It begins

Cal fans undoubtedly can’t wait to see where the so-called experts think the Bears fit in nationally. There are 3 1/2 months until the start of the season but that hasn’t stopped Athlon from weighing in with its preseason top 25.

The magazine has been counting down its rankings with one team per day and revealed Cal as its No. 11 team on Friday. That seems about right for a team that likely is to be ranked anywhere between 10 and 20 in the various preseason publications that publish such rankings.

Athlon also picked DeSean Jackson as its first team All-American at punt returner and tabbed center Alex Mack as a second team All-American.

The magazine also chose a preseason All-Pac-10 team. On its first team are Jackson, Mack, tight end Craig Stevens and punter Andrew Larson. Quarterback Nate Longshore, wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins, offensive lineman Mike Gibson, linebacker Zack Follett and kicker Tom Schneider are on the second team and running back Justin Forsett, defensive lineman Matthew Malele, linebacker Worrell Williams, and cornerback Syd’Quan Thompson were picked to the third team.

Jonathan Okanes

Jonathan Okanes is in his fourth year covering Cal's football team. Previously, he covered Cal's men's basketball team for four years. He can also be followed on Twitter at twitter.com/OkanesonCal.