The Pac-12 has come up with its logo for the football championship game. Here it is.
Just a reminder that our live chat with Cal athletic director Sandy Barbour is this Thursday, June 2, from 2-3 p.m. Here is the link to participate.
The Pac-12 is allowing fans to vote for the logo of the first-ever Pac-12 championship game in December. The voting started yesterday and runs through Monday. Here’s the link.
A couple links to get your weekend started:
- More on Kevin Riley joining the BC Lions, from the Vancouver Sun.
- Phil Steele has released his 2011 preseason honors, and there are a lot of them (see: Giorgio Tavecchio on the fourth team). Punter Bryan Anger, linebacker Mychal Kendricks and offensive tackle Mitchell Schwartz made Steele’s preseason All-Pac-12 first team
Former Cal quarterback Kevin Riley has signed with the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League. Here’s the release. Jeff Tedford certainly had an influence here with his CFL roots and connections.
Cal had its second-worst showing in the APR that was released today by the NCAA. The Bears’ multi-year APR came in at 949. Only the 945 the program registered in 2004-05 — the first year of the APR — has been worse for the Bears.
Also, Cal’s APR this year put it just in the 50th-60th percentile among football programs across the country. That is the Bears’ worst performance in terms of percentile. The 945 in 2004-05 was good for the 60th-70th percentile.
Cal’s score this year puts the program sixth in the Pac-10, in the last year of the conference. Stanford is first at 977, followed by Oregon State (959), UCLA (956), USC (952), Arizona (951), Cal, Washington (946), Oregon (941), Arizona State (940) and Washington State (925).
The APR is calculated based on eligibility and the retention of players. The APR is based on an average over the previous four years, with this year’s report ending with the 2009-10 academic year. The Bears may have been hurt by early defections in recent years by players such as Marshawn Lynch, DeSean Jackson, Cameron Morrah and Jahvid Best. But obviously there are schools all around the conference and country that have players leave early for the pros.
For Cal’s complete report, including all of its sports, click here.
To search complete APR data, click here.
Things are slow right now in Cal football-land. A couple of notes, though:
- Expect more television announcements next week. June 1 is typically the day Fox Sports Net makes its preseason selections, although it sometimes is delayed a day or two. The Bears have three games already selected by ESPN — Oct. 6 at Oregon, Oct. 13 vs. USC and Nov. 25 at Arizona State.
- Cal offensive tackle Sam DeMartinis is working this summer as a call-screener for Gary Radnich’s show on KNBR 680-AM.
Joe Pasternack, who spent eight seasons on Ben Braun’s staff at Cal and the past four years as head coach at the University of New Orleans, has been hired as an assistant at Arizona by coach Sean Miller.
HELPED HIS CAUSE: Jed Barnett. The Bears are going to need a punter next season, and Barnett undoubtedly wants a scholarship. Barnett showed some pretty good potential as a punter during the spring, and it should give Cal hope that they have at least one candidate to replace Bryan Anger next year.
WORK TO DO: Vince D’Amato. Despite Giorgio Tavecchio’s inconsistencies the past couple years, D’Amato hasn’t been able to overtake him. Tavecchio has improved his kickoffs but still has work to do with field goals. The media didn’t get to see a whole lot of special teams work this spring, but Jeff Tedford has said that field goal kicking was once again inconsistent. Tedford has stood by Tavecchio, but D’Amato still may have a chance, especially on field goals, if Tavecchio doesn’t get the job done, especially in clutch situations.
WHERE WE STAND: The Bears have one of the best punters in the nation in Anger. That isn’t worth any further discussion. It will be interesting to see if D’Amato can close the gap on Tavecchio during fall camp. Tedford places a lot of weight on how his kickers perform in practice, and Tavecchio has always done well in practice. So any change that might happen would probably have to wait until Taveccho faltered in a game. There still appear to be several candidates in the return game, although Keenan Allen appears to be the front runner as punt returner.
MOVING FORWARD: Tedford fired special teams coach Pete Alamar after the 2009 season after several years of spotty return coverage. Under Jeff Genyk last year, the Bears’ return coverage actually got worse. Genyk needs to find the right combination of personnel and schematics to improve both punt defense and kickoff defense. The Bears have some intriguing prospects in their own return game. Allen, as fluid an athlete as you’ll see, could be a dynamic punt returner. Cal has had some strong punt returners the past couple seasons with Syd’Quan Thompson and Jeremy Ross.
Jeff Tedford is scheduled to appear on KNBR radio (680-AM) at 4 p.m. on Wednesday. He will be interviewed by Tom Tolbert on “The Razor and Mr. T” show.