The More Things Change… (Cal-Oregon Soliloquy)
The Bears are 4-0, right?
From the way people have acted this week, it’s hard to tell. Because we gave up two garbage time TDs to Colorado State, had perhaps the first “unimpressive thirty point victory” in the history of college football at home against Tech, and cruise controlled for nearly 35 minutes against Arizona before finally nailing their coffin…let’s just say Bears fans are a mixed bag of confidence and trepidation going into Saturday’s game into Eugene.
But we’ve been here before. Hell, we were here less than a year ago. A confident, cocky 4-0 Oregon team coming into Memorial with supposedly all the momentum on their side. Their offense was supposed to rush the Bears off the field, knock us into the Stone Age, send Cal’s BCS hopes out to pasture for the 2006 season. The Bears then proceeded to flame roast some foie gras for the next three and a half hours and Oregon stumbled through the rest of the season, culminating in selling those garish gold helmets they used in their Las Vegas Bowl demolition to various third world countries.
A year later it seems like nothing has changed. Everyone is low on the Bears (whose Tennessee victory seems diminished in many college circles) and high on the Ducks (still basking from their waddlefest in the Big House). People are laying such heavy money on Oregon to the point that we’re over 2:1 underdogs. The differences from last year lie at the venue (Autzen), a confident QB in Dixon and a healthy Jonathan Stewart. In a nutshell, it’ll all come down to a young Cal defense making the leap and cutting down the Ducks before they can jump on us. And Longshore needs to return to 2006 form completely (showed flashes last week)–he can’t keep on lobbing cross patterns and hope for someone to catch the ball. Deep ball time.
If we lose, so be it. The last three weeks have been a bitchfest about imperfect play, and a Saturday defeat would be validation to the doubters, and they can wallow in their self-pity while I look forward to OSU. All I can say is I’m not worried like I was before Tennessee, when nothing was certain about this team. Now, I do know enough about our team to understand we do have the tools to beat the Ducks. This team has shown a knack to rise and sink to the level of its competition; it’ll be up to them to transcend it today.
Today, we will decide what our destiny will be in 2007. Our fate is in our hands. March forward to victory Bears!
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