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October 07, 2007

Cal's Dilemma

In what may come to be known as the biggest college football upset in a year teeming with them, Stanfurd yesterday beat #2-ranked U$C 24–23 in the final seconds of the game. I think I speak for most Cal football fans when I say that this unexpected result presents a moral and ethical dilemma of proportions unknown to humanity since Sartre first presented his famous example of moral conflict in 1957.1 Should we support—either implicitly, or worse, explicitly—our arch-rival's success against another, more worthy enemy, or should we remain strong—like McCarthy, a true American hero—in our hatred of all that is (cardinal) red? To wit, just as in Sartre's example, neither answer is particularly palatable.

The reactions amongst friends have been mixed. Audrey, in general, seemed supportive, though she did not come outright in claiming happiness beyond support of the underdog. On the other hand, my former roommate—and perhaps, former friend—Messr. G-Unit, came out in full favor of the evil-doers across the Bay, admitting on our San Francisco house blog that he was rooting for the Cardinals for the first time in [his] life in the closing seconds of the game. He even deigned the reds worthy of one of [his] highest honours (sic): the slow clap. For shame, G-Unit, for shame!

Now, I can understand the initial feelings of schadenfreude in seeing the perennially successful Trojans fall at the hands of a barely comparable foe, as I felt them too, but to go so far as to advocate a by any means necessary policy2 ignores much in the voodoo that is the BCS. When U$C was winning earlier this season, Cal had two means of making it to a bowl:

  1. Cal could defeat the otherwise undefeated Trojans, going on to win the Pac-10, and thus, garner a bid to the Rose Bowl; or
  2. U$C could go undefeated in the season, win the Pac-10, and play in the championship game against LSU (or some equivalent thereof), thus opening up a slot for second-place Pac-10 finisher Cal.

More likely than not, the calculus has now completely changed. Given this horrendous loss, U$C likely will not be in the championship game, no matter what. So, whoever wins the Pac-10 will get a Rose Bowl bid, and likely no team from the Pac-10 will play in the championship game. After reaching such heights this season, another tepid Holiday Bowl would be heart-breaking.

The end result of all the madness this weekend is that the U$C game is a must-win situation for Cal—the proverbial do-or-die. I hope all you fellow Cal fans will be rooting with me in the coming weeks (and by rooting, I mean drinking $6 pitchers of Coors Light in a smoke-filled Chicago sports bar with hot waitresses). Rot in hell U$C! And yes, fuck you Stanfurd (but I'm happy you won yesterday). Most importantly, Go Bears!

1 Ironically, the only web page I could find listing Sartre's example of moral conflict was on Stanfurd's Encyclopedia of Philosophy; I refuse to put a link to it in the body of my entry, but those readers unfamiliar with this concept can find it here.
2 For those who didn't have the privilege of attending Cal, By Any Means Necessary (or BAMN) is a reference to a ultra-radical group on campus that advocates for affirmative action by—get this—any means necessary. For reasons quite unrelated to their political cause (for which I hold no particular position per se) I hate them: their solicitation on campus was by far most obnoxious amongst the plethora of Sproul vultures.


There is no dilemma... stanford is no rival... they suck. The common enemy is USC, and it was a glorious day to see their season essential come to an end, even though UCLA LOST TO NOTRE DAME AT HOME.

Further more, you do realize the Pac-10 is the best conference top to bottom (with all due respect to the SEC)? If Cal goes undefeated, they're in the National Championship. Even if Cal loses only to USC, they could still feasibly be the other team in the NC, provided SC loses another game (which they will, because Booty sucks).

Anyway, I'll be rooting for Cal, even though I'm sure they'll shit the bed eventually (even if it is a no-show in the National Championship). After all... it's Cal.

I look at Stanfurd's loss yesterday as a catch 22 as well. First, with SC's loss, Cal moves up to #2. This is quite awesome. However, as you mentioned, this makes our road to a prestigious bowl game (NC or Rose Bowl) much more difficult. In addition, with SC's loss, I believe this makes Cal's strength of schedule weaker (not to mention the fact UCLA lost to Notre Dame!!!). This not only will hurt us when the BCS voodoo rankings start, but it also makes the (incorrect) comments about the Pac10 made by Les Miles seem more valid to the rest of the country.

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