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Bear Raid Record Breaking: Colorado

It's that post everybody hates where we talk about good records Cal set in the past, not bad records that are being set this year! Sorry for any confusion!

Good ole Kevin Riley.
Good ole Kevin Riley.
Jed Jacobsohn

Cal's record for points scored against Colorado happens to be the most recent game we'll discuss in this feature, and I'm sure you all remember it. It was the game that unofficially welcomed Colorado to the Pac-12, and it was likely one of the bigger nails in Dan Hawkins' coffin. It was a thoroughly shocking 52-7 Cal win that looks even weirder when you consider that both teams finished the season with an identical 5-7 record.

Now it serves as one of many reminders that anything can happen in any given week in college football. Colorado fans finished the day likely fearing that they would struggle to win more than a game or two the rest of the year. Cal fans were thinking . . . well, what were we thinking back then? I'm afraid to look:

I just hope Colorado 2010 isn't Maryland 2009

By Norcalnick on Sep 11, 2010

I'm very, very nervous about Nevada, especially after they destroyed CSU. The difficult assessment the last two weeks has been the quality of opponent, so while I think Cal has played relatively well, it's hard to tell on an absolute scale.

By sec119 on sep 12, 2010

Huh. And there were plenty more comments like them. I guess we had learned by then not to overrate the value of an early blowout win over an opponent of unknown competence. Our optimism and innocence had long been extinguished. Yay for us?

But hey, even if they game wasn't a harbinger of better things to come in conference play, it was still plenty of fun at the time. Cal abused the current starting left tackle of the New England Patriots, the defense very nearly pitched a shut out, and Colorado spent most of the game shooting themselves in the foot in very comedic fashion. Hey, maybe that's why Cal fans collectively decided to put optimism on hold for another week.

And as a result, this game serves as another reminder that scoring a ton of points sometimes requires badness on the part of an opponent as much as anything else. The Buffs gave away five turnovers and committed 9 penalties, mistakes that played a huge role in racking up points. How else do you explain so many notches on the scoreboard when Cal only collected 356 total yards?

So now I've spent a few hundred words reminding you how bad Colorado was that day. And yet, just two weeks later they upset Georgia, won three other games, and lost three more by 7 points or less. And despite playing three more ranked opponents, they were never blown out again like they were at Memorial Stadium. College football. Go figure?

Can the Bear Raid break the record?

Well, how long will it take Colorado to dig out of the hole created by Dan Hawkins (and, to a lesser extent, Jon Embree, although his culpability is perhaps a matter of debate)? And how long will it take Sonny Dykes to dig out of the hole created by Jeff Tedford?

I would think that the talent situation in Boulder isn't nearly as dire as it got at, say, Washington State. Still, we're talking about a team that lost eight games by 21 points or more, along with narrow defeats to 4-8 Colorado State and FCS Sacramento State. That's a deep, deep hole to escape from. And it hasn't gotten much better this year, as Colorado has lost each conference game so far in 2013 by an average of 34.5 points. Cal, as bad as they have been, have been losing conference games by an average of 'just' 26.

So yeah, if Colorado can't escape their current vortex of awful, and Sonny turns the offense around quickly, this record could be vulnerable. Not this week, unless something crazy happens. I don't even dare dream.