Here’s my notebook today, focusing on kicker Giorgio Tavecchio and his chance at redemption at Oregon.
The Bears parted ways after this morning’s practice, as many players headed for the airport or their cars to go home for the weekend.
Cal defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi had a forgettable end to last season. He was suspended for the season-finale against Washington for instructing his players to fake injuries two weeks earlier against Oregon.
Cal kicker Giorgio Tavecchio has been named a semifinalist for the Campbell Trophy, given annually to the top student-athlete in college football. This is the award that former Cal center Alex Mack won in 2008 (when it was called the Draddy Award) and linebacker Mike Mohamed was a finalist for last season.
The Pac-12 has posted its basketball pre-season prospectus and one of the tidbits included is a chart showing which opponents each school will “miss” during the conference schedule.
With two extra teams in the league this season, playing an 18-game conference schedule will require each school to miss two opponents at home and two on the road.
Looks to me like the schedule is favorable to the Bears.
Here’s why: Cal will miss playing the Arizona schools on the road and the Washington schools at home. If you consider Arizona, Washington and UCLA the three chief threats to Cal for the Pac-12 title, the schedule allows the Bears to miss playing two of the six matchups against those teams.
None of the other three schools misses more than one of the lead contenders.
The Pac-12 prospectus tells that us Cal returns 76.5 percent of its scoring from a year ago, tops in the conference.
There are no 1,000-point career scorers returning, but Cal senior Jorge Gutierrez ranks No. 2 among returnees in scoring (803 points), assists (287) and steals (109) while teammate Harper Kamp is fourth in scoring (740) and second in rebounds (373).
Cal has put individual tickets and mini-packets for non-conference games on sale.
If you’re interested, here are the details.
A bench warrant was issued Wednesday for Washington State sophomore D.J. Shelton after he failed for a second time to make a court appearance. Here’s the story from Cougfan.com.
Former Cal wide receiver Jeremy Ross was signed to the Indianpolis Colts practice squad today.
The Bears started to implement the game plan for Oregon today. They will have five practices total to get ready for the Ducks — tomorrow, followed by Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday will be the walkthrough at Autzen Stadium, and then it will be time for a prime time showdown on ESPN where the entire nation will be watching.
Here’s my noteboook today, with more on freshman cornerback Stefan McClure, who figures to start playing a lot more.