The big picture after Cal beat Stanford at Maples

There's plenty to be said about the California Golden Bears' big win over the Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion today, but its significance goes beyond just the end of a streak.

As alluded to by Nick at SB Nation's California Golden Blogs, Cal's win represents a shift in how we think about the distribution of power in the Pac-12 for this season and possibly beyond.

So, what does this mean? Well, here's the big picture:

1. A top 2 seed in March is very much on the table.
2. The Pac-12 race is on.

Here's a not so bold prediction: Cal and Stanford will not go through the rest of the Pac-12 regular season unscathed. UCLA in particular is too good and the rest of the conference has improved enough that somebody will stub their toe.

It's a reasonable prediction and, although they both lost to the Bay Area's teams at home, it's not unfathomable that the Colorado Buffaloes or Utah Utes could end up being a player in tripping one of the conference's top-ranked teams up as well, which could make things either more exciting - or disappointing, depending on your rooting interests - to watch than it has been in a number of years.

For more of the Cal perspective on their win, check out SBN's California Golden Blogs. For more on the Battle of the Bay in general, check out our storystream documenting both games.

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