Cal has poor record against top-5 teams

Published: Friday, Sep. 13, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Friday, Sep. 13, 2013 - 5:17 pm

BERKELEY – How much will history matter to Cal on Saturday against Ohio State?

Yes, this is a new Cal team with a new coach, so what the Bears have – or have not – done in the past perhaps has no influence on what might happen at Memorial Stadium against the No. 4 Buckeyes.

On the other hand, can a virtual mountain of history be dismissed? Which leads us to this staggering fact: Cal has not won a nonconference game against a top-five team since … get ready … Jan. 1, 1938.

The Bears have lost 18 consecutive nonconference games against top-five teams. The opponents include Miami, Colorado (in 1972, decades before joining the Pacific-12 Conference), Ohio State, Michigan, Illinois, Nebraska (twice), Oklahoma (twice), Notre Dame (twice), Iowa (twice), Michigan State (twice) and Texas (three times).

The Bears' most "recent" – and only – win over a nonconference top-five team was its 13-0 victory over No. 4 Alabama in the 1938 Rose Bowl. Cal entered that game as the nation's second-ranked team.

So what is Cal's record against top-five teams from the Pac-12? Only 3-32.

Texas Tech 20, No. 24 TCU 10 in Lubbock, Texas – Freshman backup quarterback Davis Webb threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Bradley Marquez with 3:48 remaining to lead the Red Raiders (3-0, 1-0 Big 12) over the Horned Frogs (1-2, 0-1).

The score came after Texas Tech thought it had scored on a 49-yard pass from Webb to DeAndre Washington, who dropped the ball at the half-yard line. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty took Texas Tech back to the TCU 14. Two plays later, Webb hit Marquez.

Tennessee – Defensive lineman Maurice Couch will miss Saturday's game against No. 2 Oregon while the university investigates allegations he was one of five Southeastern Conference players to receive improper benefits.

Alcorn State – Coach Jay Hopson said former Vanderbilt wide receiver Jaborian "Tip" McKenzie is playing for the Braves because he believes the freshman is "100 percent innocent" of the rape charges he faces in Nashville, Tenn.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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