Football: Holiday Bowl thoughts

Just had a nice chat with Holiday Bowl representative Scott Alevy, who said Cal obviously is a prime candidate if it wins today. Depending on what happens the last couple weekends, it could come down to Cal and Arizona as the Pac-10 representative in the game. Alevy said even if Arizona State becomes bowl-eligible, it probably wouldn’t go to the Holiday Bowl over Cal because of the Bears’ rout of the Sun Devils this season.

I’ll have more on this topic later…


Football: Seniors honored

There will be 16 seniors playing their final home games today. They will be honored during a pregame ceremony. The honorees are:

  • LB Keith Browner
  • DB Chris Conte
  • DL Mike Costanzo
  • OL Donovan Edwards
  • OL Richard Fisher
  • TE Garry Graffort
  • OL Chris Guarnero
  • DB Darian Hagan
  • DL Derrick Hill
  • DL Cameron Jordan
  • LB Jerome Meadows
  • LB Mike Mohamed
  • DB Bryant Nnabufie
  • LB Jarred Price
  • QB Kevin Riley
  • WR Jeremy Ross

Basketball: Bears doomed by historically wretched first half vs. Notre Dame

Well, that was fairly horrendous.

First half: Five points. Game over.

Who could have seen this coming? Perhaps we should have.

Well, not a 21-5 halftime deficit against Notre Dame in the second round of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. But a completely-out-of-sync performance by a young team playing an opponent with four senior starters, plus a fourth-year junior.

The final score — 57-44 — was irrelevant, other than to provide evidence the Bears did not throw in the towel.

“If somebody picked up the paper they’d say, ‘Ah, they lost to Notre Dame by 13,”  Cal coach Mike Montgomery said. “But if you watched it, you’d have a little different impression.”

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Basketball: A big win in Florida

A big night in Orlando for the Golden Bears.

(Disclaimer: I did not make the trip to Florida; watched on TV from home after Thanksgiving dinner. Hope you all enjoyed your day).

What we know: Cal improved to 3-0 by beating No. 21 Temple 57-50 in the first round of the Old Spice Classic.

What we don’t know: Just how good Temple really is. The Owls beat two mediocre teams to start the season, having earned their ranking based on 29 victories a year ago and three returning starters. But are they actually the 21st-best team in the country?

What we know: On a night when they played 2,500 miles from home, did not shoot the ball well and turned the ball over 18 times, the Bears showed the toughness and resourcefulness to beat a very solid and far more experienced team.

I thought Cal played better in its 89-64 win over New Mexico, but that was at Haas Pavilion and the challenge here was greater. Cal once again demonstrated we should not settle on a ceiling for this team’s potential.

“Since day one, we just told people that we’re going to surprise a lot of people,” center Markhuri Sanders-Frison told reporters afterward. “Everybody thought that we didn’t have that much firepower coming back because we lost a lot of our good players last year. I think this win opened a lot of eyes to people around the world.”

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