Big Game Week in the South Bay


A 119-year-old tradition continues this week as Cal and Stanford’s football teams face off in the annual Big Game. The two teams will play for The Axe, awarded as the trophy of the game since 1933 (and exchanged between the schools by more nefarious means since 1899).

For Cal fans and alums like me, this is not the most promising year. Stanford has only lost once so far this year and is ranked in the top 10 nationally. Their quarterback, Andrew Luck, is a contender for the Heisman trophy. And they will be looking to recover strongly from their defeat by Oregon last week. Cal on the other hand has achieved a bowl-qualifying 6-4 record so far this year, but hasn’t shown any evidence of being able to punch above its weight when facing the strongest teams.

However, this is the Big Game, where anything can happen. The band may get into the play. The fans may get into the play. “The most amazing, sensational, dramatic, heartrending, exciting, thrilling” things can happen in the Big Game.

Of course, beyond football there are other sports options. Water polo’s Big Splash (at Stanford’s Avery Aquatic Center, Saturday at 5:15 pm) features two top-10-ranked teams, with Stanford at #4 and Cal at #3. This year’s Big Spike isn’t being held during Big Game week, but next Wednesday’s game (7 pm, at Stanford) is another strong match-up between Cal’s #4 and Stanford’s #5-ranked volleyball squads.

I’ll be hoping for “anything” to happen at Stanford Stadium on Saturday, and also rooting for Cal’s water polo and volleyball teams as they represent the Blue and Gold against Stanford in the next week.

  • What: Cal-Stanford Big Game
  • When: Saturday, November 19, 7:15 pm
  • Where: Stanford Stadium or televised on ESPN
  • How Much: If you have to ask…

Photo: ©HairOfTheBear, CC-BY-NC-ND

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