And so it goes.
Updated numbers from nine years of futility against the Trojans:
When Jeff Tedford said Saturday, "I thought up front they were better than us today," he could have been referring to the last nine years (2004 excepted).
And now ...
Now, the Bears are 1-3 for the first time since '03 and must win five of their last eight to get bowl eligible -- a significant challenge, sure, but hardly unmanageable.
The loss to Nevada looms larger with every subsequent defeat.
Result: Lost at USC 27-9
Comment: No touchdowns, two turnovers, seven penalties, inept red zone offense, nearly 500 yards allowed -- if it hadn't been a road game against a ranked opponent, the Bears would have gotten an F.
Maybe they should anyway.
Aside from a few possessions in the third quarter, USC dominated.
The Trojans were able to collapse the pocket without the aid of blitzes. They rushed four and dropped seven and Maynard was stuck.
He played reasonably well under the circumstances, but his decision-making, accuracy, touch and vision were lacking in the red zone.
Speaking of ...
Five visits, three field goals, one missed field goal, one interception, zero touchdowns.
For the season, the Bears have scored on 73 percent of their red zone opportunities (poor) and scored touchdowns on 40 percent of their chances (also poor).
It's not one thing, it's many things; but the problems up front are a huge issue.
That's Cal's idea of using him more?
If Bigelow doesn't fit into the game plan, CHANGE THE GAME PLAN.
The fourth time they used it, everyone knew what was coming.
Obviously, USC is more effective with center Khaled Holmes -- his absence was a big deal in the loss at Stanford -- but Cal should not have been carved up on the ground like that.
The Bears' inside linebackers did not have their finest game, to say the least.
Next up: vs. Arizona State
The matchup: One of the most important games of the Tedford tenure, given the 1-3 start and the fiscal backdrop to the season:
Financing the stadium debt through the Endowment Seating Program, which requires an excited fan base.
They've been on the road once: a 24-20 loss to Missouri, which was without its starting quarterback.
But breakdowns in any of those areas -- and the Bears have experienced breakdowns in all of them at one point or another thus far -- could be costly.
ASU hasn't won in Berkeley in the Tedford era. If that streak ends this week, the Tedford era may not be far behind.