Andy Johnston: Yes and it isn't close in my mind. Situationally this loss is particularly painful as we miss an opportunity to move to 4-2 overall and an all important 2-1 in conference during a down year in the Pac-12. This loss stands out over all of the others due to the lack of preparation (offensively and defensively) we showed Saturday night. So many aspects of this matchup were in our favor and it took us until the fourth quarter to exploit just one of them.
Boomtho: Yeah, I think so. I considered these games (this was a “fun” question Avi!): the UCLA and Oregon losses in 2015, the Arizona, Washington and Stanford games in 2014, and all of 2013.
I think we can discount 2013 – freshman QB, really thin cupboard of talent and cultural changes thanks to Tedford, and super low expectations.
I then went back and checked all the lines, and this was the biggest loss when Cal was favored. On top of that, I don’t even think that statement truly captures how dismal OSU has been this year, as well as the expectations around Dykes’ program in Year 4.
Nik Jam: In the 2014-2016 span? Yes. Colorado 2014 would be worse if we didn't pull it off but that game we did get the home crowd magic in overtime. From a "collapse" standpoint Arizona and UCLA in 2014 are up there, but in general getting dominated by a bad team? I believe this is the first time since 2013 at Colorado where that happened.
And if Utah goes to Corvallis and stomps on the Beavers this will look even worse.
Not to mention the ramifications on the season. 4-2 on the bye would look really good. 3-3 does not, with only Oregon looking like an easy win. And if the offense decides to not show up for a full half again, that will become excruciatingly bad too.
Kevin Wu: Yes, I would say so. I agree with Nik Jam, the only other crappy loss that stands out in my mind is the Colorado loss a few years back, but that was still when we fans had lowly expectations for Cal Football. This loss is just inexplicable. When we were looking at the schedule before the season and plotting how Cal would get to a good bowl game this year, I'm sure everyone penciled this OSU game as a most-definite-win, like the type that some folks might bet their children on. Well, that didn't happen, and that's why this is a horrible loss.
Nam Le: duh.
Berkelium97: I disagree that this was the worst loss. I'd call it the second-worst loss. I believe the 2013 Big Game was the worst loss of the Sonny Dykes era. Sure, Goff missed most of the game, we had no depth or coaching on defense, and we were closing the worst season in school history. But context doesn't really lessen the embarrassment of blowout losses in rivalry games. Do you think the Stanfurd fan is saying to itself "Well, we delivered them the biggest loss in Big Game history, but they were a bad team whose flaws were exacerbated by injury issues?" No, it remembers standing there all alone in that miserable stadium celebrating a 50-point beatdown of a rival. Likewise, how many Cal fans were saying in 2002, "Well, this Lobsterback team only won 2 games, so this isn't that great of an accomplishment"? None. Instead, they tore down the goalpost and marched it down Bancroft. Because sometimes inflicting a bit of extra pain on your ailing rival is that much more satisfying.
In a few years, this loss will probably be forgotten by most people outside the Nall family. That 2013 Big Game? That may take a little longer to forget...