Ask the California Golden Bloggers: How Are You Spending Your Bowl Season?

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Trivia!

One of three long-snappers for NFL teams from Cal (Which is fascinating in itself - no one circles the long-snapping wagons like our California Golden Bears! And might we actually have good special teamers after all? Lots to ponder. Bonus points, can you name the other two?), I'm the only one playing for a West Coast team. The only holdover on my team from a mid-90's Super Bowl team, I've also dated a rather famous former Playboy model who's notorious for...well, a lot of things. Who am I?

David Binn! Who knows how much better the San Diego Chargers special teams would be if he hadn't been injured in Week 1, but they couldn't very well be any worse, right? This week:

The captain of a national team, I'm fluent in three languages and have a second home overseas. I originally started my college career at a Texas junior college before finishing up with two seasons for the Golden Bears, after which I was drafted in the second round - though I didn't make my NBA debut until four years later. Something of a KG-lookalike, my biggest claim to fame just might be when I got into some beef with him and called him some politically incorrect words. Who am I?

I'm mostly flying solo this week since I think most of the rest of our intrepid part-time CGBers (read: everyone except Avi and Twist) are out on break.

OT: So, no bowl game. What will you be doing over the holidays? How will you get over this season? Does your memory extend back to the Holmoe era, and beyond?
-- SoFlaBear

My memory doesn't extend back to before the Holmoecaust, and I'm guessing the implication here is that since then Bears fans have become used to going to bowl games and somewhat spoiled. Obviously not to the same level as Florida or Texas fans, but relative to the low expectations before Tedford arrived.

But what am I going to be doing? Probably playing lots of Yakuza 3.

Didn’t Longshore leave a ticket at will-call for Jessica Simpson? Those Cal QB reunions are going to be awkward!
-- concordtom

I don't get it - Longshore didn't date Carrie Prejean or anything, right? As a side note, my ex told me that one of her friends is going to be cousins-in-law with Tony Romo because he's married to Romo's fiancee's cousin. Six degrees of separation and all that.

Any insight as to why Verran Tucker did so little for Cal?

I’m probably the only Cal alum on the planet that watches every single KC Chiefs game, but Tucker has kicked Chris Chambers to curb and replaced him as the #2 beside Dwayne Bowe. While his stats aren’t too incredible (he does have a TD, a fumble recovery on a punt, and a bunch of awesome special team plays), he is constantly praised by Haley for being a great all around player. He’s even a tremendous run blocker…just check out any of J Charles stretch plays.

 

So my question is, why wasn’t player who is currently a solid starter in the NFL, not more involved in Cal’s offense? I only remember his amazing one hand catch againt U$C in garbage time…but did he do anyhting else? Are there other examples of Cal alum who weren’t that impressive in college who tore it up in the NFL?
-- Another Failed Tedford QB

The easy answer is that he did relatively little because there was relatively little around him - I think we've seen that Riley isn't the savior he was made out to be (that's not a knock on him, I think, just a realistic assessment) and the offense as a whole sputtered. He isn't a transcendent talent like Larry Fitzgerald or Braylon Edwards was in being able to succeed regardless of who was throwing the ball to him, and he's not a burner who creates a huge amount of separation. Putting him on an offense with an accurate QB and a strong running attack is a better situation for him than it was trying to catch passes from Riley, so how he's doing shouldn't necessarily be a huge surprise, since everyone said he had the physical tools.

As far as other players who've done better in the NFL than in college, I suppose Tony Gonzalez doesn't count since he was an All-American, but I don't think anyone expected him to be the greatest tight end of all time statistically. About the only guys that I can think of would be Nnamdi Asomugha (mentioned last week by Avi), Scott Fujita, and Langston Walker, though that's likely because of how bad the teams that they played for were. They stood out enough to get drafted in the first, fifth, and second rounds, respectively, so it's clear the NFL thought they had talent and would thrive in a better setting, so from that standpoint at least their talent was evident, even if their production didn't match.

Texas, Oklahoma to the Pac-12? Sooner than we think? I just heard a rumor via Boston Market, that the schools mentioned above are back in negotiations with the big east. If those schools leave expect Texas, Oklahoma, and Texas Tech to the Pac-12 and possibly Baylor, because the Aggies would move to the SEC.
-- CalBearsWinNC

Wait, so Texas and Oklahoma are in negotiations with the Big East but we should expect them in the Pac-12?

Anyone know how Heaps is doing? I think he went to BYU after Hinder committed to us. I remember thinking that kid was going to be real good some day. Anyone got any info on his development?
-- KillaCali

Judging by the 52 points they put on UTEP I'm willing to say he's developing pretty well.

Kevin Riley... did he ever really have a chance? As we all know Kevin Riley had a ton of highs and a ton of lows. We all remember the feeling about him as he scrambled for the end zone against OSU in 2007. But was he ever supposed to be in that role? I believe that the whole situation goes all the way back to 2003. In that year Aaron Rodgers took over. Everyone viewed him as a god, he was able to come in from a JC and just dominate college football, this led to us believing that anyone with talent alone could come in and have the mental toughness to use their talent. When Rodgers left after his junior year we had Blue Shirt Freshman Nate Longshore to turn to. Nate Longshore was a good qb who had an amazing offense. Longshore kept our expectations high on new QB's when healthy. When Ayoob and Levy started they sucked. Longshore then started as a sophomore and won 10 games.

The start of 2007 came as expected (rarely does for us) then Longshore got injured (again). Then Blue Shirt Freshman Kevin Riley (Gatorade Player of the Year in Oregon) came in. He played great for 59:45 seconds. Then with 14 seconds left, Kevin did what he did. Our expectations were so high for guys like him. He was given an amazing offense and when he lost DJAX, Robert Jordan, Lavell Hawkins, Craig Stevens and Justin Forsett. Riley became very cocky and he started to think college football was easy. I think that he was never able to forget about that scramble against his home team in 2007. Here's my thought, if AR doesn't leave early to sit behind Favre then Longshore would not have had to have an injury marred freshman year which means he would not have had existing foot problems which means riley never gets to blame himself and we win that game. We then become a perennial powerhouse with 5 star recruits coming consistently, which leads to Tedford becoming the coach we used to believe he could be which would lead to all of our fans being happy. Thoughts?
-- pnaidu

There might be an argument to be made that Riley was facing unrealistic expectations after his strong debuts, but I don't think his scramble in 2007 was the problem. If anything, that scramble should have made him less cocky, no? Which would mean that everything else you said doesn't make sense.

As for becoming a perennial powerhouse with 5 star recruits consistently coming to stock the roster, yeah, that would have been a strong possibility had we won the national title in 2007. But that's kind of obvious. Everything leading up to that would require a bigger leap of faith than I'd ever be willing to make though.

Colin Kaepernick: How Good Would We Have Been With Him?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colin_Kaepernick

 

Read about him on Wiki. Man, what a great story. He was born to a single mother who put him up for adoption. Biological father took off when he found out about the pregnancy. He became a 3 sport star in HS, baseball, football, and basketball while carrying a 3.9 GPA and scored a 1650 on the SATs. He was MVP of his conference in football as a senior and led his school to its first ever playoff win. All-Conference in basketball almost leading his 16th seed team to an upset of #1 seed Oak Ridge, led by Ryan Anderson. Was an MLB prospect and had numerous scholarship offers to play baseball, but he turned them down because he loved football.
-- SurvivorOf1and10fkaLEA

I don't think Tedford would have rejiggered his entire offense philosophy and scheme to fit Kaepernick, so that's that. There's no doubt he's a great player and he may have been able to succeed in Tedford's pro scheme, but it certainly doesn't play to his strengths.

Was it just me, or were KU fans classless? I've been to a lot of Cal sporting events (over 30 years worth), but that had to be the worst group of visiting fans I've ever encountered. I expected a lot more from such a "storied" program. Let me preface this by saying that I have no problem with the KU team itself. Obviously Selby is a stud, and is probably the best freshman I've seen in person since Kidd. And I don't quite blame the KU players for getting a bit feisty....cause we are talking about college aged kids, and it was an extremely physical game.
-- ducky23

LeonPowe

I really hate the "so-and-so fanbase is classless" statements. Especially after a very scrappy game. Unless there's actual stuff which crosses the line (eg Arizona state chanting PLO at Steve Kerr) get over it. Sports fans aren't classy. Maybe it's a word choice thing with me though, because I'd accept "Kansas fans are obnoxious" - because they were.

UConn women = UCLA men's 88 win streak? So how do you see UConn women's streak of 88 wins compared to UCLA men's streak of 88 wins? Equal or more/less remarkable? Of course they were done in different decades and the game has changed so much over the years.
-- tenplay

LeonPowe

Less remarkable. There's only a handful of womens teams on UConn's level. And UConn's previous streak is pretty close to 88. Why compare though? Celebrate both.

Yellow Fever

I don't think they're comparable at all; it would be like equating NCAA women's softball records with NCAA men's baseball records. Why do it? But then, I'm a misogynist at heart.

Franklin at the point? He spent a bunch of time playing point today. Does anyone thing that we will see more of that this season?
-- cannonbear

LeonPowe

I sure hope so. Jorge's ball handling is really really loose. Franklin running point seems to curtail at least 20% of his "I NEED TO SHOOT RIGHT NOW" tendencies and allows Jorge more time to rest to play more energetic defense. Seems to me it solves 3 problems.

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