BOULDER, Colo. -- Cal is officially the worst football team in the Pac-12 Conference.
Matched against the only other team winless in conference play, the Golden Bears lost 41-24 to Colorado on Saturday at Folsom Field in a game that rarely was that competitive.
At 1-10 overall and winless in eight Pac-12 games, the Bears will be huge underdogs in next Saturday's 116th Big Game at Stanford.
No Cal team has ever lost 11 games in a season.
The Bears hit rock bottom against Colorado (4-6, 1-6), which had won just once previously against a Football Bowl Subdivision team in coach Mike MacIntyre's debut season.
"It was a bad performance across the board, really," first-year Cal coach Sonny Dykes said. "Obviously, we didn't have our guys ready to play. That falls on me."
Dykes and MacIntyre met for the fourth straight season, the first time as Pac-12 rivals. For three years they dueled at Louisiana Tech and San Jose State, respectively, before Dykes got the nod over MacIntyre last November for the Cal job.
Dykes said the postgame exchange was friendly. "He just said, 'Hang in there.' "
Asked if he got any satisfaction beating the school that didn't hire him, MacIntyre said, "None at all. Sonny Dykes is a really good coach. He's a good friend of mine. Last year he was a guru of all gurus. He'll get that Cal team going. I promise you."
For now, Cal has lost its way. The Bears have dropped nine straight games overall, 13 in a row to Pac-12 foes and 15 straight to Football Bowl Subdivision opponents.
Colorado appeared to be a game Cal could win. But against a CU defense that had allowed its first six Pac-12 opponents an average of 50.5 points, the Bears could barely function most of the game.
As the wind chill dipped into the mid-20s by the second half, the Buffaloes extended a 24-10 halftime lead to 34-10. Only touchdown runs of 1 and 26 yards by Brendan Bigelow in the final 6:14 of the game made the final score a bit less hideous.
The Bears' offense was so ineffective that Dykes finally lifted freshman quarterback Jared Goff midway through the third quarter. Zach Kline took over for two series before Goff returned.
Goff, second on Cal's single-season passing yardage list, was 15 of 33 for 100 yards -- just 3 yards per attempt -- when he was pulled.
Goff said he knew the CU defense was going to cram six players in the box and that he'd have to be able to connect downfield to exploit it. He didn't have a completion longer than 14 yards before coming out.
"That squarely falls on me," he said. "The ball was sailing on me, but that's no excuse."
The defense could not deal with Colorado freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau, who was 23 for 36 for 364 yards and three touchdowns. CU receivers Paul Richardson (11 catches for 140 yards) and Nelson Spruce (8 for 140) both ran wild in the Bears' secondary.
"We were in the right position, we just couldn't tackle," Cal linebacker Jalen Jefferson said.
Cal's special teams melted down for the second straight week. After allowing USC three punt returns for touchdowns, the Bears failed miserably on two crucial onside kicks.
The Buffs surprised them with one late in the second quarter, recovering the ball to set up a 2-yard TD run by Christian Powell that pushed the lead to 14 points.
Then, trailing 34-17, Cal tried kicking onside, and Spruce picked it up and ran 46 yards untouched for the Buffs' final TD.
Goff said the Bears have wholesale changes to make before next season.
"We need to change our mentality about stuff, the way we practice," he said. "We're going to need to change a bunch of stuff if we want to be successful next year."
Jefferson said identifying specific issues Saturday wasn't difficult.
"Effort," he said. "There were guys out there who weren't giving their full effort, and it definitely showed."
Cal (1-10, 0-8 Pac-12) at
Stanford (8-2, 6-2), TBA