Saturday, July 21, 2007

Speed Kills

This year's squad will be the fastest in Cal history and one of the fastest in the nation. Three starting wide receivers with sub 4.4. speed. A freshman running back with world class sprinter speed. I believe 2 linebackers, Felder and Cook, run in the 4.5 range. Here are some other postings about Cal's speed.

Heisman Pundit has two posts about speed.

College Football's Fastest Players
4. Jahvid Best, Cal--Best is an incoming freshman for the Cal Bears with a best of 10.36 in the 100 meters and 20.65 in the 200 meters, which he ran this past June. The 5-10, 183-pounder ran for 3,325 yards and 48 touchdowns as a senior at Salesian (Calif.) High.
Fastest Player in Pads
1. DeSean Jackson, Cal--Give Jackson a yard and he takes 50 in the blink of an eye. His incredible vision makes him appear even faster than he is, as he knows exactly where he is going on the field.

4. Jahvid Best, Cal--I know he hasn't played yet, but I'm a big believer in this kid's ability. Cal quarterback Nate Longshore has already been quoted as saying Best is the fastest player he's ever seen. Give him a year of seasoning so he can control his legs better and he will be No. 1 on this list.
Make sure to keep your eyes on the games this year. One blink and you might miss something.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Bruce Feldman w/ Cal Bears

ESPN has this annoying Insider feature. The best articles are always restricted to "Insider" members. Lucky for you reader (all 6 of you) I have an Inside account. So I give to you the full text of this Bruce Feldman piece...

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."
"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.

Best Game I Have Ever Seen...

Mike Silver, SI writer and Cal Alum, was gracious enough to indulge us in a Q&A session before last year's USC game. He writes more about Cal sports than anyone else and he covers the NFL. (We should lobby for him to take over the Cal Football blog at Contra Costa Times, which has dropped in quality since Jay Heater left.) is doing a feature called "Best Game I Have Ever Seen..." and Mike writes about his experience watching "The Play". (Read Article)

It is a great story told from the audience perspective.

Here is a list of the top 3 games I have seen in person I have been in NYC the last 2 years, so apologies to fans of the Cal - Washington game last year.

1) Cal vs USC 2003 - The Holy Sh!t Game
Cal upsets #3 USC in triple overtime. The defense was fierce shutting down Bush, White and Dennis and intercepting Leinart 3 times. Also, Echemandu was the only back that season to rush for over 100 yards against SC.
But the game itself was crazy. Two blocked field goals. A fumble by Dennis near the goal line. Robertson replacing Rodgers and leading the Bears to victory.
All game long, all I heard was "Holy Sh!t, did you see that" or "Holy Sh!t, is this really happening".

2) Cal vs USC 2004 - Near Perfection
The Cal game with the most hype in the last 15 years. ESPN Gameday was there. Cal fans in SoCal come out of the woodwork. 2 undefeated team in a conference battle.
Rodgers completed 74 passes in a row (ok it was less but the kid was on fire). Defense holds its own against a powerful USC offense. The Cal section is ridiculously loud and the entire Coliseum is rocking. Yeah, in the end we lost, but that was a great game.

3) Cal vs UCLA 2000 - The Silver Lining in a Dark Era
I attended Cal from 1997 - 2001. Or what is known as the Holmoe Era. There was not much to celebrate. I remember sitting at games in the fourth quarter with enough room to lie across benches. But this game was one of the few bright spots of that time.
UCLA comes into the game ranked #13 while Cal is averaging 13 points a game. The result: Cal over UCLA 46-38 in triple overtime. (Side note: Cal dominates in triple overtime games.)
Boller was playing out of his mind but Igber was the real star of the day.
During overtime, the mic man had the student section move from end zone to end zone to provide additional crowd noise. (This also shows how sparsely attended Cal games were at this time). My first time rushing the field after a win. (1997 and 1998 Cal fans rushed the field after losses in the Big Game).

Looking back at this game and reading the press notes, you have to wonder how bad Holmoe was as a coach. Here are some of the players on that team: Kyle Boller (NFL), Nnamdi Asomugha (Pro Bowler), Scott Fujita (Pro Bowler), Joe Igber (1000 + yards), Geoff MacArthur (All American under Tedford), Nick Harris (greatest punter in Cal history, Harris for Heisman).

Share your favorites in the comments. Remember these are only games that you have seen in person.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

EA Sports, NCAA CFB Countdown

This was an interesting countdown. Cal is #16 and all the highlights are generated through the game. I could not find an embeddable version so you have to go to the link.

EA Sports, NCAA CFB Countdown #20-#16

Monday, July 16, 2007

Rival's Cal Football Preview

Check out this preview from Rival's (also the lead photo in Yahoo CFB Sports section). Overall a solid preview but nothing we have not already read.

One point of contention, the writer give our linebackers a "B" grade. Linebacker is our strongest unit behind wide receiver. Follett, Williams and Felder will challenge the USC trio for best in the land. Follett is the headliner with Williams being the anchor. Felder is the question mark. If he stays healthy, watch out.

Here is the whole article.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Another Cal Preview

Just in time for the weekend, College Football News (CFN) has their Cal Football Preview.

This is one of my favorite previews because it has an overall overview, an offense overview, a defense overview and depth chart. Also, it is free.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Cal Links

Haven't posted in a while but here are somethings to read before the start of the season.

ESPN is all over Cal today, in a good way.

Cal Season Preview

Cal Rugby Article - Dominating!

I think this is Cal's Heisman website for DeSean Jackson. Have not seen the other bloggers link to it, so I am not sure if it is official. But it looks pretty cool.

DeSean's Heisman Campaign

That is all for now. Enjoy.