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October 9, 2004
Aaron Rodgers and the Cal Bears were nearly unbeatable in 2004, but their lone regular season loss came to the eventual champions in USC.
Cal went on the road to the Coliseum and gave the Trojans everything they could handle, and they actually outgained them by a huge margin (424-205).
It didn’t matter because Cal coughed the ball up three times and were down 13 points towards the end of the third quarter. Marshawn Lynch tacked on a touchdown to cut it within 23-17, but they could not find the end zone against as they suffered a devastating loss.
Most thought Cal was not for real before the game started but many felt different afterwards.
This was easily the worst loss in the BCS era for the Bears because this one-loss not only cost Cal a shot at the BCS title, but ultimately Texas miraculously climbed ahead of them in the final regular season game despite not even playing.
Cal ended up going to the Holiday Bowl as it was Texas who matched up with Michigan in what actually turned out to be one of the more entertaining Rose Bowls in the BCS era. Still, the Bears were more worthy at the time and this stinking loss to USC really bit them bad.
September 27, 2003
This triple overtime was won by the Cal Bears and it remains their greatest victory in the BCS era despite finishing only 8-6.
Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback, but it was Reggie Robertson in this contest that enabled Tyler Fredrickson to drill the game-winner from 38 yards out. The Bears shocked the planet pulling off the magical 34-31 upset victory. This USC squad of course ended up finishing first in the polls, but did not play in the BCS title (they won the Rose Bowl instead, split title with LSU.)
Still, this is all about the Bears' ability to ruin the perfect season for a Trojan squad that ran the table for two consecutive seasons during the regular season.
In fact, these same Trojans ended up winning 34 consecutive victories after their upset due to the hands of the Bears.