While several Cal teams enjoyed tremendous success this past year, the men's golf team's success was a most welcome surprise.
With a core of three of the most consistent golfers in the country, a veteran coach, and a skinny freshman with limited power, the Bears did what nobody expected them to do: compete for a national title.
Though Cal was unable to finish a comeback against top-seeded Alabama in the NCAA Tournament semifinals, the season was already historic before the team even reached that point.
"It’s been the best season in Cal golf history," said head coach Steve Desimone. "We won a national championship in 2004, but if you look at what was accomplished (this year) — six tournament wins, the first conference championship, the first regional win, the academic accomplishments with five guys in Haas [business school] — it doesn’t get any better than this."
The Bears will return all five golfers that competed at the NCAA competition, putting the squad in prime position to compete for a national title next season. Senior Jeff Hamm is graduating, but Michael Weaver will be back after redshirting this year.
"None of us see this thing slowing down," Desimone said. "We were so close that we want another crack at this."
After the jump it's all Ted Miller all the time as every non-ESPN news source appears to have dried up this week.
- The Golden Nugget (no affiliation) has released some early spreads for the 2012 season. Among them is the Cal-USC game where the Bears are 24-point underdogs.
- Uncle Ted looks over the Pac-12 schedule to see who misses which opponents. Missing Colorado and Arizona, Cal has the worst misses while Utah has the best misses (Oregon and Stanford)
- Half the conference will need to replace its leading tacklers this season, including the Bears who will have to find someone to fill in for Kendricks' 8.2 tackles per game. Ted believes Nick Forbes is the most likely candidate to fill the void.
- Ted Miller takes a look at how many starters each team returns in 2012. Cal is tenth overall with 12 returning starters.
- The new two-player format at this year's Pac-12 Media Day will have Jeff Tedford joined by Keenan Allen and Marc Anthony.