Football: Cal’s Super Bowl influence

Three former Cal players will be in uniform at MetLife Stadium today for Super Bowl XLVIII.

The headliner, of course, is Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who has waited all week to let his legs do his talking.

The former Oakland Tech HS star rushed for 1,257 yards and 12 touchdowns during the regular season and leads all ball carriers with 249 postseason rushing yards.

Seahawks teammate Brandon Mebane and Denver Broncos running back C.J. Anderson help give the Bears representatives in the Super Bowl for the 12th time in 13 years.

Lynch, Mebane and Anderson all are making their Super Bowl debuts.


Three other ex-Cal players took bows Saturday at the NFL Honors show at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Continue Reading


Women’s basketball: Boyd in good company

Cal junior guard Brittany Boyd is one of 29 players named to the Nancy Lieberman Award watch list, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced.

The award is given to the top point guard in women’s Division I basketball. Candidates exhibit the floor leadership, play-making and ball-handling skills of Hall of Famer Nancy Lieberman.

Boyd, who earlier was named to the Wade Trophy, Wooden Award and Naismith Trophy watch lists, is averaging 13.1 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.5 assists and 3.47 steals per game for the No. 15 Golden Bears. Her 3.47 steals mark ranks second in the NCAA.

The Berkeley High grad is averaging 19.8 points and 4.0 steals through four Pac-12 games.

The list will be narrowed down to a final 20 candidates in February, with a final five to be decided by March. The Lieberman Award winner will be announced during Final Four weekend activities in April.

Other candidates include Odyssey Sims of Baylor, Amber Orrange of Stanford and Bria Hartley of Connecticut.


Basketball: Cobbs is Pac-12 Player of Week

Justin Cobbs, who averaged 20 points, 10 assists and 5.5 rebounds in road wins over Oregon and Oregon State, has been honored as the Pac-12 Player of the Week.

It’s the fourth weekly honors of Cobbs’ career. He joins teammate Tyrone Wallace among Cal players to get the award this season.

The Bears are 12-4 overall and off to their first 3-0 start in conference play since 2009. They have won their first three road conference games for the first time since 1957 and opened league play with a 3-0 start after three road games for the first time since 1939.

Cobbs had 20 points and a season-best 11 assists in the Bears’ win at then-17th-ranked Oregon on Thursday. He scored all 20 of his points in the second half and totaled nine assists as Cal rallied past Oregon State on Saturday.

The Pac-12’s active career assist leader, Cobbs moved into fifth place on Cal’s all-time assist chart with 430 in 83 career games. With his point total for the week, the senior moved up four spots to 28th on Cal’s all-time scoring list with 1,166 in his career.

Cal hosts Washington on Wednesday at p.m., then faces Washington State on Saturday at 1 p.m.


Cal has climbed to No. 34 in the latest RealTimeRPI rankings.


Football: Coleman to play in Senior Bowl

Cal senior defensive tackle Deandre Coleman has accepted an invitation to play in the 65th annual Senior Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 25 in Mobile, Ala.

The 6-foot-5, 315-pounder from Seattle will become the 35th former Cal player to appear in the all-star game that showcases the nation’s best senior players.

An honorable mention all-Pac-12 selection by the league’s coaches, Coleman was one of three Cal players to start at all 12 games last season. He had 40 tackles, including a team-best nine tackles for loss.


Football: D’Amato is Bears’ lonely all-Pac-12 pick

This is what happens when your team goes 1-11. It’s what should happen.

Senior placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato was Cal’s lone representative on either the first or second All-Pac-12 football teams, chosen by the coaches and announced Monday. D’Amato, a first-team selection a year ago, was named to the second unit this time.

D’Amato was 17 for 20 on field goals, never missing inside 46 yards, and converted 31 of 32 PAT kicks. He was 6 for 9 from 40 yards or longer, including a 51-yard field goal against UCLA.

Defensive lineman Deandre Coleman, quarterback Jared Goff and wide receiver Bryce Treggs were honorable mention picks for Cal.

Running back Ka’Deem Carey of Arizona, who rushed for 1,716 yards, was named Offensive Player of the Year, Will Sutton of Arizona State was given the the Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year award for the second straight season, and Arizona State’s Todd Graham was named Coach of the Year.

UCLA’s Myles Jack, in an unprecedented outcome, was voted the league’s Freshman of the Year on offense and defense. Jack accumulated 70 tackles and an interception as a linebacker, then rushed for 267 yards and seven touchdowns when given the chance to play offense late in the season.


Football: Academic honors for Bears

Offensive linemen Chris Adcock and Mark Brazinski were named to the All-Pac-12 Academic first-team, the conference announced.

Adcock, a junior center, made the team for the second time after compiling a 3.54 grade-point average as a business administration major. Brazinski, a grad student, has a 3.58 GPA in legal studies and information management systems.

Cal players named to the second team were offensive tackle Christian Okafor (3.35/undeclared), defensive lineman Ted Agu (3.28/public health) and linebacker Hardy Nickerson (3.36/undeclared).

Given honorable mention status were defensive end Todd Barr, offensive tackle Alejandro Crosthwaite, placekicker Vincenzo D’Amato, cornerback Cedric Dozier, punter Cole Leininger and wide receiver Bryce Treggs.


Football: Track All-America honor to Muhammad

Cal freshman running back Khalfani Muhammad has earned high school All-America honors from Track and Field News, which named him the top-ranked 200-meter dash runner in 2013, according to the magazine’s current issue.

Muhammad, who attended Notre Dame High in Sherman Oaks, earned the award after victories at the Mt. SAC Relays and the California state meet and runnerup performances at Arcadia and the USA Junior championships, where he was the highest-finishing high school entry. His season-best time was 20.73 seconds.

Muhammad also was ranked third by magazine in the 100 meters, owing to victories at Arcadia, Mt. SAC and the California state meet. His best 100 time: 10.33, although he ran 10.22 wind-aided.

No other prep sprinter was ranked among the nation’s top-3 by Track and Field News.


Football: Academic honor for Mark Brazinski

Cal senior offensive lineman Mark Brazinski was selected to the 2013 Capital One Academic All-District 8 First-Team for NCAA Division I football.

“Years of work culminate into something like this,” Brazinski said in a statement. “I’m very grateful to be honored in this way and to be able to do it at the greatest university in the world.

“It makes a lot of those nights where you didn’t sleep very long worth it. I look forward to the next round and am hopeful I will be considered for Academic All-America honors.”

For all the negative reports that have come out recently regarding the football team’s academic performance, it’s pretty clear Brazinski isn’t part of the problem.

Brazinski received two bachelor’s degrees (Business Administration, Media Studies) in his first three years at Cal and is now in his second year as a graduate student in Cal’s Masters of Information Management Systems at the School of Information.

He compled a 3.58 grade-point average in his undergraduate work and has the same mark in his graduate courses.