All About the Bears (Plus UCLA Torrent)
I’m not disdaining coverage of Cal because of the awful defeats of the last two weeks, but more because I’ve been trying to dissect the losses over and over. What exactly went wrong? How did we blow these games?
Eventually you just sort of let everything ebb away. It’s fruitless to try and analyze every nook and cranny to figure out why you lost. Sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and realize, “This isn’t such a big deal. We’re still 5-2. Our destiny is still in our hands.” True, we might need a little help, but again, I’m not overtly concerned.
In truth (I’m sure I’ve said this a thousand times), I didn’t really think this team was ready to handle success in this bizarre roulette of “Who’s #1?”. The bizarre jump in the rankings ended up hurting the Bears on the field, and it showed with all the mental errors and mistakes the past two weeks. Although the thoughts were primarily to get to the Rose Bowl (for the record I have no idea why I’m calling them kids–I sound like Gandalf the Grey), only the most diehard of Cal fans thought we’d be competing for the title. In fact, even that first goal seemed pretty lofty, since we all knew Oregon would be a juggernaut, the Rose Bowl would give us difficulty, and ASU and OSU would trouble us. Add in the loss of Marshawn and the suspect defense.
In the end, many of us just got swept up along with everyone else in the rankings game while ignoring the gameplay. I wasn’t nearly as devastated by the two losses as I was after the Arizona game, albeit probably a little panicky that we just blew #1. I knew this team was flawed. We let crappy teams back into our games. We gave up 31 to a Tennessee team with no receiving playmakers. We squeaked by our biggest challenger despite giving up 500 yards. The flaws were there. Eventually they all added up.
So we’re at 5-2. Not exactly the way we expected it, but I’d say right on par with where we thought we’d be at the start of the season. The fall wasn’t exactly graceful, but this Cal team has shown very rare flashes of greatness. Hopefully their best will be good enough to run the table, because they can afford no more mistakes between here and December if they want to keep those flickering BCS hopes alight.
Although I still wish we had passed more in the 4th quarter…
Anyway, here’s Tedford’s interview. Listening to him speak always has a calming effect on me. It should be his press interviews, pancakes, chamomile tea and honey in both before bed. Always a good way to calm the frayed nerves.
The Cal-UCLA torrent is up. Of course, I can’t imagine why any regular Cal fan would subject themselves to this horror again. I’ll be looking at it of course; one because I’m analyzing every game, and two because I enjoy watching my eyes burn in my sockets.
One Cal player delves deep into the soul after the jump.
I guess Cal players need new ways to motivate themselves (although the Bears are generally great as an underdog; they stink as a favorite), here’s a classic hit from a Dirk Koetter coached set of incompetence from last year’s blowout. Hopefully, the team remembers the cheap shot and subliminally transfers it to this game.
If you want a reason to chortle, check out Tom Hansen’s bizarre statement from earlier this week about the healthy nature of the TV contracts (gag), the awesomeness of the BCS (choke), and our great officials. Gifted comedian. This is the same man who wanted to secede from the +1 formula that might actually get us a true national champion. Don’t we have retirement homes for these people?
I know I haven’t been linking enough to my Golden Blog brothers lately, but Hydrotech already has examined the defeat in a nutshell and determined whether it really was the playcalling that lost us the game (Hint: Nooooooooo). Nice roundup of ASU too. Our interview with fans of the Sun Devils will be coming later today.
Finally, one fan thought that Tedford was being his usual genius self and threw the game. Why? Vegas baby.
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