Gary Peterson says Best's decision to leave for the NFL should be an easy one. He would be shocked if Best didn't declare college football Sanchez.
It's an easy call all the way. Short-term, he hasn't practiced since his heart-stopping injury on Nov. 7, the one that left him with a severe concussion and a sore back. Best-case scenario, pun marginally intended, he'd have five days of practice to knock off 40 days of rust. That's an overly ambitious timetable.
It's especially overambitious in that Best's most concerning injury is the one to his brain. He fell from a height of more than six feet, landing on his back and head with enough force to cause his helmet to come shooting off like a cork propelled from a champagne bottle.
There are times when you can rush a guy back from a sprain, or a strain or even an arthroscopic procedure. There are times when doctors tell a player, "You can't make it worse. So if you can handle the pain, you're good to go."
None of that applies to what happened to Best. Trying to rush him back — and this would have been rushing him back — would have been a mistake. But, you say, it's the Poinsettia Bowl! Doesn't matter. Whatever the bowl and no matter the stakes, the timing isn't right.
But, you say, he has to come back to prove to the NFL that he's fully recovered! Not really. Doctors forecast a complete recovery, so ultimately his concussion should be no more worrisome to NFL teams than the hip injury that forced him to miss spring practice in 2008 or the foot and elbow surgeries he had last offseason. Whatever concerns they have can be alleviated at the scouting combine, where prospective draftees are weighed, measured, drilled and subjected to psychological testing. Even a personal workout would do the trick.
Best has taken the first step toward a pro career, contacting the NFL advisory committee to gauge his draft prospects. Draft expert Phil Steele already has Best pegged as the No. 4 running back in next spring's draft. The fourth running back chosen last spring was LeSean McCoy, by Philadelphia late in the second round. According to reports, McCoy signed a four-year, $3.48 million contract ($1.73 million guaranteed).
No doubt Best will want to consult his inner circle on that as well.
Best: Do you think I could live on $1.73 million guaranteed?
Inner circle: That's more than you're making now, last time we checked.Best: Yeah, me too.
After the jump we look at Tedford's pre-pre-bowl press conference, a strange list of the most exciting bowl games, an update from the last practice in Memorial in 2009, and more. Best of all, we have some comments from Bill Cosby on the EagleBank Bowl.
- At yesterday's press conference, Tedford talked about preparing for Utah, Best's absence, Vereen's role, and Syd's ankle injury.
- After yesterday's practice, Riley says there is no shortage of motivation to beat Utah. JO talked to Tedford, who is so comfortable with Ludwig as OC that he doesn't call any plays anymore. In previous years, Tedford used to call a handful of plays each game.
- Oregon St and Cal have a lot in common as they each ended the season with disappointing losses and both face tough MWC teams in their bowls.
- SFGate has a mind-boggling list of the most exciting bowls. I'm not saying it's a great bowl, but the Cal-Utah matchup came in at 29th. I don't know how any of these bowls were rated as high was they were: UCLA-Temple (19), Northwestern-Auburn (10), Kentucky-Clemson (9), Texas A&M-Georgia (5?!).
- I don't care if he was talking about UCLA, Oregon, or Washington St, there is no way I would pass up posting a link about Bill Cosby smack-talking a Pac-10 school (UCLA in this case). Puddin pops!
Cosby said he has watched Big Ten teams lose in the Rose Bowl, noting "those poor kids from Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, come to Southern California, and they load them up on steak. Then they take them to Hollywood and Vine and show them the stars. Then they take them to Disneyland to meet Mickey Mouse, Snow White, Dopey and Goofy, and then they lose."
"We're bringing reality to the California people coming to our East Coast, where they can sit in the stand at 26 degrees at RFK" Stadium, Cosby said. "The little avocado people can go to Ben's Chili Bowl to warm up."
And just because I had the opportunity: