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Golden Nuggets: Does Playing EWU Have an Upside?

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In today's Daily Cal, writer Matt Kawahara calls this weekend's game against EWU a "low risk-no reward" game.  While the team will benefit from experience in a game environment, he says the benefits stop there.

But from a national perspective-and eventually that will matter-the answer is no, it doesn't help the Bears at all.

Saturday is one of those games that's like an escalator on the top floor: no upside. Cal is expected to win, and win big. If it does, the game will quickly be forgotten. Even if the Bears win but don't dominate, their image could take a short-lived hit.

The only way that Saturday would make a splash would be if Cal somehow came out flat, fell behind and couldn't rally. 

I'm not convinced.  Give the players some gametime experience and move on before heading into the toughest five weeks of the year: that's the purpose of this game.  That's the purpose of playing the C opponent in the A-B-C out-of-conference schedule. Game experience and a win on the record is enough of an upside for me.  While wins against such teams may be forgotten, voters are reminded of the outcome every time they look at Cal's record.  Even if you play a bunch of patsies and win twelve times in a row the voters will notice.  Look at  Ball St from last year.  They shot up the rankings despite playing teams like Northeastern, Akron, and Central Michigan.  The only team I even recognize on their schedule is Navy.  Despite all that, they rose to 12th (before, thankfully, they were knocked out of BCS contention).  For many voters (especially ones whose closest connection to Cal is checking the scores Sunday morning), a win is a win. Just ask any Big10/SEC team who schedules four OOC cupcakes.

After the jump we have more EWU coverage, news about Giorgio holding onto kickoff duties, some unusual quotes from members of the Maryland team, basketball predictions, and more.