francisco's Recreation Park, making a winner of head coach George Brooke in his first Big Game.

1926: Stanford 41, Cal 6

Led by head coach Glenn "Pop" Warner and All-American Ted Shipkey, Stanford dominated the Bears before a record crowd of 82,000. Stanford scored two touchdowns in each of the first two quarters, including a 55-yard TD run by Dick Hyland on the Cardinal's first play from scrimmage, and led 27-6 at halftime. Senior captain Fred Swan returned an interception for his first career touchdown in the fourth quarter. The Indians finished the conference season 4-0, while the Golden Bears lost all five of their conference games. Warner made frequent substitutions in the second and third quarters, or the victory would have been even more resounding. From the AP's game story:

"Thirty-three years of effort reached a climax for Stanford when the big Cardinal eleven was led out of the woods of uncertainty into the Pacific Coast Conference championship by Glenn Warner, the veteran coach."

1930: Stanford 41, Cal 0

The shutout surpassed Cal's 38-0 triumph in 1920 as the most lopsided win in the series' history. Harlow Rothert ran for three second-half touchdowns and a 22-point third quarter turned what had been a 6-0 halftime lead into a laugher. Stanford improved to 8-1-1 with the win over the underdog Golden Bears, who fell to 4-5. From the AP: "Eighty-thousand fans thrilled to the new-found power of the veteran Coach Glenn Warner's 1930 football machine, a power that developed in the second half and steam-rolled the game."

1942: Stanford 26, Cal 7

Stanford rebounded from a slow start to the season under first-year head coach Marchie Schwartz and entered the Big Game with a 5-4 record. Cal was 4-5. From the AP: "Some 45,000 fans, smallest 'big game' crowd in recent years, saw Stanford's famed T formation function as it did two years ago when the Indians charged to the title and the Rose Bowl nomination." As Warner had more than a decade earlier, Schwartz took pity on the poor Bears and substituted third-stringers into the game in the second half. Perhaps Jim Harbaugh will ask himself Saturday, "What would Marchie Schwartz do?"

1955: Stanford 19, Cal 0

The Indians ended a nine-game losing streak in Big Game with a shutout of the hapless Bears, who had won two games all season. Stanford scored touchdowns in the first, second, and third quarters and outgained Cal 207-66 on the ground. John Brodie, Gus Gustafson, Jack Douglas, and Jack Lewis combined to throw for 253 yards and a touchdown. From the AP: "Although they scored only one touchdown in the second half, the Indians outplayed the Bears by an even wider margin than they did in the first two periods."

1978: Stanford 30, Cal 10

Darrin Nelson rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns, and Stanford quarterback Steve Dils clinched the national individual passing title with 297 yards through the air in Stanford's dominating win at Memorial Stadium.

1981: Stanford 42, Cal 21

Nelson was the star yet again, scoring two touchdowns to become Stanford's all-time leading scorer. Junior John Elway threw for three touchdowns and the 42 points are the most Stanford has scored in a Big Game.

1987: Stanford 31, Cal 7

Brad Muster rushed for 90 yards and caught seven passes for 56 yards to help cap a disappointing season on a high note. "I wish we could start the season all over again right now," said Muster, who was a Heisman candidate before he injured his ankle and missed Stanford's first five games. The Cardinal finished the year 5-6, while the Bears fell to 3-6-1 heading into their season finale against Washington State.

1996: Stanford 42, Cal 21

After Stanford walloped the Bears, Cal fans took out their frustration on the Tree, junior Chris Cary. "I guess in Los Angeles, you'd call it a riot," Cary said. "They tore me limb from limb." The Cardinal led 27-7 at halftime and cruised to its fourth straight win to finish the season 6-5 and 5-3 in conference.

"You can beat up our Tree as much as you want--as long as we win the footbal game," Stanford defensive end Kailee Wong said afterward.

Stanford quarterback Chad Hutchinson threw for three touchdowns and the Cardinal earned a berth in the Sun Bowl, where it would shut out Michigan State.

1999: Stanford 31, Cal 13

Stanford clinched its first Rose Bowl berth since 1972 with a convincing win at home. Casey Moore ran for two touchdowns, including a 94-yard dash in the fourth quarter, and the Cardinal limited Cal to 130 yards of total offense and three first downs through three quarters. Deltha O'Neal's two return touchdowns helped save Cal some face.