Avinash Kunnath: For football in terms of hype, it's gotta be 2005. That was a top ten recruiting class in both name and in results.
- DeSean Jackson, first ever five star football commit to Cal.
- Desmond Bishop, one of the best inside linebackers to ever play with the Bears, Super Bowl champ.
- Tyson Alualu, top ten draft pick and stalwart in the 3-4.
- Syd'Quan Thompson, back when we really really loved the name Thompson.
- Zack Follett, all aboard the Pain Train
- Lavelle Hawkins, provided the 1-2 punch with Desean
- Cameron Morrah, who proved to be our most reliable pass catcher his final season
- Marcus Ezeff, who had one of the five most clutch plays of the Tedford era
- Solid college starters in Nu'u Tafisi, Anthony Felder, Eddie Young, Brett Johnson and Mickey Pimentel
That team formed the foundation of a squad that had their way in the North for four years (if the North existed, which I'm going to pretend existed). Good times.
Trace Travers: 2003 Cal Basketball was a big one that was well hyped. Leon Powe, Marquise Kately, Ayinde Ubaka, and Dominic McGuire were supposed to lead a resurgence of Cal basketball. Within a year, Powe tore his ACL, Kately transferred to Morgan State, and McGuire transferred to Fresno (yes, Fresno). Ubaka was left to lead a team in 2004-05 which could not live up to those lofty expectations, though Rod Benson did shine that year. Powe did come back in 05-06, but the promise of that freshman group had gone away.
Nick Kranz: Cal women's basketball brought in a program changing class for the 2009-10 season. To the extent that WBB gets 'hype,' that class was a huge deal. More interestingly, that class ended up being a fascinating story on how great recruiting guarantees nothing, but also how incredibly important recruiting is.