The Cal-Stanford Big Game 2009 wasn’t expected to look like this. Most thought that the Cal-Stanford Big Game 2009 would have Rose Bowl implications for Cal, instead of the other way around. This year, the Cal-Stanford Big Game has the Cardinal as the hot team of the moment, as they have risen from nowhere to pose a threat in the Pac-10. Stanford could be due for a letdown after throttling Oregon and USC, but they will be ready to keep it up against their arch-rivals tonight.
The 2009 version of the Cal-Stanford Big Game has its highest stakes in a long time. Both the Golden Bears and the Cardinal are winning teams now, which almost never happens anymore. Cal’s success was expected, although they are nowhere near the top 10 team they were in the preseason. However, the Stanford Cardinal are the new flavor of the month coming into the Big Game.
Stanford has come a long way under coach Jim Harbaugh, whose stock has gone up after defeating Oregon, and destroying USC in two straight weeks. The Cardinal have gone from doormat to Pac-10 contender in just a few years, as they still have hopes to win the conference and go to the Rose Bowl. But even if they win the Big Game over Cal, Stanford still needs help.
During the Cal-Stanford Big Game 2009, both teams will be scoreboard watching. The Pac-10’s other major showdown of the night pits Oregon against Arizona in Tucson. If the Ducks win, they remain in the driver’s seat for the conference crown, no matter what else happens. Stanford holds the tiebreaker over Oregon, so they will be pulling for a Wildcats’ victory – though it means nothing if they don’t take care of business.
The Golden Bears have lost their Rose Bowl hopes, as they once again failed to live up to a high preseason ranking. What’s more, their best player, Jahvid Best, is out after suffering a hard concussion two weeks ago. Still, Cal comes into the Big Game with a 7-3 record of their own, and a No. 25 ranking. It would make their season to ruin Stanford’s newfound Rose Bowl dreams, and improve their own bowl standing as well.
More often than not recently, at least one of these schools are on hard times heading into the Big Game. But this year, both Cal and Stanford have a lot on the line other than bragging rights. If Harbaugh can complete this dream season, however, bigger schools will seek to lure him from Palo Alto before the celebrations die down.
Before that problem comes, however, the Cardinal have a golden chance ahead of them. They can win the Big Game over Cal to keep their Rose Bowl hopes alive, then finish off Notre Dame’s most recent downfall next week. But first, the Cal-Stanford Big Game 2009 approaches at 7:30 p.m est, 4:30 Pacific, in Stanford tonight.
San Jose Mercury News- “Big Game actually big”
Gather.com- “Cal-Stanford Big Game 2009: Cardinal Can Smell the Roses”