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117th Big Game: Pregame open thread

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Both teams need one more win to secure bowl eligibility. More importantly, Cal is chomping at the bit to bring the Axe home to Berkeley.

Phil Carter-USA TODAY Sports

GAME INFO

Stanford Cardinal (5-5, 3-4 Pac-12) at California Golden Bears (5-5, 3-5 Pac-12)

Saturday, Nov. 22 | 1:00 pm PT
Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium | Berkeley, CA
TV: FOX Sports 1 - Paul Davis (Play by Play), Joey Harrington (Analyst) Kris Budden (Sideline)
National Radio: Sports USA - John Ahlers (Play by Play), Gary Barnett (Analyst)
Radio: KGO 810 AM - Joe Starkey (Play by Play), Mike Pawlawski (Analyst), Todd McKim (Sideline)
Live Stats: CalBears.com
Live Audio: TuneIn Radio
SiriusXM Satellite Radio: Sirius (134) and XM (201)
Cal Student Radio: KALX 90.7 FM Glenn Borok (PlayBy-Play), Vince Morgado (Analyst), David Straub (Analyst)
Series History: Stanford leads, 59-46-11
Last Meeting at Cal: Stanford 21, Cal 3 (Oct. 20, 2012)
Last Meeting: at Stanford 63, Cal 13 (Nov. 23, 2013)
Current Win Streak: Stanford - 4 (2010-13)

Last Cal Win: Cal 34, at Stanford 28 (Nov., 21, 2009)

Last season's Big Game down on the Farm was one of the darkest days any blueblooded Cal football fan will ever remember. Stanford throttled the Bears 63-13 in the largest rout in the history of the Big Game. Stanford's Ty Montgomery scored approximately 800 touchdowns and, to add injury to insult, popular Berkeley favorite [sarcasm font] Shayne Skov ended the season of then-freshman Cal quarterback Jared Goff with a vicious hit that separated Goff's throwing shoulder. (Somehow, Skov managed to escape being called for a targeting foul, to the dismay of one Mike Pereira.)  The loss was Cal's fourth straight in the rivalry, Stanford went to its second straight Rose Bowl, and the Bears looked further away from regaining the Axe than perhaps ever before.

What a difference a year makes.

Fast forward one year and the complexion of the rivalry is a little bit different. The teams come in with identical 5-5 records, both of them needing one more win to secure bowl eligibility. The winner of the game will finish second in the Pac-12 North. But most importantly, the teams don't look as far apart as they did a year ago. Cal has improved in its second season under Coach Sonny Dykes and Stanford has looked less-than-invincible in year four of the David Shaw era.

Do the Bears have a chance to bring the Axe back home to Berkeley today?  In college football rivalry games, anything can happen, so the easy answer is yes. But on a more important level of competitiveness, Cal probably has its best chance to win since it last defeated the Cardinal in 2009.

This is your pregame open thread. Trash talk, make fun of Stanford, do whatever you need to do to get ready for the game. This Big Game is big. Let's bring the Axe home to Berkeley where it belongs.

GO BEARS!

IN CASE YOU MISSED THIS WEEK'S QUALITY BIG GAME CONTENT:

Nick Kranz previewed the Stanford defense

Berkelium 97 previewed the Stanford offense

Mike Silver did a Q&A with us and gave a glorious Big Game pep talk

Q&A with Rule of Tree

David Shaw no-showed to the traditional Guardsmen's Luncheon. Again.