Our final Hall of Fame match-up for this weekend comes out of the Brick Mueller region and features two football standouts on opposite sides of the ball. Geoff McArthur was one of the most incredible wide receivers Cal has ever had simply because he seemed to catch everything thrown to him, no matter what the pass was like or how many defenders were covering him.
And on the other side is Mike Mohamed, who's instincts and athleticism seemed to always have him in the right place at the right time to make a play (Andrew Luck certainly agrees). He came in unheralded and left as a star.
This should be an interesting match-up to see unfold, as both of these guys have epic Big Game performances to draw on and both are pretty well-known and well-liked Golden Bears. However it turns out, the winner will move on to face Carli Lloyd. You can browse the whole bracket here. The full write-ups are after the jump and as always, the voting will end on Friday. GO BEARS!
(5) Geoff McArthur
From the HOF nominations:
thehawkse7en makes a simple and concise case for why Geoff deserves the honor:
Didn't have the overall skill set that some of the other receivers had, but he put up the best, monster numbers and was simply a beast. Wouldn't we love to have him now??
CALumbus Bear adds in his thoughts:
Wasn't G-Mac second in the NATION (behind Larry Fitzgerald) one year in receiving yards? He had the best hands evair, maybe even better than D-Jax when it came to muscling a ball away from a defender. He deserves it. Vote for G-Mac!
They say it's better to be lucky than good. Well, "they" never met G-Mac. This guy comes out of nowhere to rewrite the Cal record book in 2003, catching 85 passes for 1,504 yards. He has five 150+ yard games and basically wins the Big Game by himself with the greatest stat line in Cal history: 16 catches/245 yards/2 TDs. Then, basking in the glow of All-Pac 10 and 2nd team All-America status and Cal's first bowl invitation in seven years, he fractures his right arm in a non-contact drill. No one touched him. Misses the Insight Bowl win over Virginia Tech.
Oh well, he comes into his senior year a pre-season All-America selection, and opposing defenses are ready. They feed him a steady diet of double teams, and Aaron Rodgers spreads the ball around. Seven different receivers have at least 14 catches on the season, and G-Mac's numbers fall to 57 catches for 862 yards and 7 touchdowns. Plus he plays with a strained oblique muscle for most of the season.
Kodiak: You can't overstate what GMac did in the Big Game. EVERYONE knew that he was going to get the ball. And it didn't matter. Double coverage. Triple coverage. Guys clinging to his jersey and ripping off his jock - he still came down with the ball. ‘Furd tears were ever so sweet that day, and it was all because of his individual brilliance.
(12) Mike Mohamed
If a picture paints a thousand words, then all you need to know about MikeyMo is right here:
Royrules sums it up nicely, "He of Big Game glory.
He went from an unheralded 2* recruit to a top-notch LB in the Pac-10." The pride of Brawley, CA, he was versatile and smart enough to play all three positions in a 4-3, or play either inside/outside in a 3-4. When fully healthy, he was an instinctive player who was a sure-tackler and equally adept defending the run or pass.
From Remembering the Seniors:
Hydrotech: " I remember when Mohamed first arrived on campus, there was a lot of talk about how the coaches thought he really was going to be special despite not being a big time recruit or the flashiest guy. Looks to me like they were right. I think Mohamed is definitely one of the best "diamonds in the rough" that the coaches found in the past five years or so."
Berkelium97: "In addition to remembering everything he did on the field, I remember his interesting background. He came from a small town in Imperial County, where he grew up on his family's farm. The farm was established by Mike's great grandfather, who left India, became a citizen, and bought 1000 acres of land. The farm has since been passed down through the family and played a big role in Mike's life when he was growing up. During his interviews at the Combine, Mike kept emphasizing his hard-nosed, blue collar work ethic. When asked about his life growing up, Mike says he learned these values by working at the farm. Off the field he works just as hard, as he was named to the Pac-10's all-academic team each of his four years. In a way, Mike is a lot like another recent Cal grad who earned great respect for his tremendous work ethic on and off the field: Alex Mack."