Tedford Tournament of Champions: Cal 2003 vs. Cal 2007
Time doesn’t allow us to do everything we want. But the Internet allows us to manipulate space and time and come with all sorts of fanciful solutions for that.
Whatifsports.com is one of the best and worst sites in the world. On one hand it’s a virtual goldmine for settling questions like “Would the 18-1 Patriots have beaten the 17-0 Dolphins?” or “How good were the 72-10 Chicago Bulls?” or “How badly would the 1927 Yankees have pounded this year’s San Francisco Giants into the ground in a seven game series?”. On the other hand….I can’t stop using it. This is like sports on crack. Must stop.
But just recently, they did something that was perfectly Calpliccable. They added in a college football feature. So I thought a fun extension of the earlier “favorite Tedford team” question would be the following: If we faced them off against one another, which Tedford team would outlast the others (I also entertained the notion of putting the 2004 team against Holmoe’s 2001 team, but I wasn’t terribly interested in simulating twenty 65-0 games)?
Of course, there are some dramatic changes from, say, a regular football playoff. This was only to determine a true champion, not how good a football team the others were, so I extended each faceoff to a best-of-seven game series. We’re going to assume this tournament lasts…4 months and they play each other once a week or something. Draw your own reality.
A few other things for the first round.
- Weather conditions are variable for the first round, but I kept the conditions the same for the next one (it’s way too hard to randomize weather, and there seems to be little effect on the game result except it’s a little sloppier).
- These games are taken out of a sample of about twenty or so games, where it was decisive enough to figure out who was the better team. Only in a case or two did I have to extend it beyond that to figure out who won the series, so the results seem pretty decisive.
So the seedings are as follows.
#1 2004 team and #2 2006 team get first-round byes for being the teams with the best record.
We’ll start with the Cal’ 07-Cal ’03 faceoff. Who will triumph? Don’t cheat; the results are after the jump, so vote in the sidebar before you proceed. Cheaters will be forced to watch a terrible terrible video. Worse than any Rick Roll or 2 girls 133 cups.
Game 1: Cal ’07 48, Cal ’03 24
Summary: A pair of Adimchinobe Echemandu touchdowns puts the 2003 team up early 14-0, but the 2007 team repsonded back with ground fire. Justin Forsett, Jahvid Best and James Montgomery all score touchdowns as the 07 Bears went on a 48-3 run. During the crucial second quarter, Forsett would accumulate an incredible 135 yards of total offense and score two touchdowns. Best would break things open in the third quarter with a 74 yard TD scamper. Nate Longshore would have a quiet 16-23, 183 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT game. Aaron Rodgers threw one TD late, but Tedford 03’s conservative approach during the middle of the game did not allow for Cal to come back late. Young Daymeion Hughes would have an interception early on Longshore that created the 14-0 lead.
Temp: 70 degrees, no wind.
Game 2: Cal ’07 52, Cal ’03 24
Summary: Aaron Rodgers had a better Game 2. Nate Longshore’s was picture-perfect. Longshore completed 21-25 for 321 yards and 4 touchdowns as Cal ’07 took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series against their ’03 counterparts. ’03 missed a great chance to take an early 7-0 lead by failing to convert on 4th and goal at the 2, and then Anthony Felder intercepted Rodgers on the next possession. Longshore would lead the Bears down the field for their first touchdown of the game soon after. Both sides would trade scores for the first half, with ’07 leading 21-17 at the half. But two touchdowns and a missed Fredrickson field goal would widen the margin to 35-17 by the third, and it was never close after that.
Robert Jordan and Craig Stevens both caught a pair of touchdowns, and DeSean Jackson and Lavelle Hawkins combined for 10 passes and 180 yards. Jahvid Best would cap off the rout with a 78 yard gallop.
Temp: 60 degrees, light wind.
Game 3: Cal ’07 30, Cal ’03 22
Summary: Even the rain could not stop the 2007 Bears from taking command of the series from their 2003 counterparts. Justin Forsett ran all over the field for 34 carries and 228 yards, as the Bears took a 3-0 lead in the series. Despite heavy struggles from Nate Longshore (who was sacked four times and picked off twice) and a heroic performance by Aaron Rodgers (who was involved in all three of ’03’s TDs), Cal ’03 could not have an answer for Forsett in the second half. Three Jordan Kay field goals put the ’07 Bears up 9-7 at the half. After trading touchdowns in the third quarter (a 1 yard Hawkins catch and a Rodgers QB scramble), Forsett would pick up 93 yards and help set up one TD while scoring the other to make it 30-14.
Rodgers would march his team down the field in just over a minute to cut the lead to 8 on a J.J. Arrington catch, but they could not get past their own ’24 on their final drive. Geoff McArthur had another great game for the ’03ers (5 catches, 108 yards, the first TD of Game 3), but committed a crucial fumble that led to one of the Kay field goals. Both of Longshore’s INTs were deep in the opponent red zone; the ’03 team was unable to convert either one of those turnovers into points.
Temp: 50 degrees, moderate rain
Game 4: Cal’ 07 34, Cal ’03 27 (Cal ’07 wins 4-0)
Summary: Justin Forsett had another monster second half to sweep the ’03 Bears out of the “Tedford Tournament” In the closely contested Game 4, the ’03 Bears tied the game twice in the final period, and Forsett was the ’07 Bear who broke that tie both times with a receiving and running TD; he added on a receiving TD early in the third quarter to round out all the second half scoring. DeSean Jackson would also come up with the crucial 48 yard scamper with 1:31 left to set up the final score.
Despite Adimchinobe Echemandu playing his best game of the tournament (23 carries, 131 yards, and 1 TD), and picking up 54 yards on a fake punt to set up the tying score, he would fumble the ball right after the Forsett score to seal their defeat. Aaron Rodgers did not have a great statistical game, but he managed to lead his team back twice in the 4th quarter by going 5-5 on the early 4th quarter TD drive for 64 yards to set up Echemandu’s TD run, and finding Geoff McArthur on 4th and goal at the 12 to tie it up at 27 with over 2 minutes left. Longshore had another monstrous offensive game, going 26-44 for 430 yards, 3 TDs and an INT.
Temp: 65 degrees, heavy wind
Cal’ 07 moves onto face…? We’ll have to find out next week on Friday morning!
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