Archive for November, 2006

USC game preview posted on

Friday, November 17th, 2006

My latest article is posted on Irresistible force meets immovable object

Latest article posted on

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

I covered the weekly press conference in Berkeley this week and my latest article is about Tedford and Carroll’s comments about the upcoming game:  Cal vs. USC: “Our players know what’s at stake”

Also, if anyone has any questions about specific players or the team I’d be happy to answer them.  With this new gig I’ve had chances to talk with Tedford, Hughes, Syd’Quan, Pimentel, Bishop, Longshore, DeSean and others.  I’ve been able to watch a few practices to see how they’re playing as well.

Corrections to Jon Wilner and all the Cal bloggers out there

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

OK, all of the Cal blogs I’ve seen out there that look forward to next week point out that “as long as we beat Stanford”, the USC game will determine the Pac-10 champion.


At this point, the Big Game is meaningless. Absolutely meaningless.

We’re tied with USC in the Pac-10 standings with two games to go.  Because the winner of next weeks game will be one game up on the other and has the tie-breaker in the event of a tie with one game to go, there is no way the loser can overcome that loss.  If USC beats Cal and loses to UCLA they still go to the Rose Bowl.  If Cal beats USC and loses to Stanford (God forbid), Cal still goes to the Rose Bowl.  It’s as simple as that.

The Big Game is meaningless.  Absolutely meaningless.

“But wait… what about a three or four way tie?  Couldn’t that affect it?” 

Nope, because both Oregon State and Oregon lost yesterday, all Pac-10 teams outside of Cal and USC now have three or more loses and are at least two games back.  No other Pac-10 team can equal the Pac-10 record of both Cal and USC since for Cal and USC to be tied they’d both have to go 1-1 in the remaining games.  There will be no three way ties.

As I said, the winner of next weeks USC-Cal game wins the conference.

The Big Game is meaningless.  Absolutely meaningless.

“OK, OK, for the Rose Bowl it’s meaningless, but what about a free fall for either team?  Couldn’t the Bears fall all the way to the Sun bowl by losing both?”

Nope.  At this point Cal is guaranteed a post-season trip to Southern California for either the Holiday Bowl or the Rose Bowl.  Even if Cal loses both of their remaining games, they’d at worst by tied with teams that they beat, either Oregon or Oregon State.  Since Cal’s one loss is to Arizona who already has lost 4 conference games and are therefore 3 games back, they can not tie Cal with 2 games left.  USC interestingly enough, could still end up in the Sun Bowl if they lost out because they lost to Oregon State who could have as little as three loses if they win out and would have the tie-breaker.

So I guess the USC-UCLA game could have some meaning.  BUT…

The Big Game is meaningless.  Absolutely meaningless.

OK, so that’s it.  All the marbles are in the basket of next week.  Winner take all, loser takes second (with small caveat for USC above).

Any questions?

Playing not to lose

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Thinking more about the Cal game, who else thinks a big part of Cal’s problem the last few weeks is that they’ve been playing not to lose instead of to win?

Let’s hope so because next week that won’t be a problem.

Ouch! Arizona 24, Cal 20

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Well that stinks.  Before all the Arizona fans out there get on their high horse: you guys didn’t deserve to win the game either.

Anybody else extremely disappointed by the officiating?  Both of those defensive penalties that negated the Cal interceptions were completely bogus calls.  The game hinged on that drive as well because part of the reason Longshore forced that pass that was run back on the ensuing drive was because the game was now tied.  If Cal had gotten the ball of either interception and was up 17-10, Longshore would have continued to be overly conservative and not throw a pass like that.

Overall, I was disappointed with Cal’s inability to stretch the field.  They should have been throwing the ball long more often.  The plays were there, Longshore had the protection, he just kept throwing the underneith routes.

I was pretty happy with the defense.  They mostly kept Arizona in check particularly considering that 10 points came off of turnovers and an additional 7 were allowed because of bogus penalties as mentioned above.  Only giving up 7 “real” points is pretty good.

Yeah, the mistakes in this game were just killers:

  1. Longshore’s 2 interceptions
  2. Block in the back penalty on Marshawn TD run
  3. Hawkins trip that left him short of TD
  4. Inability to score TD from 1st and goal at the 1.

Then the bad luck didn’t help:

  1. Longshore’s 3rd interception
  2. DeSean being out by 1″ on go-ahead TD
  3. Two ridiculous penalties on interceptions

The good news is just like the USC loss to OSU, this loss doesn’t mean anything (unless Oregon beats USC tonight in which case the loss means everything).

I’m sure my article at will be published shortly (I submitted about a 1/2 hour ago).

More tomorrow. 

Pac-10 picks

Friday, November 10th, 2006

I’m going to try and write more details on my predictions later tonight but right now I just want to make sure my scores are posted so I can keep the metrics rolling in case I can’t get around to it.

  • Cal 34, Arizona 13
  • Stanford 10, Washington 26 
  • Oregon St. 31, UCLA 24
  • WaZoo 28, ASU 20
  • Oregon 34, USC 28 (upset baby! Rose Bowl for Cal!)

My preview of the Arizona game is posted on

Friday, November 10th, 2006

My weekly statistical preview of the upcoming Cal game is now posted at  Will the real Arizona please stand up?

My latest article is posted

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

I interviewed Steve Levy at Tuesday’s practice.  Here’s the article: Levy: ‘I think I’ve Still Got A Little Left In Me’

More posts coming on Cal Bears

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

Sorry things have been slow here on the Cal Bears portion of my blog.  For those who read my full blog they’ll know that I had a fair amount of election stuff this last week.

I will have the following posts in the next couple days:

  • Updated metrics
  • Pac-10 predictions for this weekend including detailed Cal analysis
  • Reports on being a new member of the press and in the press box for the UCLA game
  • Insight on going to Cal practice on Tuesday

Vote Schwarzenegger for Governor

Saturday, November 4th, 2006

I’m not thrilled with Arnold.  While he’s done an OK job his pro-choice perspective really bothers me.  Thankfully he’s not a radical pro-choicer who stands for stupid things like free abortions for minors without parental notification.  That said, he does support ESCR research and most early term abortions.  Not good.

But you know what, Arnold has stood strong on Gay Marriage, vetoing that bill.  He’s stood strong illegal immigration issues.  Basically he’s the only person in Sacramento who does anything to keep the radically democratic legislature from going out of control.

And that’s what it boils down to.  If Angelides were elected there would be no one to watch the hen house.