Everyone's favorite ESPN blogger Ted Miller thinks Stanford will narrowly win this weekend's game. Click here to watch his video preview. Not everyone else is convinced the game will be so close, however.
Stanford 30, California 27: Cal's defense awoke last week against Arizona, and the Bears have been mostly good against the run this year. So Toby Gerhart can't win back " The Axe" on his own. It's going to take a good day from Cardinal quarterback Andrew Luck, and there's no reason to believe he won't produce it playing at home.
All four CBS experts predict a Stanford victory in this week's "game of the week." They don't think it will be close either, as the average margin of victory in their picks is just over 12 points.
After the jump I have several articles on Best's first meeting with the press since his concussion, including a transcript of the press conference, some classic Harbaugh-isms from Monday's Big Game press conference, a quick recap and analysis of tonight's basketball game against Syracuse, a look ahead to a big weekend in Cal sports, and more.
- Best spoke to the media for the first time since his fall. He says his goal is to return for the Washington game. Like he said earlier, his concussion symptoms have subsided and it is his back that will determine how soon he will return. Best saw replay of his fall twice and said "it doesn't look that bad to me." He is very thankful, however, that he was not injured more severely. He has no regrets about the play and says "If it ever happened again, I'd still jump over the corner." He says the concussion has had no impact on his decision on whether or not he'll leave for the NFL after this year. He says he more focused on rehab and the remaining three games on Cal's schedule (including the bowl game). Ted Miller has a transcript of his comments. JO has a more complete transcript.
- Ted Miller on how the Big Game lives up to its name this season.
- This is the most complete transcript I've come across of Harbaugh's comments from Monday's press conference. The guy is a hoot. He said he once spent an hour watching a guy direct traffic because he was directing traffic very well. Harby likes "watching people do something really well to the best of their God-given ability." He goes on to talk about hubris, blue collar work, and carpenters.
- Andrew Luck has only been sacked six times this season. With protection like that, he has time to big plays downfield. In fact, he is even a running threat, as his 288 rushing yards on 51 carries are second on the team.
- Farudo's game thread is a decent recap of what went wrong against Syracuse this evening.
- ESPN recaps the game. Syracuse's zone defense and big men were too much for the Bears, who were already without Kamp and Theo.
- Graduation rates are at an all-time high for Cal's student-athletes. The university-wide graduation success rate is 80%, while women's golf and women's gymnastics have perfect 100% graduation rates. Six others are above 85%: volleyball (92%), women's swimming (96%), lacrosse (91%), women's crew (94%), women's basketball (92%), and men's gymnastics (85%).
- No. 11/17 women's basketball hosts the no. 9/8 Baylor Bears Sunday at 2pm. It will be televised on FSN.
- No. 11 women's volleyball heads to Arizona to take on the Sun Devils and the no. 19 Wildcats this weekend.
- Just prior to the Big Game (2pm), no. 2 men's water polo will battle no. 3 Stanford in the Big Splash.