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Cal major underdogs to Cardinal

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POSTED November 22, 2013 10:37 p.m.

STANFORD (AP) — Weird things have happened in the Stanford-California rivalry before. There’s no greater proof of that than The Play.

For Cal to beat Stanford this year, though, it might take something as equally wild as that memorable five-lateral kickoff return that gave the Golden Bears a victory in the 1982 Big Game.

Cal (1-10, 0-8 Pac-12) has lost nine straight entering today’s game at No. 10 Stanford (8-2, 6-2) and is facing what is believed to be the largest odds in the 116th meeting of the Bay Area schools. The Bears, who have dropped 13 straight conference games and are the only team winless in Pac-12 play this season, are 31½-point underdogs.

“Way crazier things have happened,” Cal fifth-year senior receiver Jackson Bouza said.

That’s the message the Bears are bringing across San Francisco Bay this week. That might be the only message left to bring at the end of a miserable debut for coach Sonny Dykes in Berkeley.

The fight for The Stanford Axe seems to be as much of a mismatch as Las Vegas bookmakers believe.

The Bears’ only win this season came against Portland State of the lower-tier Football Championship Subdivision. The Cardinal have won 14 straight at home.

The Bears are terrible at running the ball and even worse at stopping the run. The Cardinal pride themselves on stopping the run and are among the country’s best rushing teams.

The Bears are last in the Pac-12 at protecting the quarterback. The Cardinal are one of the best at sacking the quarterback.

The Bears have nothing to play for but pride. The Cardinal, who are coming off a loss at Southern California, need to beat Cal and hope Oregon loses one of its final two games to Arizona or Oregon State to represent the Pac-12 North in the conference championship game.

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