Cal, ranked highly once again after being in purgatory following the 2007 season, had the opportunity to finally break through the glass ceiling of also-rans. It didn't happen.
As in 2007, a Pac-10 team from the state of Oregon burst the proverbial BCS bubble that the Golden Bears had hoped to be a part of. Following the loss in Oregon with a loss to USC at home wouldn't have been so bad had both losses not been embarrassing blowouts.
The problem for Cal and their fragile prestige is that both losses this season were more lopsided than any of their victories, causing outsiders to wonder what sort of team plays in Berkeley. Is it the world beater from Saturday or is it the malfunctioning patsy that lost two games by a total score of 72-6?
That answer won't come for several weeks. Cal will host hapless Washington State this week, travel to Arizona State for Halloween, stay at home for battles with Oregon State and No. 22 Arizona, and people will still wonder just how good this team is. Even if the Bears go undefeated in those four games, they'll be at 8-2 with question marks.