The Texas Longhorns know how it goes — before beating the West Virginia Mountaineers in 2014, the ‘Horns had lost nine straight games to ranked opponents.
On Saturday, the California Golden Bears will try to stop a similar ignominious streak, as head coach Sonny Dykes’ program has lost 11 straight games to ranked opponents, a run of losses that dates back nearly four years, to a 43-17 win over the UCLA Bruins in October of 2012.
Some games have been close, like a 30-24 loss at Utah last season. Others have been much more painful, like a 63-13 drubbing at the hands of rival Stanford to end the 2013 season, in which Cal lost to five ranked opponents on the way to a 1-11 season.
Despite the two-game winning streak against top-10 opponents, Texas hasn’t exactly been a model of consistency in achieving road success, having won only one of the last five road games.
So that lofty ranking of No. 11 in the AP Poll is hardly enough to ensure a Longhorns victory, even though the Golden Bears have had so little success against favored opponents, winning over three of 25 opportunities under Dykes when considered the underdog.