0

Football: The Bears gather

Cal got back together Sunday night after the Thanksgiving break, knowing a lot more about their postseason status. After Oregon’s rout of Oregon State last night, it seems to be almost a sure thing that the Bears are headed to the Emerald Bowl at AT&T Park on Dec. 27.

Cal is going to finish alone in fourth place in the Pac-10 or tied for fourth place. Either way, the Bears will be in fourth place and be in the crosshairs of the Emerald Bowl. The Emerald Bowl wants Cal in a bad way, giving the game a local flavor for the first time and almost assuredly guaranteeing a sellout.

This season, the Emerald Bowl actually is slotted to take the conference’s fifth-place team with the Las Vegas Bowl scheduled to have the fourth place team. But the two bowls work in tandem for the 4-5 slot, switching off every year with the first pick. The Las Vegas Bowl actually has the first pick this year, but the Emerald Bowl is working with the Las Vegas Bowl to make sure it gets Cal and the Las Vegas Bowl is happy with its team.

As of right now, Arizona is the fifth-place team. The Las Vegas Bowl likely would rather have Arizona anyway. It’s closer than Cal, hasn’t been to a bowl game since 1998 and should travel well.

The only scenario in which Cal could possibly not go to the Emerald Bowl is if Arizona State beats Arizona on Saturday. That would make the Wildcats 6-6. Assuming Cal beats Washington and finishes 8-4 and possibly in the top 25, the Bears could be a more attractive product than Arizona. But even that may be a stretch.

Gary Cavalli, the executive director of the Emerald Bowl, said Sunday that it “looks good” to bring Cal to his game. But he also added that it’s not as a sure thing as he’d like it to be.

“We’re working together with the folks at the Las Vegas Bowl to find something that works well for everyone,” Cavalli said. “More than likely, we will have Cal. We’d love to have Cal in the game. It’s a guaranteed sellout. We’ve been looking forward to the day we can have a local team in the game. Cal brings a tremendous fan base.”

It makes for an interesting dynamic for Cal’s players. On one hand, they’d love to play in front of a partisan, sellout crowd, many of them family and friends. On the other hand, part of a bowl experience is going to a new city with new attractions, and the Emerald Bowl won’t have that component.

“We’re not going to do anything that we haven’t done already,” Cal linebacker Zack Follett said after practice tonight. “We’ve been to Alcatraz. But I’m happy with it. At least it’s somewhere close to home. It’s another opportunity to play in front of family and friends.”

He then added: “I’d love Vegas, but I’m fine with it.”

Linebacker Worrell Williams added that some players would be disappointed not to travel to another area, but those were mostly younger players who haven’t had the bowl experience yet.

As far as practice, the Bears went heavy on drills, which is normal coming off a bye week. Cal usually practices three times during a bye week but only went once last week, in addition to a conditioning practice. The Bears got in some good fundamental work tonight before really going hard on Washington on Tuesday. They still did some game planning for the Huskies tonight.

Backup quarterback Nate Longshore missed practice, staying back home  for an extra day to see his younger brother off on his Mormon mission. Longshore isn’t going to see his brother for the next two years. He will be back on Monday.

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.

  • CalAlum97

    MoreNCsarecoming Says:
    December 2nd, 2008 at 10:17 pm
    Heisman trophy and a UCB player mentioned in the same sentence is laughable. You guys are killing me.

    HA! back to you! You’re an uniformed idiot. Marshawn was up for the Heisman and some idiot named Bush won it. BUT, hate to break it to you, Marshawn is averaging 4.1 yards per carry, 7 TDs, and 6.6 yards receiving, and finished the previous season with 1,115 total rushing yards. Let’s see, Bush is averaging 3.3 yards per carry with only 2 TDs. Even last season he only averaged 3.7 ypc and 4 TDs.

    SUCKS!

    Yeah, U$C is just a bunch of ‘media darlings’ as you love to say, and manage to get inferior athletes chosen for the Heisman. So yeah, take all the Heisman’s you want, we know who’s got the superior athletes in the NFL.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    BTW if you want to see how classy USC fans are just read my post I put on the scout USC site. With rgards to Vidal I said “A lot of guys choose USC in hopes of starting but they also have a backup plan to leave if they don’t. We are so deep, it seems logical that some players will leave if it doesn’t go the way they wish. Good luck Vidal!”

    Now that doesn’t sound like the same kind of stuff I read and heard when Montgomery left your program (and he was only a 3* player).

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    TopArchiBear Says:
    December 2nd, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    I hope Cal will promote Best for the Heisman trophy in 2009. >>>>>> Heisman trophy 2009 frontrunners will be -Quizz, Mark Sanchez (if he stays), Stafford (if he stays), McCoy (if he stays),Bradford (if he stays), Tebow (if he stays), Pryor. If USC goes to a one back offense then Stafon Johnson will have to be considered.

  • Calbears

    mark sanchez is one of the most overrated players in the country, its just because he plays at sc that he gets all the attention. he should be kissing patrick turners and his olines behind. am i saying hes not a good player, no, not at all, hes a solid player with a great arm, but hes not a great player. i always use jay cutler as an example when he was at vandy when referring to the heisman. do you think if cutler had an oline like sc he wouldnt be up for the heisman, heck yeah he would have. sanchez was up for the heisman even before the year began. the voters need to knock it off with that garbage just because these guys play for a good program.

  • Calbears

    and stafon johnson, you must be joking

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Calbears Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 3:15 pm
    sanchez was up for the heisman even before the year began. the voters need to knock it off with that garbage just because these guys play for a good program.>>>>>>> And that is exactly why the very best players in the country want to play for USC. They know all it takes is one solid defining season and they could win the Heisman. 7 Heismans and counting….

  • Calduke

    I’m going to assume that Cal will have built a comfortable lead over Washington at halftime.

    If so, it would be prudent to sit Best and Vereen to prevent some stupid injury, in a blowout game. I know it would be nice to pad Best’s and Vereen’s stats for future reference, but, are the stats worth the chance of injury.

    The same goes for Kevin Riddle. It appears he has been programmed to be the Cal QB for the next 2 years and
    why expose him to the same chance of injury. I know he needs a lot more snaps, but, I’m assuming he will get those(like Best and Vereen) in the bowl game.

    CAL – Big Win/no injuries

  • Calbears

    nomorencs, look, i understand that ive been responding to you on a consistant basis, but, in all fairness, if you just talk about sc with class, i might consider backing off alittle bit. i dont need to hear about the seven heismans, i could care less, or the number of pac ten or national titles, think about if sc wasnt that great, would you still be a fan.

  • Calbears

    and i want an honest response from you. were you one of those usc fans back in the pre Pete Carroll era that was still showing off your usc colors or were you hiding because you were embarrassed. if not, your just another typical bandwagon fan who i cant stand because you ruin the tradition of what being a true fan is all about, loyalty. because if you were a true fan, you would not talk constant trash about how great your team is. look, i dont know when or if it will happen, but if cal was undefeated every single year, or if they were winless every single year, i would still love them till the day i die.

  • AmyFan4Life

    Hey Amy, I am amazed you are still at your old tricks. It isn’t like the Bears have broken their Rose Bowl drought. Why the obsession on a small paper’s forum?

    By now, you are probable asking yourself why has my secret admirar returned. It is really simple. I have finally followed your footsteps in being banned on Scout.com! I suppose it was my remark about left testicle, but I was only speaking the truth about you. Unlike your ban, I only have a three days suspension. While I do have better things to do, I thought I would keep you company for the next few days. You know the protocal, you write something, and I’ll respond in kind. Let’s do it, my lil boy!

    ps Calbears, you’re kidding, right? Amy is never honest.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Calbears Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 5:09 pm
    and i want an honest response from you. were you one of those usc fans back in the pre Pete Carroll era that was still showing off your usc colors or were you hiding because you were embarrassed.>>>>>>> Yes! I first became a USC fan when daddy took me to watch them play against your team. That was in 1988. I was captivated then by the tradition and the history and it became even more of a passion for me once I learned more about the history and the players. I rode through some tough times with Hackett as our coach but I really knew that one day we would rise again to prominence. Now here is a question for honest UCB fans? Back when Holmoe and Gilbertson coached you guys you had about 25K fans in attendance. In fact it wasn’t until 2004 (Tedford’s 3rd year) that your attendance got up into the 60Ks and even then you had giveaway days. Now what’s this about bandwagon fans?

  • Calbears

    yes i was at the games with the couple thousand fans, when holmoe and gilbertson were the coach, and they were terrible. it was pretty quiet around the stadium, now its almost always packed. there are many cal bandwagon fans as well, i however am not one of them.all im saying is, as a fan that has always been stood by their team, why do you have to act like a typical bandwagon fan that only talks trash, and has nothing positive to say. i can be positive if you can, thats all im saying, im normally a pretty positive blogger, until i read stuff from fans that dont belong on a cal message board.

  • CalFBFan

    I think criticism of bandwagon fans in college football is overblown. You have new students joining fan bases every year, and unless the school has strong athletic tradition, it takes a winning program to win the students over.

    Now, say you have a school like Cal, with a terrible stint for a bunch of years under a terrible coach. New blood is brought in and the team starts winning. Incoming students, students who start school just as the new coach is brought in, are bound to start following the team. Would these be considered bandwagon fans?

    I say, no, they shouldn’t be. These students are now likely fans for life, regardless of who they followed before joining the school. I’m proud to say that I know numerous alumni, graduates of recent years, who continue to come back for Cal football games, who still came back despite the epic collapse suffered last year. Now things are looking sketchier with uncertainty at QB and a questionable O-line, but I guarantee you, these kids are going to keep coming back for more (so long as they have money to do so, of course).

  • AmyFan4Life

    Calbears, there’s an old rumor that Amy pooed in her panties, when she heard the SC band for the first time in ’89. Her daddy held her hand to the men’s restroom, but there wasn’t any toilet paper. Witnesses were perplexed at the site of a young boy with pink princess panties. Her father handed out $100 bills to eliminate witness tales, but one witness was wise enough to know this lil boy was messed up in the head and had all of the markings of a wannabe SC fan. Since there wasn’t any paper in the entire stadium, she had to sit in her own poo for the entire game. Her whining was eliminated by her father with his socks. This appears to be the reason why she loves $C, since she suffers from multiple mental illnesses. Her raw bumm proves her dedication through and through.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    AmyFan4Life Says:
    December 4th, 2008 at 1:43 am
    Calbears, there’s an old rumor that Amy pooed in her panties, when she heard the SC band for the first time in ‘89. Her daddy held her hand to the men’s restroom, but there wasn’t any toilet paper. Witnesses were perplexed at the site of a young boy with pink princess panties. Her father handed out $100 bills to eliminate witness tales, but one witness was wise enough to know this lil boy was messed up in the head and had all of the markings of a wannabe SC fan. Since there wasn’t any paper in the entire stadium, she had to sit in her own poo for the entire game. Her whining was eliminated by her father with his socks. >>>> Wow AF4L! By the looks of what time you posted this (1:43AM) and the substance of the material I take it you must have just gotten off of your early morning shift as a custodian at Haas Gym. Talk about a sick fetish! How long did it take for you to think that one up? I guess now that you are BANNED on the scout boards you have nothing better to do with your time. Now that you have thoroughly embearassed yourself I predict we will see more of BerkeleyGoldenBear from now on.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    AmyFan4Life Says:
    December 3rd, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    Why the obsession on a small paper’s forum?..I have finally followed your footsteps in being banned on Scout.com! Unlike your ban, I only have a three days suspension. You know the protocal, you write something, and I’ll respond in kind>>>>> You will have a lot of catching up to do once you get UNBANNED. Did you see my new s/n? Let me clue you in. It sounds a lot like one of the other ones. Also since you need something to do check out the Austin American a few days ago and of course the SFChronicle on a daily basis – both of them should do you proud since you think this blog isn’t worthy of your attention.

  • AmyFan4Life

    Amy, you’re not denying the story, but only projecting your sick distorted perception of the world? Cope out! Feces are a natural part of life, Amy. It ain’t sick except for those with your bizaar nature. Fortunately, you are a rarity for the sake of society.

  • AmyFan4Life

    One more thing… Do you know anything about time changes when you travel? Yes, the world isn’t flat, Amy! Hold onto your skirt, there’s more! Normal people don’t spend their entire day in front of the computer screen pressing F5. How many times have you done that, since your last post on here?

  • Teff EdFord (also from Concord)

    I went to some Cal games when I was a student there from 99-02, and still remember the cops promising to provide “I didn’t rush the field shirts” for those who stayed in their seats – “in the rare event we beat Stanford”.
    I became a fan when I went to school there – didn’t buy season tickets, as I do now, becasue you didn’t need them for a good seat, they sucked that bad, football wasn’t what people thought of when you mentioned Berkeley.
    Now, you need them…odds are I’ll not be attending college again, so Cal will always be my team (still a Raider fan, and many thanks to whomever for Tedford – thanks but no thanks, Kiffin) and I’ll always enjoy the games, so long as Tedford or better remains there.

    I honestly don’t think Cal will attract another coach of his caliber – at least not until the new facilities are built, especially with the state’s budget crisis, but maybe I don’t give Barbour enough credit.

    But I don’t believe there is the pro-style parity within the FBS conferences, and I think schools like us, Stanford, ND, and UCLA have more obstacles to to recruiting. THerefore, unless Carrol leaves $C, we’ll most likely have to continue sifting through the dung heap of it-who-shall-not-be-named’s woeful pedantry. It’s psychotic and weird, but at least it gives me a chance for creative writing.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    AmyFan4Life Says:
    December 4th, 2008 at 12:52 pm
    Amy, you’re not denying the story, >>>> How’s this? I deny the story. Now do you care to make up another one? I hope your late shift custodian job doesn’t take you to the Life Sciences building to clean up after experimental animals. No telling what kind of story you would come up with.