The Big Game never approached 'Big-dom'


The Big Game never approached 'Big-dom'

Stanfords 21-3 victory over California in the 283rd Big Game was a pretty desultory affair by any definition except maybe Stepfan Taylors.

And Cals performance was particularly pewter-gray. Its offense, spotty in the best of time, left barely a drop of ink, and was so ineffectual that the defense, which was acceptable, couldnt actually make a dent at the other end.

As a result, Jeff Tedford got another turn in the pan, because there is nothing quite like never having a chance in the Big Game to agitate the alums who influence these decisions. He wont get fired unless one of those alums ponies up a big enough package to buy his last three years out, but he continues to lose support across the board.

Thats the politics, baby, as Richard Pryor used to say.

But having a coach on the hot seat on October 20th feels as hollow as anything else connected to this new Big Game tradition. The Pacific 12 Conference moved the game to this completely alien time, and though this seems a lot like complaining about the soot after the fire has been extinguished, its still difficult to take the game, its results or its ramifications seriously.

RELATED: Stanford dominates Cal 21-3 in 115th Big Game

And there are ramifications above and beyond just Tedfords still-chimerical jeopardy. Stanford has national aspirations that dont feel like they were particularly advanced by Saturdays win. Cal didnt have a game upon which it can build for the rest of the schedule Utah, Washington and the two Oregons. The new Memorial Stadium has still not been properly blooded by a game in bad weather.

There was an artificiality about this Big Game Week, as baseball crowded it out of the attention it rightly expected. There was no proper buildup, and even the on-campus traditions seemed a bit too, well, stand-alone. The Big Game is not a campus-only event, and frankly has been powered mostly by the alums for most of its history.

Oh, the schools tried, but traditions do not take dents lightly. This was a necessity logistically, but it still ended being a failure.

The game came and went Saturday but it never even approached Big-dom. It will be little known nor long remembered. Stanford controlled the game but did not dominate. Cal held its own in the second half, but never got close to making it an argument. And the arguments about Tedfords security just fell flat, because there is too much season still to be negotiated.

2012 doesnt figure to be a great year in Berkeley (the Ursines have a decent chance to split and finish a deeply meh 5-7), but the Big Game is designed either to buoy the fan base or bury it. This does neither.

Nor does Stanford look ahead to Notre Dame and then a big-deal bowl game yet. The Cardinal already played Notre Dame, and are likely to finish either 8-4 or 9-3, with Oregon State the make-or-break game.

But the season is still going to be kind of a pffffffttt, because the big moment for both schools has already come, and gone. The Big Game may have taken one for the team the team being Larry Scott but it took more for the team than the team deserved.

Stanford crumbles to Colorado in McCaffrey's return


Stanford crumbles to Colorado in McCaffrey's return


STANFORD -- Phillip Lindsay rushed for 131 yards despite being held out most of the second half and Colorado overcame a sloppy day offensively to beat Stanford 10-5 on Saturday to become bowl eligible for the first time in a decade.

Chris Graham kicked a 23-yard field goal with 2:13 remaining after being benched following two earlier misses, propelling the Buffaloes to their first win over the Cardinal since joining the Pac-12 in 2011.

Colorado (6-2, 4-1) went into the day tied with Utah for first place in the South division and inched one step closer toward a possible berth in the conference title game despite an off day by the offense.

The Buffaloes missed three field goals and had a touchdown called back by a pass interference penalty but held the Cardinal to three points while winning for the fourth time in five games. Quarterback Sefo Liufau passed for 135 yards with one touchdown despite being sacked six times.

Stanford (4-3, 2-3) failed to score a touchdown for the first time this season despite getting running back Christian McCaffrey back in the lineup.

The Buffaloes intercepted Stanford quarterback Ryan Burns three times, twice on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter to stall the Cardinal's comeback hopes.


COLORADO: It wasn't pretty any stretch of the imagination but coach Mike MacIntyre will take the Buffaloes first win against the Cardinal since 1990. Colorado continues to control its own destiny and has a Nov. 26 showdown with Utah looming that could decide which team goes to the Pac-12 title game.

STANFORD: The Cardinal have lost three of four and are in danger of missing out on the postseason. Losing to a beefed-up Colorado team shouldn't hurt too much but this was a game Stanford needed to get back on track. Instead, it's another loss and another week of pondering what went wrong for coach David Shaw and his staff.


COLORADO: The Buffaloes host UCLA on Nov. 3 and have put up nearly 1,100 yards of offense combined in the last two meetings with the Bruins but lost both times.

STANFORD: The Cardinal play at Arizona next Saturday and have won four straight and nine of the last 11 games against the Wildcats. Arizona was idle this week and has lost four consecutive games going in while being outscored 164-89.

SDSU RB breaks two of Faulk's records in win over San Jose State


SDSU RB breaks two of Faulk's records in win over San Jose State


SAN DIEGO -- Donnel Pumphrey Jr. ran for 135 yards and two touchdowns to break two school records and San Diego State rolled to a 42-3 victory over San Jose State on Friday night.

Rashaad Penny added 105 yards and three scores, including a career-best 73-yarder to close the scoring with 1 second left in the third quarter for the Aztecs (6-1, 3-0 Mountain West).

Pumphrey, the nation's leading rusher with 1,246 yards, has 58 career rushing touchdowns and 63 touchdowns overall, breaking Marshall Faulk's school records.

Christian Chapman completed 13 of 18 passes for 167 yards and a 4-yard touchdown to David Wells to open the scoring.

The Spartans (2-6, 1-3) were limited to 203 yards while the Aztecs had 444, 277 on the ground.

San Diego State's defense has not allowed a touchdown to a conference opponent in 12 quarters and has a 14-game winning streak against MWC teams.