Football: Coming soon…

…a thorough review of the season. Starting next week, I will review the season position-by-position, looking at what what went wrong, what went right, and what has to be done in the future. In the meantime, stay tuned tomorrow for my season-ending review in the paper. I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!

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.

  • Pompusone

    I think you had a pretty good year. Thanks for the coverage of the Bears and Happy New Year.

  • Brian

    JO —

    Thanks for the great coverage this year. Here’s looking forward to an even greater 2009 season!

  • Calduke

    Interesting article re Randall Carroll


  • Kent


    You article “Overachievers….” is a poor title. I certainly would never state that Cal’s season this year was overachievement! Cal performed as expected.

    Cal defeated all the teams they were supposed to beat (6-0) but were only 2-4 against teams with winning records going into the Bowl games. Note that the two wins were at home and the four losses were all on the road. Also, Cal was picked to finish 4th in teh Pac-10 at the beginning of the season and that’s exactly where they finished. Cal finished the season with a 4-4 record against teams with winning records (CSU won their bowl game and finished the year at 7-6).

    Cal has a “solid” season, for all the points you laid out in your article, but what prevented Cal from “overachieveing” was the uninspired play from the QB position…sure having young WRs did not help, and the injuries on the OL hampered the QB performance. But there were numerous poor throws from the QB position in each game. The root cause that prevented Cal was winning a road game against a quality opponents goes back to the uneven perforamnce at the QB position.

    In the final anlaysis, one can characterize Cal’s season as solid, good, as expected, but certainly not as overachievment.

  • Upward

    Of particular interest to Cal fans this offseason are progress of the SAHPC, who the new OL coach will be, and will there be any other coaching changes? LOI day is always huge but that goes without saying. Another topic is roster movement. Every year some players leave the program to concentrate on academics or because of injury, please keep us updated on those developments. That should keep all California fanatics happy until spring practice.
    Thanks for the coverage in 08, looking forward to even better and more expanded coverage and insider takes in 09.
    Solid football year this season. The program is headed in the right direction. Here’s to building on the 9 wins and making it 10/11 in 09, Happy New Year.
    Thanks and Go Bears!

  • Paul


    What is your take on why Riley did not play in the Emerald Bowl? It has a lot of Cal fans baffled.

    Thank you for all of the great Cal coverage all season long.

  • Kyoto Bear

    Thanks for the great work this year! Great coverage, wonderful stories and timely blog updates. Great job well done.

    A bear in Kyoto, Japan

  • wehofx

    JO, great job this year. Looking forward to your review/analysis of the season.

    With OSU’s victory today, PAC 10 is 4 and 0. Great bowl season for the PAC 10 so far, I even hope USC wins.

    Happy New Year everyone. Let’s hope JT can land R Carroll. Go Bears!

  • Jonathan Okanes

    Kent, writers don’t write the headlines for their own stories. That’s handled by our copy desk. You’ll notice one of the main messages in the story is the sense they could have done more, kind of in line with what you are talking about.
    Paul, the conspiracy theories flying around I think are a little over the top. I don’t think you can make the argument Riley definitively should have started the game over Longshore. Riley has struggled and Longshore did have some good practices. The idea that Longshore should have been pulled in favor of Riley, maybe at halftime, is more valid. Coming out of halftime, I wouldn’t have been surprised if Riley had taken over. But again, it’s difficult to make the argument Riley would have been any better, based on past performance. That being said, there’s no question Longshore really struggled in the game.

  • Old Bear

    The four teams that Cal lost to in 2008 come to Memorial in 2009.

    Cal will probably be favored in every road game except Oregon.

    Maybe 2009 will be the Rose Bowl year.

  • Calduke

    I’m a Longshore fan, but, I’m also baffled why Riley didn’t get some playing time.

    Was he hurt?
    Missed the Awards?
    Ran on last play against Oregon State in 2007?
    Had a bad week of practice?

    Mr Okanes, can you help us out on this?

  • cal bear 85


    Any insight to the play when Nate called the time out and Norris and K Riley were visibly upset at the time out call? I think Jahvid ran for 20+ yards after the time out.


  • Pug

    Landing Randall Carroll would be huge.

  • ToparchiBears

    Championship will be on hand if the fastest man on ground and on air in the same uniform with top center and OT joining.

    Carroll had a good talk with Best when he was in town. Hope that he had persuaded him to join the Bear.

    Go Bears!


    did anybody attend the BIG SHOW after the game at the WARFIELD?? was it any fun were people just mingling around with the players and alumni?

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Happy New Year to all. All true Pac 10 fans will be rooting today for a Rose Bowl win. With a victory today the Pac 10 will have pulled off a Bowl season sweep. This one is the grandaddy of them all and so all the other games will mean less if we lose. Have a safe and a happy new year.


  • Eric

    With Oregon State’s (ugly, yet impressive) win, the Pac-10 is 4-0. Given the bashing the Pac-10 took this year, looks like the football pundits have been wrong.

    So here is the interesting question. Would you rather see U$C win for the Pac-10 bowl sweep (and keeping in the spirit of Pac-10 solidarity – something “no ncs are coming” mentions in the latest post (but, not surprisingly, failed to live by when we played Miami)) or would you rather see U$C lose, supporting the notion that the 9 “dwarves” are not as bad as their record sometimes suggests? Would it make a difference if U$C’s loss helped recruiting issues?

  • Go Bears82

    Just because moron dismissed the Cal victory, demonstrating his small-minded pettiness, I stand by my tradition of rooting for every Pac-10 team. If the Pac-10 does well it’s better for the league overall. I hope SC kicks the snot out of Penn State. It will support the claim that SC seems to always lose to a Pac-10 opponent because the Pac-10 has some pretty good teams. I think the Big-12 and the SEC get all the love and for some unknown reason, so does the Big-10(+1). Beating opponents from the Big-12, Big East, ACC, and Big 10 certainly reflects well on the entire league.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    I dismissed your victory only within the context of the other Pac 10 wins. This bowl season the Pac 10 is 4-0. The three most impressive wins have been Arizona against BYU, Oregon against Okie State and Oregon State against Pitt. Why are these impressive wins? Because they were against ranked teams. A win is a win but a win against a ranked opponent in a bowl game takes on greater significance. As for the poster who claims that a Rose Bowl win may influence a recruit maybe, maybe not. However if it does influence a recruit it is only minor compared to our national championships, NFL first round draft picks, record number of NFL HOFs, 7 Heisman winners and counting and yearly BCS bowl appearances.

  • ToparchiBears

    That is Bull *^*(, NC. Miami was from time to time ranked this year. What about the win agaist the Big-10 #2 Michigan States, and the Pac-10 #2 Oregon. Are those wins any Significance?

    Is that mean when Cal mulled down the SC is only significant to you.

    We all would root for the Pac-10 sweep, but, because of your ignorance and arrogance. An SC lost would not disappointed us. You got it.

    Go Bears! And, Happy New Year every one.

  • oski4u

    typical moron, didn’t do his homework

  • Calbears

    i have been rooting for the pac 10 so far but i will never root for usc, maybe if they were less annoying and would, and moron, who cares how many awards usc has won, how many have u won, most likely to live a lonely, miserable life, sound familiar loser

  • Calbears

    cant wait till sc comes to berkeley next year

  • Calbears

    and is it cals fault miami was not ranked, cal was supposed to play byu based on the standings but went to the emerald bowl because of $$$$$$, something usc players are accustomed to receiving

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    USC 31
    PSU 7

    Total dominance.

    How do you UCB fans enjoy watching a skilled passing game?

  • Jake

    When you have quick pac-10 receivers that are 4-5″ taller than slow Big-10 DB’s…not really that impressive. It’s the same old story the last few years with the Big-10. It’s too bad USC didn’t do the pac-10 justice when they had the chance and lost to Vince Young and the Big 12. Maybe the Trojans will finally get it right and stop choking next year. Or they could just do the same thing and win big again in the Rose Bowl.

  • Will

    Hey Moron, unlike you, we appreciate other Pac-10 schools doing well. Congrats to $C. Too bad you had nothing to do with it; you talk as if you were the architect behind this team.

    Why are you on your computer instead of AT the Rose Bowl? You probably couldn’t afford to buy a ticket with your crappy education.

  • Eric

    Well, U$C beats up another overrated Big-10 team. Hopefully the polls will remember that next year when evaluating Pac-10 teams.

    Finally glad that Mays got called on the head shots. That is exactly what he did to the Cal receivers – $C refs, no call. SEC refs, call.

    Sanchez is having a great game so I’ll give him credit. Shows that the Pac-10 was actually stronger that we were given credit, because he obviously didn’t have that type of game against us, Oregon State, etc.). Just imagine if U$C actually had a real runner like Best, but, of course, they don’t.

  • ToparchiBears

    NC said Miami is not a legitimate team to lost to Cal. Ha….Ha…ha…

    Miami was the one that beat Virgina Tech, whom is going to the BCS Surgar Bowl. Moron.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    Maybe our win will help you with your final rankings.It would help to have our 5 of our teams ranked even if a couple of them are in the lower 20’s.

  • ToparchiBears

    our???? ha..ha..ha…..They don’t even know who the hell you are. And, you are blocked from them.

    Rooting your UC David….is more like it.

  • Calbears

    ur not on the team, stop saying our or we, ur not on or were u ever on a football team, im sure the sc team would laugh at ur stupidity, great win again against another garbage big ten squad, too bad sc didnt play oklahoma, texas, or florida, they would lose for sure. and by the way, i could have ran by penn states dbs, they were horrible. its hilarious how u get a thrill off of making us mad, but in the long run, ur just a low life individual who is not worthy of being a football fan, not worthy at all because u feel obligated to talk about how talented sc is when everyone and their grandmother knows how talented they are. grow up or shut up, frankly, i dont give a rats a** what u do

  • Calbears

    and by the way, scs not going to the nc game next year either, theyll choke again, put money on it punk

  • Calbears

    thats what u are, a little punk and im tired of u, everyone is

  • wehofx

    Glad the PAC 10 swept their bowls.

    Moron is annoying but what really pissed me off is, “Rose Bowl sponsored by CITI bank.” Why are those a**holes spending millions of our dollars on advertising – and sending their execs, on a private jet no doubt – after they got however many billion dollars in bailout money. What do you want to bet Morons thinks Bush is a great President?

    Go Bears!

  • Bear 707

    Here’s hope for a Rose Bowl year in 2009.
    1. All four teams that Cal lost to in 2009 come to Berkeley.
    2. Cal gets USC at home on Oct 3. Maybe Sanchez goes pro. Maybe it will take time for new offensive coordinator and QB to get in sinc.
    3. No cold games in OR or WA in November.
    4. No plane trips in November.

    By October 3 (Oct 3 USC and Sept 26th at OR) we should know about Rose Bowl chances.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    USC win today should make your 9-4 season look better. And we are very very happy that Tedford is signed up until 2015.

  • ToparchiBears

    And, no QB controversy either.
    The best one will be on the job, period. That includes the incomming freshman. He’s been working hard in helping Cal in the recruiting job by talking to those all americans in the same west team with him, whom are not deciding yet.

    I have a good feeling that he will be the one to take us to the promise land of Rose.

    Coleman’s decision to come to Cal partly because of Bridgford. Carroll may decide to follow also because They have talked. And, Carroll quoted that the SC are too arrogance.

    With Bridgford committed early really help Cal in the recruiting battle.

    All this year WRs decided to bail out of SC because SC is still loaded with WRs.(look at their roster) And, the incoming WRs will be benched or will have to do other things.

    On the other hand, any great WRs comming to Cal will be treated like prince, and not dirt.

    Go Bears!

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    ToparchiBears Says:
    January 1st, 2009 at 9:40 pm

    On the other hand, any great WRs comming to Cal will be treated like prince, and not dirt.>>>> Just as long as there is a QB on the team that can get the hot shot WR the ball. When is the last time UCB fans have been treated to an airial display as was seen tonight in the Rose Bowl? Been awhile hasn’t it?

  • Jake

    Unfortunately too little too late Moron. Where was that display against Oregon State? Looks like Pete Carroll took a page out of Bob Stoops and the Big 12 book with the aerial display. But what happened to all the RB’s at tailback U? Sure you can argue that they didn’t need the RB today. But their play wasn’t all that impressive. Joe McKnight goes down, CJ Gable fumbles- maybe if Havili had passed his classes, huh?

    Well, hopefully, things will sort themselves out with who’s going pro next year so SC can try and make it back to the NC game next year without choking. When is the last time USC fans were treated to the NC game with their stockpiling of 5-star recruits. I just can’t remember. Been awhile hasn’t it?

  • Big D

    …”but what really pissed me off is, “Rose Bowl sponsored by CITI bank.” Why are those a**holes spending millions of our dollars on advertising – and sending their execs, on a private jet no doubt – after they got however many billion dollars in bailout money.”–wehofx

    I thought the exact same thing. They had that big “Citi” logo on the field and aired a few commercials. They got a $20 Billion taxpayer bailout and they waste it on advertising? WTF!!!

  • Calbears

    what morencs doesnt understand is that he cannot use the term we when they are not on the roster, i guess he or she, or ill call nomorencs it from now on, has not figured out it does not play for usc. cal is happy with their record actually dipsh**, it was actually a better year then what most predicted. your trojans on the other hand our supposed to win the nc every year, but once again, they choke, i think vince young cast a spell and cursed the trojans away from the national title forever, who knows. you should change ur scream name bud, might as well put chokeartisttrojans as ur new screen name.

  • Calbears

    have i mentioned that ur the biggest idiot alive

  • Kent

    Big D,

    Big sponsorships are typically multi-year agreements and are not easily broken. Even if Citibank wanted to get out of their sponsorship agreement, I doubt if the Rose Bowl would let them off the hook, with such short notice.

    As a Marketing Professional for over 20 years, who has analyzed and participated in various sports sponsorships over my career, I would agree that eliminating the Rose Bowl sponsorships from their Marketing budget would not harm the long term business prospects for Citibank.

    As a matter of good public policy and good business sense, I too would like to see Citibank try to end their sponsorhip with the Rose Bowl.

  • Flustered Bear

    Have any of you, who have responded to Amy, considered the fact, she is posting on a Cal Forum during the Rose Bowl? You really need to stop responding to her. Of course, she will get bored, create other profiles to bait you, and you will respond in kind. If only, the CC Times was a media source for the future, then we sensible Bear fans wouldn’t have to read hers and your nonsense.

  • ToparchiBears

    MorenNc said that Cal beating Miami is not legitimate. That really crack me up. Miami had beaten up a team, Virgina Tech, Whom just win the orange bowl by beating #12 ranked Cincinatti.

    And, Don’t tell me that Cincinatti’s lost is not significance.

    Go bears

  • wehofx


    If CITI didn’t get a bailout and went bankrupt like it should have, there wouldn’t have been any money to pay the Rose Bowl the sponsorship fee. The same goes for CITI’s naming rights to the Met’s new stadium.