COLLEGE FOOTBALL GRADES
Result: Lost to Arizona State 27-17
Comment: A critical home game against an unranked opponent, and the Bears lose by 10? You could make a case for giving them a G, for god-awful. ... Even worse than losing, as coach Jeff Tedford noted, was Cal getting whipped physically at the line of scrimmage. ... Brendan Bigelow: No touches. "If there's not things we feel he's suited for and other guys are better suited for them, they'll be in the game," Tedford said. ... But how can it be any worse? The Bears didn't score a touchdown against USC and managed just two on Saturday. Bigelow averages 20 yards per touch. ... Tackle Matt Summers-Gavin played but was not close to top form, and the offensive line got shredded again: The Bears have allowed 25 sacks, the most in the nation.
Next up: vs. UCLA
The matchup: The No. 25 Bruins are better than Arizona State -- Cal must play its best all-around game to have a chance. ... If the Bears aren't more physical by an order of magnitude, especially on the defensive line, then UCLA tailback Johnathan Franklin and quarterback Brett Hundley will carve them up. ... The Bears, a 21/2-point underdog, have time to save their season, but it's growing short.
San Jose State
Result: Won at Navy 12-0
Comment: The Spartans have made remarkable progress under third-year magician Mike MacIntyre, but let's keep the 4-1 record in perspective: The schedule has been a tad soft. SJSU's four victims (UC Davis, Colorado State, San Diego State and Navy) are a combined 6-13, with just two victories over major college opponents. ... Superb performance by the defense Saturday: It was the first time Navy has been shut out since 2006. ... SJSU moved the ball well in the middle of the field (388 total yards). The problems were in the red zone. The Spartans failed to score touchdowns on three trips inside Navy's 20. (Put that on the bye week to-do list.) ... True freshman kicker Austin Lopez is 9 of 9 this season after making all four of his field goal attempts Saturday.
Next up: Bye, then Utah State.
The matchup: USU is the second-best team the Spartans will have played (behind Stanford), and it's not close. The Aggies beat Utah, nearly won at Wisconsin and dominated Colorado State (on the road). ... Utah State plays Brigham Young on Friday. It's on ESPN (7 p.m.) if you're interested in getting a look at what the Spartans will face in two weeks.
Result: Lost at Washington 17-13
Comment: Stanford looked like a top-10 team against USC and a top-50 team against Washington. The truth is probably in the middle. ... UW defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox loaded the box to stuff the Cardinal running game and force long-yardage situations. Stanford's response lacked creativity, with little in the way of misdirection to counteract the hard-charging Husky defense. ... Quarterback Josh Nunes completed a higher percentage of passes against Washington (48.6) than he did against USC (46.8); both figures are subpar. ... Stanford's season will be defined by 1) how much Nunes improves and 2) how consistently coach David Shaw and offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton put Nunes in positions to succeed.
Next up: vs. Arizona.
The matchup: Favorable for Stanford. ... Arizona uses the spread option and has a big-play tailback (Ka'Deem Carey) and a capable quarterback (Matt Scott). It's nothing Stanford's defense can't handle so long as it plays with requisite discipline and tackles well in the open field. ... Arizona's 3-3-5 defense isn't built to handle Stanford's power running game, but Nunes must complete enough passes to keep the Wildcats honest.