New Penn State Athletic Director and former California Athletic Director Sandy Barbour compares Penn State to Cal.
Although her exit from Cal was not as harmonious as she would have liked - "I stayed too long," she conceded - she is eager to get started at Penn State, especially given its perennially high level of fan engagement.
"The passion at Cal is incredible," Barbour said. "The difference between Penn State and Cal is that Penn State does it every minute of every day of every week of every year. It's constant and it's consistent. There's incredible passion at Cal, but it wanes a little bit sometimes, and at Penn State it's every day. ... We're competitors, we want to win, and we need it every day, and we need support every day to get that done, and our student-athletes need to feel that every day, and that support exists at Penn State."
The instant reaction would see this a dig at Cal. And, on some level, it is. What is striking is the freedom Barbour has to be honest about something that every Cal sports fan knows to be true. The support for athletics does wane off and on at the University of California, which isn't surprising for the number one public university in the world for academics.
More to the point, however, is the sheer lack of support Cal sports receives from the community at large. Where else in the nation would renovations necessary to retrofit a stadium sitting on top of the most active earthquake fault in the world be met with such hostility? Which other program has such vocal opponents, both in the university and in the community, to the very idea of college sports?
- Slow progress, but progress nonetheless, expected for a Cal Football team that hit rock bottom in 2013.
Both sides of the ball have question marks, but the passing attack should be a strength, especially with Goff healthy and having another offseason under his belt. The defense allowed 45.9 points per game in 2013, but new coordinator Art Kaufman should bring immediate improvement. Don't expect drastic steps forward in the win column for California, but this team should find a way to win a game in Pac-12 play after going winless in 2013.
Woo! "A game"!
- Stephan McClure talks conditioning at Pac-12 Media Day.
- Sonny Dykes interview on the Travis Rodgers Show on KLAA (mp3 audio file, plays automatically).
- Jared Goff impresses Kyle Bonagura with his poise and persona. ESPN commentators talk other tidbits and takeaways from Pac-12 Media Day
Cal quarterback Jared Goff was in a tough spot last year getting thrown into the fire as a true freshman on a historically bad team, but you wouldn't have known that based on his demeanor today. Goff was polished, personable and said all the things you'd want your team's starting quarterback to say. If there were any doubts about how well he'd evolve into a leadership role, there shouldn't be. With 10 returning starters at the position, Goff might fly under the radar in the conference, but he's as talented a young quarterback as there is in the country and has a chance to compete statistically with the nation's best.
- Cal Bear and Web.com Tour newcomer Max Homa talks expectations for this season, last year's Walker Cup, and which three golfers he would pick to fill out his dream foursome.
Cal and Berkeley News
- Husband and Wife and Cal and Stanford team up to make the argument that we are reaching the tipping-point of climate change.
- Campus powers through lighting and energy efficiency initiatives to make Cal greener and more sustainable.
- Meanwhile, City of Berkeley officials and figures debate the effectiveness and "green-ness" of differing local development plans.
- Agatha Nowinski, Kendall Chase and Lindsay Meltz lead the United States to the gold in the women's eight. Chase follows up with another gold in the women's four.
Women's Water Polo
- Cal sophomore Roser Tarrago and Spain win gold at the 2014 European Championships, while fellow Cal sophomores Dora Antal and Anna Illes capture bronze for Hungary. Tarrago finishes second with 16 goals and first with 12 steals.
National Football League
- Marshawn Lynch returns to Oakland for his Fam 1st Family Foundation.
Was Lynch's Lamborghini-laden entrance a tad extravagant? Perhaps. But it did serve well as a reminder to the next generation on hand that hard work and commitment to your craft can pay off, even when you hail from one of Oakland's toughest neighborhoods.
"If somebody would have told me (when I was younger) in the middle of the street playing tackle football on concrete that I would be able to have a football camp and sponsor 800 kids for free, I would have told them you're a damn liar," said Lynch, the former Tech Bulldog and California Golden Bear who has racked up 4,624 yards and 41 touchdowns rushing, three Pro Bowl honors, and a Super Bowl XLVIII championship in his four seasons with the Seahawks. "It's crazy."
Read more in a great article and photo essay from Seahawks.com.
- Aaron Rodgers is the second-highest ranked Quarterback on Madden 15. Lynch is the fifth-highest ranked Running Back.
- Rodgers and Olivia Munn send an autographed jersey to Packers fan after passing on VIP tickets so he wouldn't miss his son's birthday.
Men's Tennis (And Mythbusters!)
- Cal coaches Peter Wright and Tyler Browne help out the Mythbusters Build Team of Tori, Kari and Grant at the Hellman Tennis Complex in order to test the myth that one can play tennis on top of the wings of a flying plane. Tennis pro and Cal Bear Guy Needham helps out as well by... actually playing tennis on top of a plane (video autoplays).
Guinness International Champions Cup
A capacity and sellout crowd of 62,583 at California Memorial Stadium watched as Real Madrid and FC Internazionale took part in a friendly match with much more excitement and drama than friendlies usually possess.
Inter defeated Real 1-1 (3-2 on penalties), with the decisive penalty winner coming off the foot of Mauro Icardi on the last shot of the penalty shootout. Icardi also scored for Inter in the 68th minute. Gareth Bale slotted home a screamer goal for Real in the 10th minute. Inter goalkeeper Juan Pabloe Carrizo won Man of the Match with three saves in the penalty shootout.
This was the first ever Club Football Friendly to ever be played at the new Memorial Stadium, and while the bag check policy and infrastructure were issues (as to be expected with 50,000 fans unfamiliar with the campus), the venue itself was absolutely spectacular for the event. Let's hope to see many such events at our jewel of a stadium.