Thursday, May 17, 2007

Worst Pac 10 Preview Ever...

Dennis Dodd, over at CBS Sportsline, has a view Pac 10 preview. I watched it because it is the slow season and anything CF/Pac 10/Cal related is of interest.

But this is the worst I have ever seen. First, Dodd has a deer in the headlights look. He starts off very slowly and mechanically. Either he does not read well off cue cards or he has a bad memory. Second, he mentions six strong teams in the Pac 10 and then he list 5 teams and says six again. But he redeems himself by mentally calculating 165 divided by 10, on camera.

It is only about a minute and a half but watch it if you have time. It is pretty funny.

Dennis Dodd Pac 10 preview

Monday, May 14, 2007

GameDay - One Person's Prediction

Saw this picture on the Bear Insider Forums under the topic of signs for GameDay. Credit to user AndySmithAgain. (Link to thread)
I thought it was pretty funny. Another funny one was, "This sign was made using 6 oak trees".

College GameDay in Berkeley

The Bear Insider is reporting that ESPN GameDay will be coming to Berkeley on Sept 1st for the Tennessee match up.

This should make the game even bigger and be a great opportunity for the rest of the nation to see the energy of Bear Nation or Blue Claw or The Cave or whatever we are calling the student section.

More on this later but check out the other Cal blogs for more reaction.

Cal Stuff

Ken, over at Bear Territory has posted a response to my comment about his predictions on next season (full post). He makes some convincing arguements about how Cal can still make it to the Rose Bowl with 2 losses. Here are some excerpts...
First of all, I sympathize with their desire to predict all games as wins. That said, I’m too much of a realist for that. The reality is very few seasons result in a team being undefeated and it’s not practical to expect that of any team, with an occasional exception.
Yet you pick USC to go undefeated. USC is a great team with an awesome defense. But I think their offense is weaker this year with no proven wideouts and no superstar at running back. (And yes, USC fans, I have seen the Joe McKnight YouTube videos, but until the 185lb kid takes a smack from DI linebackers and pops back up, he is still a unproven freshman.) So, I believe Cal does have a good shot at beating USC.
As for the 2 losses being too much for a Rose Bowl bid, with 3 losses last year Cal was just a couple of poll spots short of being BCS eligible and it was quite clear that the Rose Bowl wanted Cal if they were eligible... Now that I think about it, perhaps RBBID’s thought is that 2 losses doesn’t get Cal 2nd place.
You are correct. I was not sure that 2 losses would keep us in 2nd place in the Pac 10. But, if Cal did lose to ASU, which I think would drop them out of the top 10. And then the loss to USC would drop them out of top 14 and a win against Stanfurd would do nothing to rise in the polls. But that is all for naught since Cal is going undefeated. (On a side note, if Cal goes undefeated and plays in the NC game than we miss out on the Rose Bowl again.)

Stuff from other bloggers...

Sunday Morning QB has an absurdly pre mature assessment of Tennessee. It is a good overview of Cal's first opponenet.

California Golden Blogs brings back some old memories about talks about Aaron Rodgers and his time in Green Bay.

Okay, enough with this post, I just read some crazy good news that needs its own post.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Spoke too soon...

So there is other Cal news to report...

Over at Bear Territory, Ken has done a post spring practice Cal game prediction. I would say I agree with most of his analysis except for any game he picked us to lose. Also, he picks Cal to lose to ASU and USC and sneak into the Rose Bowl after USC goes to the National Championship Game. I am not sure Cal would finish high enough in the polls to get picked for a BCS game if it did lose two Pac 10 games.

Everyday Should Be Saturday (EDSBS) has a post about Coach Tedford and his flirtation with the spread offense last season. It is a pretty funny post, as always, and there is a nice youtube video of Oregon, Joey Harrington to Sammy Parker on a play action post which is exactly what you will see this season with Longshore to Jackson. (Except there will be more separation between Jackson and the defender.)

The California Golden Blog, has an interesting post about the renaming of the student section. It looks like the Athletic Department is looking to give the student section a moniker. The choices are:

1) Bears Lair - not bad, but not very original
2) The Cave - seriously?
3) The Claw - worse than The Cave
4) Blue Crew - sounds too much like Blues Clues, the childrens program.
5) Bear Force - so if we play Air Force and the student section begins to chant "Hey alumni ... Bear ... Force ... Bear ... Force". With that many people, I can easily see the Air Force players getting pumped up thinking that we were chanting for them.

Here are RBBID's top five names
1) "We never wear one color" student section
2) "This clapping rhythmically on 3rd down is not really loud" student section
3) "The game is not on ABC, lets show up in the 2nd quarter" student section
4) Bear Nation (like Clipper Nation)
5) Lynch Mob (I know he is gone but it can be a tribute)

So Little Cal News...

That we are resorting to finding the most minor tidbits to keep our readers happy. Oh how we hate the down time between the draft and college football season. To fill the void, I went to the Yankees baseball game last night and shouted "Go Bears". I was trying to stay in shape during the offseason and Jason Kidd was sitting one section over. (Seriously, down 2-0 to the Cavs and still going to baseball games.)

Back to Cal Football, Sporting News has its All Spring Team. Honestly, I have no idea how they rate performance from spring practice but our own Alex Mack made the first team. Congratulations Alex. Here is the full team with our own comments. (Full Link)

All-spring team


WR Arrelious Benn, Illinois, Fr. - early admit who is getting a lot of pub for catching passes against the Illini 2nd team defense.

WR Demaryius Thomas, Georgia Tech, Fr. - don't think he is going to make people forget Calvin Johnson.

TE John Carlson, Notre Dame, Sr. - Seems like he always has a big spring and just an ok fall.

L Jeff Byers, USC, Jr. - Former Gatorade High School Player of the Year as a lineman. Crazy...

L Ryan Stanchek, West Virginia, Jr. - I hear he really blocked well in the spring.

L Trinton Sturdivant, Georgia, Fr. - Gave up zero sacks in the spring, helped by the fact that the QB was wearing a red (no contact, do not touch me I am delicate) jersey.

L Eugene Monroe, Virginia, Jr. - No one run blocks better in shorts, t-shirt and a helmet than Monroe.

L Alex Mack, California, Jr. - Absolutely dominating (this is a serious comment).

QB Jake Locker, Washington, Fr. - Attended every practice, found his way to every class, and did not put on the freshman 15.

RB Antone Smith, Florida State, Jr. - FSU running game has only one place to go --> up.

RB DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma, Fr. - Made OU fans say, Adrian who?

I was going to do the defense but could not come up with any more clever things to say. Check out the full article if only to see that there is an honorable mention team.

Monday, May 07, 2007

ROY - Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn has been getting a lot of mention these days as a top candidate for rookie of the year. Most people attribute this to his situation in Buffalo. Peter King writes,

7. I think they might as well go ahead and inscribe the Offensive Rookie of the year trophy with Marshawn Lynch's name. With a run-blocking offensive line coach in Jim McNally, two very high-priced line free agents in the fold (Derrick Dockery, Langston Walker) after being trained in run-blocking in their previous places, and the likelihood that Lynch will get 300 carries if he stays healthy ... I mean, unless Calvin Johnson catches 80 balls or some Hofstra receiver comes out of nowhere again, Lynch should win it in a walk.
True, Marshawn is going into a good situation. But those of us that saw him play, know that regardless of where he went, he would have put up huge numbers. Also, expect Marshawn to be popular in fantasy football drafts. So Bear fans, pick him early and watch him carry your team.

Friday, May 04, 2007

ESPN on the Pac 10

ESPN has a new article out today on the Pac 10. The gist of the article is this: USC great, USC tops, other teams briefly mentioned, back to USC, more USC. But here are the interesting tidbits. (full article)
Most dynamic player: When California receiver and return specialist DeSean Jackson has the ball, he's just scary. He led the nation in punt returns last year, returning four for touchdowns. He also caught 59 passes for 1,060 yards -- 18 yards per reception -- with nine touchdowns. If the Bears start fast -- read: beat Tennessee -- Jackson could become a Heisman Trophy candidate.
No brainer choice here. Most dynamic player in the nation will also be the most dynamic player in his conference. Jackson will be a Heisman Trophy candidate but will not win it because the Bear offense is too balanced. When you have Hawkins and Jordan, along with Forsett running the ball, there is too much talent for Jackson to post the numbers to win. Unless he take 6 punts to the house this year.
Team that may disappoint: California coach Jeff Tedford has laid very few eggs in his five years in Berkeley, quickly transforming a moribund program into a budding national power. Oh, the Bears went belly-up in the 2004 Holiday Bowl against an inferior Texas Tech team, but other than that things have been mostly smooth. At least until that 35-18 humiliation at Tennessee that made Cal look ill-prepared for the big time and set tongues wagging on Pac-10 mediocrity. The Volunteers visit Strawberry Canyon this fall. If Cal wins, buckle up for a banner season. If it loses, things could become unsteady. A potential Achilles' heel: Six marquee starters from last year's underachieving defense need to be replaced.
Are you serious? The one positive I take from this is that the writer has high expectations for Cal. The team that may disappoint is UCLA. Have you seen how high they are being ranked in early polls? I saw one where they were #7. UCLA was 7-6 last year with one good win against USC. Bringing back 20 starters from a team barely over .500 is not a great thing. Let's not forget they got spanked by FSU in the Emerald Bowl. UCLA will finish in the bottom half of the conference this year below Cal, USC, Oregon St, Oregon and Arizona St.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Cal Skills Players Getting Props is doing some sort of position rankings but instead has categories, like top 10 deep throwers and top 10 break away backs. I think this is a multi part series, so we can look forwards to top 10 hang time, top 10 edge rushers, top 10 maulers, top 10 blankets, top 10 game turning tacklers, etc. Regardless, Cal has gotten a mention on both lists.

7. Nate Longshore, Jr., California: The fact that 51 of his 227 completions last year went for at least 20 yards shows that Longshore isn't afraid of throwing long. Why should he be when California boasts one of the nation's top deep threats in DeSean Jackson? Oregon State sure knows about Longshore's ability to deliver an accurate long ball. Longshore threw four touchdown passes - all at least 27 yards - in a 41-13 triumph over the Beavers last year. He also had a 62-yard touchdown pass against Arizona, a 48-yarder against Minnesota and a 44-yarder against UCLA.
7. Justin Forsett, Sr., California: Forsett's average of 6.4 yards per carry was the highest in the nation by any running back with at least 260 attempts. He gained 124 yards on just eight carries in the Golden Bears' 45-10 Holiday Bowl victory over Texas A&M. The departure of Marshawn Lynch could drop Forsett's average, but should increase his opportunities for long touchdown runs this fall. The one strike against Forsett as a breakaway threat is that his longest gain of the 2006 season covered only 48 yards.
For sure, DeSean will be ranked number one when the WR (top 10 take it to the house every time he touches the ball and embarass the other team) categories.

I am a big fan of Forsett, but I don't even think he is the top breakaway back on the team. Jahvid Best, incoming freshman, probably takes the cake on that one. Trust me, you thought DJax was fast, wait for this kid to return kicks.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Ranking the Cal Blogs

So we are back... not really. Due to real life crushing our dreams of full time blogging we are going to take a break until August when college football really starts up again. In the meantime, we wanted to give our readers (actually, by this time it might just be reader, singular) a review of the other Cal blogs out there.

Cal blogs (listed in the order you should read them everyday)

1) Tightwad Hill (

Positives: Hands down the best Cal blog on the web. Most in depth analysis and provides better coverage than traditional media.

Negatives: Has been absent for nearly all of April with no sign that he is coming back soon. When Tighwad is writing, he has no peer.

2) The Band is Out on the Field (

Positives: Good analysis and oftentimes has other insights that you don't normally find elsewhere. There are some funny postings and the community of readers makes for good discussions. Also, they are part of the SportsBlog Nation (not sure if this is a positive or negative).

Negatives: It appears that they have 3-5 ex Daily cal writers participating in this blogs. This in itself is neither good nor bad. But with that many people writing on the blog, can't they post more frequently. There should be a least 1 post a day.

3) The California Golden Blogs (

Positives: Very enthusiatic posting which is always funny and interesting. This blog offers the best images as they take most of their own photos and appear to have a really good digital camera. (Also, they actually link back to us, so props to them.) I don't know these guys, but they seem to be having the most fun with their blog and it shows.

Negatives: Their analysis is solid but not as in depth as the top two. This might just be me, but they seem to have a lot of posting related to jerseys (buying jerseys, getting jerseys as presents, what lynch's new jersey will look like). Only Tony Soprano seems to love Jersey as much as these guys.

4) Cal Golden Bear Football News (

Positives: You want news on Cal Football, this is the place to get it. I like reading the primary sources that this blog generally covers so I tend to check in with this site to see if I missed anything. If you don't do that, then this should move up to the top of the list, because it gives you all the news on Cal Football.

Negatives: No analysis but it never claims to provide analysis.

5) Cal Football Fan (

Positives: Great observations on the state of Cal football. Oftentimes produces tidbits of information that is not address by the other Cal bloggers.

Negatives: I wish they posted more frequently. But who am I to talk about posting more often.

6) Bear Territory (

Positives: Excellent analysis. For part of last season, he was a reporter for Rivals and was able to get insider access to coaches and players. Even before that, he has provided great observations on the team and how the team has played.

Negatives: Once he moved over to write for Rivals, the posting on his blog were less frequent and lacked the depth he once had. This was due to the fact that most of his best writing was going on Rivals. Now that he is no longer with Rivals, the postings on his blog have not picked up in quantity or quality. When Bear Territory returns to it original form, it would likely be in the top 3 on this list.

7) Contra Costa Times Blog (

Positives: When Jay Heater was writing this blog, it was among the best. Good insight behind the scenes.

Negatives: Jay has left and the new guy is still getting his bearings. But by what I have seen so far (4 posts) he needs to pick it up to meet the level that Cal fans expect.

Others worth mentioning

College Hotline (

Positives: Excellent blog. Provides good coverage. Jon Wilner has some good insights into the Cal program.

Negatives: For some reason, Cal media relations have cut him off from access to Tedford and others. He writes about all college programs in the Bay Area which means unnessary posts about Stanford.

Anyone want to comment where we rank? (We prefer if you consider us from our better days during last season rather than the barren wasteland you have seen that last 2 months)

Also, if we are missing any, please add the link in the comment section. Thanks.