Jeff Tedford arrived in Berkeley eight seasons ago with a few things to take care of, not the least of which was a turnaround in the Big Game. Stanford, after all, had won the annual Bay Area battle for seven consecutive years. The coach of the Cal football team has been largely successful on that front, as the Bears have won six of the last seven rivalry games. But Tedford has noticed a trend. "Every year," he said, "it seems to be more challenging." And the 112th installment of the Big Game, which takes place at Stanford Stadium, figures to be no different. On Saturday at 4:30 p.m., Cal will face a Cardinal team that has turned heads in recent weeks with commanding victories against Oregon and USC. At Monday's press conference, Tedford was the first to acknowledge his opponent's upswing. "They're probably the hottest team in the country right now," he said. "We have our hands full."