Falling behind 31-0 by halftime, Washington (0-12, 0-9 Pac-10) wrapped up its miserable year as the nation's only winless school and the first 0-12 team in conference history. The Huskies, who already announced Willingham's departure in late October, have lost 14 straight since their last victory, over Cal in Seattle late last season.
Washington is expected to introduce Southern California offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian as early as Sunday to replace Willingham, the former Stanford and Notre Dame coach who won just 11 games in four seasons with the Huskies.
Nate Longshore threw a touchdown pass in his final home game, and Cal's defense created four turnovers as the Golden Bears (8-4, 6-3) finished unbeaten in seven games at Memorial Stadium this season. With a fourth-place finish in the Pac-10, Cal is headed to its sixth straight bowl game under coach Jeff Tedford, likely the Emerald Bowl across the Bay on Dec. 27 against the Miami Hurricanes.
Best, Cal's fleet-footed sophomore, had 186 yards and three TDs by halftime, scoring on runs of 60, 20 and 1 yards while passing Oregon State freshman Jacquizz Rodgers for the Pac-10 rushing lead. Best then made an 86-yard scoring run in the opening minute of the second half, jogging across the goal line with the closest Huskies puffing 10 yards behind.
Best broke Jerry Drew's 54-year-old school record of 283 yards during a 34-yard run early in the third quarter. He has 1,394 yards rushing this season, the fourth-best total in school history, with the bowl game still to play.
Taylor Bean passed for 80 yards and scored on a 2-yard run late in the third quarter for the Huskies, who trailed 45-0 at the time. Bean got the first significant playing time of his career in relief of Ronnie Fouch, who started the Huskies' final eight games in place of injured Jake Locker.
Two weeks after Cal trounced Stanford in the Big Game and Washington lost the Apple Cup to woeful Washington State, the schools played a game that was moved from midseason to create a bye week in the middle of both teams' schedules. With nothing at stake for the Bears, Strawberry Canyon was far from full for the first time this year, although several hundred purple-clad Huskies fans still turned out to cheer their worst team ever.