We're getting deep into the tournament now. Big 2 v. 3 matchup. Carli Lloyd, volleyballing superstar, versus Mike Pawlawski, QB stud. Who moves on?
You can view the full bracket here. Voting ends this Friday at noon. Full write ups after the jump. GO BEARS!
Carli Lloyd (2)
From BTown85: "The anchor of Cal's Pac-10 Champion women's v-ball team and National POY, leading the Golden Bears to the NCAA Finals only to lose (again) to Penn St. What a stud !!!!"
She is only the second player in Cal women's volleyball history to be a three-time All-American, and the only setter to win AA honors. This past year, she led the Bears to a program best 30-win season, their first-ever Pac-10 championship, and their first-ever national championship match. In recognition for her amazing play, she was also named the National AVCA Player of the Year. She is the first Cal woman to ever earn this prestigious award.
"Carli Lloyd and Meagan Schmitt, the lone seniors on the Cal volleyball team, were taking a walk on Sunday night, only hours after the NCAA tournament bracket was released.
The cool, crisp November air seemed to hint at the end of the season, the end of the year ... but also the beginning of a new one.
Suddenly Schmitt stopped. She turned to her friend and roommate and asked her if she would be satisfied with getting to the final four, like they did as freshmen in 2007.
"Would that be enough for you?" she inquired.
Lloyd looked at her and answered with the intensity that has become her trademark quality in four years at Cal.
"Absolutely not," she said. "I can't imagine anything other than winning.""
As a representative for the US, she helped Team USA win two gold medals and bronze medal. She is the only three-time selection to the USA A2 National team in the program's history. Now that she has graduated, Carli is working out with the U.S. Women's National Training Team in hopes of making the 2012 Olympic team.
Mike Pawlawski (3)
The old-timers remember him and the team he led quite fondly, perhaps in the same way the younger minds remember Rodgers and 2004. Pawlawski was Cal's starting quarterback in 1990 and 1991. The 1991 team went 10-2 and won the Florida Citrus Bowl against ACC champion Clemson-Cal's first appearance in a New Year's Day Bowl since the 1959 Rose Bowl game. Pawlawski had an outstanding 1991 season, winning co-Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year honors with Washington WR Mario Bailey. And Pawlawski's 1990 team went 7-4-1 with a win in the Copper Bowl (nka the Insight Bowl), which was Cal's first bowl appearance since the 1979 Garden State Bowl.
LeonPowe and California Pete offer their thoughts on Pawlawski and the 1991 team he quarterbacked-
LeonPowe: Quarterback for the 1991 Citrus Bowl Championship teams. Coming out of high school he had no arm strength, no accuracy and was rated by one recruiting service as "the worst recruit in the Pac-10"
Damned if he didn’t will and win his way to becoming the Pac-10 offensive player of the year in 1991. And this was with a UW team that won the National Championship. I really dislike attributing stuff like "intangibles" and "leadership" – because good players usually prove themselves in some measurable way. Mike really didn’t – he had okay stats and won a lot. But it was the little things. Like when he scored on a keeper and knocked out the opposing linebacker. Like when he played special teams to get on the field. Like when he took an offense full of talent (Russ, Brian Treggs, Mike Caldwell, Greg Zomalt, Lindsay Chapman) and molded them in his image – they became a cocky, loud-mouthed, trashtalking offense that WON. Back-to-back Bowl Games (huge for Cal at the time).
In my freshman year after Pawlawski had graduated a lot of fans and students said (not jokingly either) that they should bring Pawlawski back . . .to coach the linebackers.
Ohio Bear: Until the 2004 team came along, the 1991 team was the best of my Cal fandom. And I think the 1991 team was better overall than the 2006 team.
California Pete: I think the 1991 team would have a great chance against the 2004 team, although the 91ers’ penchant for personal fouls probably would do them in. Both teams were Rose Bowl worthy—far better than the teams sent most recently by the likes of WSU and Stanford—but both unfortunately shared the conference with two of the all-time greats: UW 1991 and USC 2004.
He is dealing with neck issues in retirement, but many of us have seen him broadcast a Cal game, several this past season, and he seems to be in generally good spirits.
And let's put ourselves in good spirits with some highlights of that 1990 team!