Sports

California coach Sonny Dykes hopes to mirror Stanford's turnaround in academics, football

Stanford coach David Shaw, right, talks with quarterback Kevin Hogan during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Stanford coach David Shaw, right, talks with quarterback Kevin Hogan during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Southern California, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)  (The Associated Press)

The TEDx Talk that Stanford coach David Shaw gave earlier this year about turning a prestigious academic university into a football powerhouse resonated with many of his colleagues around the country. Perhaps surprisingly, even Sonny Dykes watched the presentation to see how he could use the same concepts at rival California.

Shaw's message is especially relevant this week.

Cal (1-10, 0-8 Pac-12) has struggled mightily in Dykes' first season, and the football team's graduation rates are the worst in the country among major college football programs. Entering the 116th Big Game on Saturday, Dykes is chasing the model that has made No. 10 Stanford (8-2, 6-2) a success on the field and in the classroom.