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California (4). Ranking: third in all major polls. Dash ranking: third. Highest ranking since: 1952. Cal's leading passer that season was Bill Mais, who completed 30 passes on the year. That's just two more than current QB Nate Longshore (5) completed in the Saturday triumph at Oregon. Why the Golden Bears are there: They've come through when the nation is watching, beating Tennessee handily in the biggest game of the opening weekend and then winning at Oregon in the biggest game last Saturday. They've also scored a minimum of 31 points in every game and rank third nationally in turnover margin. And in case you ever doubted the importance of turnovers, know this: four of the top five teams in that department, and seven of the top 17, are undefeated.
Cause for concern: Three BCS conference opponents played thus far are averaging 295 yards per game passing against Cal. With a pass defense like that, is any lead safe?
Staying power: Should be strong. There are dicey road games later this month against UCLA and Arizona State, but The Dash expects Cal to be no worse than third when it hosts USC on Nov. 10.