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Golden Nuggets: Mathews, Rabb Power Cal Sweep of Buffs and Utes

Jordan Mathews and Ivan Rabb lead Cal's sweep of the opening weekend of conference play. Meanwhile, is Jared Goff the next franchise quarterback, and can Women's Water Polo adapt to missing their Olympians to a redshirt seasons?

Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Women's Basketball

Arizona Snaps No. 21 Cal's Streak: Arizona Snaps Cal's 17-Game Win Streak over the Wildcats with a 57-52 Victory in a Back-and-Forth Battle

A back-and-forth battle in Tucson ended in No. 21 California's first loss to Arizona in 10 seasons as the Wildcats snapped the Golden Bears' 17-game series streak with a 57-52 victory. This is Arizona's first triumph in 18 meetings as Cal falls to 0-2 in Pac-12 play and 9-4 this season.

After leading by five points at halftime, the Bears took a one-point lead into the fourth quarter before the Wildcats edged the Bears with a 7-2 run in the final three minutes.

Freshman Kristine Anigwe's totaled 19 points and 10 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season. She also logged a career-high four blocks. Junior Courtney Range poured in 18 points and five boards.

The Bears couldn't stave off the Wildcats for most of the first half, and the teams traded basket after basket but kept it close.

Anigwe was the only Bear to score from the floor for most of the first quarter before Range hit a jumper with 21 seconds to go to give Cal an 11-9 lead, but not for long. With four seconds to go, Arizona's Michal Miller sunk a three-pointer and once again the Wildcats pulled ahead, 12-11.

Women's Water Polo

New-Look Bears Hungry For Success: Cal Women's Water Polo Team Gets 2016 Training Camp Underway

BERKELEY - This is the year Cal attacker Pippa Saunders had been worried about.

No, not because she is now a senior and will soon have to face the real world. But more because she and her classmates were unsure what the makeup of the team would be like with its three top scorers taking the season off to prepare for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Turns out Saunders' concerns were unfounded. A look around Spieker Aquatics Complex shows there is still plenty of talent left in Berkeley for the 2016 season.

"From our freshman year on, we were always a little bit scared about who we were going to have when we are seniors," Saunders said Sunday night after the first official practice of the 2016 season. "But this summer really helped show us that we have a lot of talent."

There's no question the Bears will have a different look in 2016. Gone are Dora Antal, Roser Tarrago and Anna Illes, who combined to score 52 percent of Cal's goals last season. Antal is a two-time ACWPC First Team All-American while Tarrago earned Second Team honors last season after being named honorable mention in 2014. Illes was selected as a Third Team honoree in 2015 and also earned honorable mention the year before that.

Each of the threesome is taking a redshirt year to train with her respective national team in preparation for the Summer Games in August. Tarrago helped Spain win the silver medal at the 2012 Olympics in London while Antal played for her native Hungary, which advanced to the Bronze Medal Game. Illes also is in Hungary's national team program.

"We are a very different team. But we've had all fall to prepare for that," Cal coach Richard Corso said. "We had great training in the fall. They were a big part of our team the past two years. This is what we have and this is what we are going to be good with. It wasn't a surprise. When we were recruiting those kids, we knew this was going to happen. We wanted them to go to the Olympics."

Men's Basketball

Bears Get Defensive In Win Over Utah: Cal Holds Down No. 21 Utes, 71-58, Behind 19 Points And 10 Rebounds From Ivan Rabb

BERKELEY - Jordan Mathews and Ivan Raab combined to score 20 straight points during a key second-half run and the Cal men's basketball team knocked off No. 21 Utah 71-58 on Sunday to improve to 2-0 in Pac-12 Conference play.

Raab finished with a career-high 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds while Mathews had 14 points on the strength of three second-half 3-pointers. Tyrone Wallace added 10 points and six assists.

Mathews began the key stretch with a 3-pointer with 9:08 remaining to give the Bears (12-3, 2-0 Pac-12) a 49-41 advantage. He drained another 3-pointer at the 7:24 mark to push Cal's lead back to 52-46. He and Raab carried the offense for most of the rest of the game, as Raab's jumper with 1:34 left put the Bears up 66-58.

Raab scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half on 6-for-8 shooting from the field and 5-for-6 from the free throw line.

"That should be him," Cal coach Cuonzo Martin said. "He has that skill. It's not new to see that. When he gets to the point where he demands the ball every time down, it will be tough."

Armed Forces Bowl

Why Jared Goff Is the Next Franchise Quarterback

Finding a franchise quarterback in the NFL draft is one of the most difficult tasks that general managers must do. The draft is an inexact science to begin with, and the margin for error at the most important position makes evaluating college football quarterbacks incredibly difficult. Some draft classes offer zero potentially franchise signal-callers, while others may have a handful.

The 2016 class is shaping up to be deep with developmental talent at quarterback but short on potentially elite players. There is one who clearly outplayed his competition this season and has the ability to be a top-10 NFL quarterback. California Football quarterback Jared Goff is the next franchise quarterback to emerge in recent years.

While I'm defining a franchise quarterback as a top-15 player at the position, an elite quarterback is one of the top handful. The ascension into an elite quarterback is randomly based on their draft status and where they came from.

Guys like Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Drew Brees and Tony Romo certainly lacked the pedigree of an elite quarterback, while Carson Palmer, Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers fit the bill. Thus, my expectation is never for a quarterback to become one of the very best in the world at their profession.

After watching every snap of Cal's offense in the 2015 season, Goff thoroughly impressed me with his advanced passing prowess. This article will break down and explain why he is clearly the top quarterback in the class. It will also cover in which areas he can improve as he transitions to the NFL.

Let's start with a broader view of who Goff is as a player and then narrow down the impressive traits that make him special.