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Football: From the press room

  • Cal is headed to either the Emerald Bowl or Poinsettia Bowl. The Emerald Bowl will choose either Cal or USC tomorrow. The team it doesn’t choose goes to the Poinsettia Bowl.
  • Cal was outscored 145-30 in its four Pac-10 losses this season.
  • The prevailing message outside the locker room: “We weren’t ready to play” or “we overlooked Washington.”
  • Syd’Quan Thompson re-sprained his ankle and didn’t play much.

I hear there is snow headed this way so need to get on the road. Cal is holding a press conference at 1:30 tomorrow to announce the bowl selection. I will be flying back in the morning (snow willing) and will be going straight to Berkeley, so may not be able to get on here until the afternoon. But I’ll try to post any news as soon as I can.

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.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    For all of you who are interested in Northern California prep teams, Grant High of Sacramento the reigning state champs from 2008 just lost to Rocklin 21-19!!!!! This is a huge upset and was probably because Grant overlooked their opponent.

    By the way did a fat man get banned for a second time?

  • House

    Hey moron, I’m thinking we call it even, you guys(USC) get a semi home game in San diego, and we get ours :)

  • Eric

    So which team was ultimately the most overrated from where they started the season?

    Cal, which started somewhere between 10 and 15 in most polls and was picked by many to unseat U$C, only to get blown out in 4 games, and will be left out of the top 25?

    U$C, which started in the top 5 in most polls, was a potential national championship contender when it beat Ohio State on the road, only to get blown out in 2 of 4 losses, and will not be ranked in the top 25.

    Missippi, a top 10 pick in most polls, only to lose a bunch of games, including an embarassing loss to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl, and will not finish in the top 25.

    While it is a close call, I think I have to go with U$C. It fell the furthest. Cal has the excuse of losing Best for the last 1/3 of the season, and the coaching staff, particularly on offense, is vastly overrated. Missippi clearly was not as good as advertised, and it shouldn’t be penalized for the fact that the SEC is constantly overrated in preseason polls. Yep, I think it is U$C. All that 5-star talent, it beat Cal handily on the road, and yet those four losses putting it into a 5th place tie with Cal.

  • Pug

    USC was the most overrated team. Cal and Mississippi were about equally overrated.

    This year’s Bears just weren’t as good as they were supposed to be. The defense was a real let down, Riley was inconsistent and the offensive line was a major disappointment.

  • Big D

    If you want your CAL Bears to go to the Emerald Bowl and not the Poinsettia bowl call Executive Director of the Emerald Bowl Gary Cavalli’s cell phone at (415) 972-1812 and let him know you want Cal in the Emerald Bowl.

    Also you can go to http://www.emeraldbowl.com and vote for CAL to go to the Emerald Bowl on the lower right.

  • Big D

    The ACC team will be either Florida State or Boston College. Currently BC is the front runner.

  • Big D

    If we go to the Poinsettia bowl, we will play Utah or BYU (again).

  • Dan

    This years Bears were npt very good, just like last year’s Bears and the year before’s Bears. While 8-4 might sound OK, we fatten our record by beating mostly the bad (Maryland, E. Wash, WSU) and mediocre (UCLA, ASU, Minnesota)- and we struggled to beat the mediocre. The only decent win we earned was Arizona. Stanford was a godd win, but idiot Harbaugh handed it to the Bears with flat out stupid ploay calling.

    We got hammered by the 4 good teams we played. Tedford is so over-rated. He and his stafff were compleely out-coached (again) yesterday. Again. Dont you love the Wildcat? Don’t you love 2nd and long and 3rd and long. Don’t you love our passive defense, clueless play calling and stalled drives. Don’t you love how other teams figure things out and make adjustments that demolish us while we play on helplessly.

    You can have a satisfying, promising or hoptimisitc 8-4. This 8-4 isn’t that. It is going to get worse in years to come. Tedford IS Ben Braun.

  • HOUSE

    Im not buying that, Tedford is one of the best coaches in the country and the bears would be ridiculous to get rid of him. Look at all he’s done, 8 straight winning seasons! Graduating a huge percentage of his players! Look at the type of people these players are, guys like Verrean, Best, Thompson, etc… He has turned this into a class act of a program. Teams like Notre Dame and Florida State would love our record right now.

  • Bear IV

    Big D-
    I’d rather go to San Diego and play Utah in the sun, than stay home and play BC in the cold and rain.

  • Dan

    Tedford is one of the best coaches in the country based on what? A 5th place finish in the Pac 10? losing record in the Pac 10 2 years ago?? Getting hammered by the 3 good teams Cal played this year?? Getting thoroughly humiliated last night vs. a mediocre team? He is not even one of best coaches in the conference.

    I never suggested they should can him. I don’t know why you went to that. He is classy, he has improved a lot about the Cal FB program- no doubt. He has earned the right to continue to coach at Cal. But his teams don’t play up to their abilities anymore. That is beyond argument. That has been true for at least 3 seasons.

    Also, you’re wrong about ND and FSU. They wouldn’t love our record right now. It’s better than theirs, but it still wouldn’t be good enough for those type of programs. Tedford would be fired if he were the SC coach, or least placed fiemly on the hot seat, and would ultimately be fired for 7-6 and 8-4 records at both ND and FSU. 4th and 5th place finishes in conference do not classify as “one of the best coaches in the country”, nor does getting absolutely dominated and outcoached by 4 teams in a single season.

  • Steve W

    I admire everything that Tedford has done for the program, but it is clear his stature has been damaged. It is also clear that you can no longer automatically put the Bears in the elite tier of the conference rankings anymore. One thing rang loud and clear in watching Washington smack down Cal last night. The Huskies will be a bowl team next year and possibly a top tier bowl team if Locker comes back.

    Arizona, Stanford, Oregon State and Oregon should all be picked ahead of Cal next season because they have better quarterbacks and better offensive schemes. UCLA has been quietly stockpiling talent and should have another top 20 recruiting class this year. And lest you think that USC will run away and hide somewhere, they will be back in force next year. They will have their eighth straight top 10 recruiting class and will again be picked to win the conference.

    If I were picking, I would put the Bears to finish seventh in the conference next year ahead of only UCLA, Arizona State and Washington State. If we had a great quarterback, Cal would move way up. As we all saw last night, we don’t.

  • MoreNCsarecoming

    The ability of a college team to become a BCS caliber team is dependent upon the quality of the QB. We didn’t do well this year because our QB, a true freshman, couldn’t get it done consistently. Carroll knew that this would be a rebuilding year and so he stepped it up and put it all on the line by starting Barkley who in a couple of games did show flashes of brilliance. However, it wasn’t enough. Look over the landscape.

    Florida = Tebow;
    Bama = McElroy;
    Cincy = Pike;
    BSU = Moore;
    Texas = McCoy

    Look at our own conference. Why are teams rising? It is because they have gifted QBs.

    UA = Folkes;
    Oregon = Masoli;
    Stanford = Luck;

    And if Locker returns based on his play from yesterday, UW goes way up in the standings next year.

    The ability of a QB to make plays consistently inspires the entire team to play better, keeps your team in the game and totally depresses the morale of the other team. It is a helpless feeling to watch a QB with enough time deliver one pass after another down the field.

    Riley just doesn’t have it. He isn’t the kind of QB I would want to have in a big game. Tedford needs to give him the starter’s edge at the opening of the season and then pull him quickly if he doesn’t get the job done. Investing another year in him just doesn’t cut it and will drag down the team for good.

  • Dan

    I would add that Longshore & Ayoob were both inconsistent, subpar and disapointing- just like Riley has been. I have supported Riley last year and this year. But he is flat terrible way too often.

    But the constant is Tedford- he recruited them, he coaches them, they run his (predictable) offense. If I read or hear him called a qb guru one more time, I’ll hurl. I’m not too sure any other qb at Cal is the answer. It’s more like, “Next!”. Why do I think that will just be more of the same disappointment.

  • Mike W

    Dan took the words from my mouth – JT has become Ben Braun. Classy guy, good kids, middle of the Pac program. Barbour has treated him with kid’s gloves for years, but it’ll be interesting to see if any changes are made on the staff. Canning Gregory and Alamar would be a good start.

  • Larry

    Bear IV

    It looks like you got your wish. Enjoy San Diego.