BERKELEY, Calif. -- Interesting little side note to the Les Miles bashes the Pac-10 rant from a few weeks ago. Turns out Miles' star QB JaMarcus Russell is related to Cal wideout Robert Jordan, who proudly sports a huge $15,000 watch he got as a gift from the Raiders' top pick. Russell was actually with Jordan when they learned about Miles' comments, which included the LSU coach mockingly referring to Cal, Stanford and Washington as "real juggernauts."Reaction:
"I said 'J, what's up with your coach?' And he was like 'Ah man, he's a hothead don't listen to him,'" Jordan recalled.
Jordan and a few of his Cal teammates though say they don't feel any additional pressure to uphold the Pac-10's honor in their big rematch against Tennessee in the season opener. Last season, the Vols pounded the Golden Bears in Knoxville in the 2006 opener, 35-18.
"I think about that game everyday, at every workout about how their crowd and their players were able to talk to us and all that," Jordan says. "We do represent the conference, but really we're playing for us. Last year we let ourselves down.
"We really weren't focused on football. We let the media hype it up: 'You guys are playing against an SEC team and there's gonna be 100,000 fans there,' and we let that get to us in camp. And so when things didn't go good in the first quarter, we hung our heads. Now we've got a veteran team. It's not going to be like that. We're going to keep fighting regardless. I'd be real shocked to have another outcome like that again. I don't see how that could happen again."
Said DeSean Jackson, Cal's star WR-KR: "It is a little bit of extra pressure on us as far as how people think of the Pac-10, but all we can do is just play hard."
Cal QB Nate Longshore, admits he watches the UT game, start to finish, all the time. "Everytime I watch it, I see something different," he says. "It's interesting to see the whole flow of the game and how turnovers affect teams and things like that in retrospect. Like instead of just going down and losing a yard, we try and make a play and they get to gang-tackle us and that builds momentum for them.
"There's so much that you wanna do over, but at the same time you have to treat it like another game."
One other nugget from Cal: A little debate about who is the fastest Golden Bear: Jackson or incoming freshman TB Jahvid Best, the player Longshore touted as the guy who is going to really surprise some people this fall.
"He is ridiculous quick," Longshore said of the 5-foot-11, 182-pounder, who once won a Gold Medal in the 200m at the 2005 USTAF Junior Olympics. "He could beat DeSean in a race, no doubt in my mind. No doubt. He's the fastest I've ever seen.
"When I was getting recruited I went to a couple of SC's practices and Reggie Bush was a freshman. They have so many similarities in how they move when Reggie was an unpolished freshman. It'll be interesting to watch him. Jahvid's got some special talents."
Les Miles needs to try and win something without Nick Saban's players and then start talking. LSU's schedule this year (team in italics are weak teams):
Mississippi State, Virginia Tech, Middle Tennessee St, South Carolina, Tulane, Florida, Kentucky, Auburn, BYE, Alabama, Louisiana Tech, Mississippi, Arkansas.
It is a tough schedule but there are definitely easy spots. Also, no Georgia or Tennessee this year.
Glad to hear that the Bears are preparing themselves for Tennessee. It is a big game and they need to get the season off to a good start.
I predict Jahvid Best will return at least one kickoff for a TD this season. Hopefully, Tedford will get him a couple touches a game. I don't see him getting above Forsett or Montgomery on the depth chart but good coaches know how to get talent players on the field.