Cal—Stanford: Facing the Big One

Liz Soteros-McNamaraContributor INovember 21, 2008

They come from dorm rooms, first-class flights, and crowed economy cars to ascend upon UC Berkeley for the 2008 annual football game between UC Berkeley and Stanford University.

Students and alumni alike descend upon Berkeley, California this weekend for the annual 111th “Big Game,” the nickname for the competition between the two highly respected universities. Next year, a similar crowd can be expected in Palo Alto, California.

The neighboring northern California schools have a tradition of competition in the annual football game dating back to 1892. Now the competition extends beyond the football game, with an award for the university with the greatest number of wins in various campus athletics.

The game’s winning team gains possession of the Stanford Axe, in accordance with the tradition between the two schools.

Now both schools stand at the threshold of making some new history for their respective university. Both have something to gain, depending upon the 2008 game result.

Stanford comes into the 2008 game with recent losses to USC and Oregon. Stanford already played 11 games in the 2008 season, resulting in just four victories, against Oregon State, San Jose State, Arizona, and Washington State.

UC Berkeley also recently lost to USC, and another Beaver State competitor, Oregon State. They have played ten games this season, with six victories, Michigan State, Washington State, Colorado State, UCLA, and Oregon.

Stanford leads the current record with 55 wins, compared to Berkeley’s 44 and the additional 11 tie games. The 2007 season marked the first victory by Stanford after five-consecutive wins by Berkeley.

Berkeley now stands to have the opportunity to beat its own personal record, with the potential to have seven season victories for the seventh season in a row.

A Stanford victory provides the Cardinals with the last win they would need for chance to play for a bowl since the 2001 game against Georgia Tech.

Saturday’s game begins at 12 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.

It’s history in the making. There is a serious rivalry heating up the otherwise cool day ahead.