Welcome to a new age.
Tomorrow is a victory for Cal fans before we even step on the field. This renovated stadium and the brand-new athletic center proves that we're willing to put in the effort to make this football team meaningful, and that our program and our fans are no longer satisfied with the status quo and regular bowl appearances. We're running for the Roses until we can get them, and we have the facilities and the support from our alumni to make it happen in the present rather than in the distant future.
Discuss: Does New Memorial and the SAHPC raise the expectations for Cal football? Or does it not change them? What do you expect from your Bears now?
We've been waiting to come back to Memorial for so long now. We've been taking snapshots, tracking the progress, put up countless fanposts and photojournals and did all we could to ensure this was actually happening, that we were finally getting something new. It was something we could see with our eyes, but not really experience and understand.
But now all of us will finally get to walk it, roam it, explore it, revel in it. Seven long years of waiting, starting, stopping, lawsuiting, treesitting, evicting, NIMBY-placating ... all of that finally gets erased tomorrow. We come home to stay.
Old Blues have been the moniker for Cal alum for generations, and it made sense when the University didn't make football a priority. We could only hope for the occasional splash before things reverted back to the fold. We knew that it would be hard to expect greatness, so we just thought one of those years we'd get lucky. Not hard to see how time would mellow our optimism and make many of us Blue on our Bears.
Times have changed. Tedford has made things change, as has Barbour, and all the great players and results they've produced this past decade are proof that the Bears have all the potential to be elite. The success of 2004 proved that Cal can be something better than they had been, and now this renovation project proves that our alumni can make football a priority just as much as anything else.
We strive for greatness at everything at Cal. Why not football? We've achieved excellence in almost every facet of our university on a consistent basis. Tomorrow brings a new start to a new age of Cal athletics and Cal football, one that gives us the hope we can eventually be golden here too.
Frosh to suit up: Bryce Treggs, Chris Harper, Darius Powe, Cole Leninger, Maximo Espitia, Hardy Nickerson, all the O-linemen.
If I had to guess, Treggs is a guarantee to play, since he's starting and all. Leninger too. Harper's on the two-deep, so it's hard to see a reason why he doesn't see action.
After that? Powe is suiting up, meaning we could see him in special situations. Espitia definitely came on in camp, so I'd love to see him this season and provide more versatility to our backfield if he can provide it. Nickerson potentially plays because Wilkerson is likely done for the year, although he's probably only on the third team at this point so Cal will probably keep him at arm's length.
None of the O-linemen play unless someone gets hurt or performs poorly. That's my guess.
Linebacking woes: Khairi Fortt still weeks away, Wilkerson being out, and Whiteside ineligible means that Cal will have only Chris McCain and Dan Camporeale with starting experience on defense. Worrisome. Two new ILBs also has to make you feel very concerned, particularly when you're replacing the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. If the Bears manage to hold the Pistol in check, that'll be a good first step before the offenses we face start piling up.