Stanford Upset Makes "Big Game" a Big Game

By Joe Kukura
|  Monday, Nov 16, 2009  |  Updated 5:15 PM PDT
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Stanford Upset Makes "Big Game" a Big Game

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Cal and Stanford meet again this weekend for the Big Game.

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Don't look now, Cal and Stanford fans. But for the first time in forever, the Big Game is actually a big game.

This weekend's delightful shocker of a 55-21 Stanford win over USC puts both teams in the BCS Top 25. The Cardinal are ranked No. 14, the Golden Bears No. 25. This will be the first time in the history of the BCS that Cal and Stanford have both been ranked in the top 25 going into the Big Game.

Sorry, Cal fans, but that USC upset was too a delightful shocker. Because it is always delightful to see Pete Carroll's USC team lose, especially when Carroll himself is reduced to a crybaby.

"What's your deal?" Carroll reportedly snapped at Stanford coach Jim Harbaugh in their "friendly" postgame handshake, according to Ray Ratto of the San Francisco Chronicle.

"What's your deal?," Harbaugh reportedly responded. And people say that it's the marching bands who behave immaturely.

For Stanford, there are actual roses on the line here. Both the Cardinal and Bears are 7-3 overall, but Stanford has the better PAC-10 record. A Stanford win combined with an Oregon loss would give the Cardinal their first Rose Bowl invitation since 2000. 

And that's a scenario the Cal Golden Bears would just love to ruin. The Bears have won six of the last seven Big Games, but their leading running back Jahvid Best is sidelined with a concussion.

The prank-happy Stanford Marching Band seems up to the challenge. In Saturday's USC game, their halftime show was a literally an onfield tribute to the "Girls Gone Wild" video series.

And for the first time in nearly a decade, the winning teams' fans will have a legitimate reason to go wild, too.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who has no idea who's putting the Kool-Aid and the soap bubbles in the fountains.

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