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CGB Hall of Fame: (11) Oski vs. (14) Troy Taylor

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The penultimate Round of 32 matchup in the Pete Newell region features two upsets, with Oskli facing off against wide receiver Geoff MacArthur, who stunned Brittany Boyd in the first round.

Harry How/Getty Images

Results from the Previous Round

Oski upset 6th-seeded Geoff MacArthur, 72-59, while 14th-seeded Troy Taylor stunned 3rd-seeded Brittany Boyd 63-60.

(11) Oski

NorCalNick shares some thoughts:

Why do I like Oski? Because he's different. Here's the thing: Most mascots are one of two things: Boring, or trying too hard*. Mostly boring. Just within the Pac-12 alone, here is a list of generic mascots:

Arizona. Arizona State. Oregon State. Washington State. Washington. UCLA. Utah.

*By trying too hard, I mean in terms of absurdity and irreverence (hellooooooo Stanford) or pomp and circumstance (hellooooooo USC).

I don't mean generic in the sense that the mascots themselves are generic, although Arizona and Washington State have fallen into the different-name-for-the-same-cat chasm. I mean the costumes. Every school listed above evidently decided that they were just going to put a guy in a boring, bipedal animal costume and then make him wear a football jersey. Most Pac-12 mascots are full-kit wankers.

No, Oski aspires to more. He has class. He wears a cardigan and trousers. While most other mascots act like capering circus clowns or adrenalin-addled über-jocks, Oski calmly strolls around the field, always friendly, always smiling.

One might argue, then, that Oski is boring. Why isn't he doing lazy knee push-ups every touchdown, like some mascots, or constantly twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom, or generally making a ruckus? Because Oski knows how to pick his spots. Oski paces himself. And when called upon, when our need is dire, Oski is there. There to beat down the tree. There to shotgun a bear through a straw in his eye. There to throw a cake at Gary Payton's mom. You know the famous John Wooden quote: ‘Don't mistake activity for achievement?' He coined it after comparing Oski with other, lesser mascots.

Frankly, Oski doesn't feel like a mascot. He feels like another classmate or alum. I'd feel weird sitting next to Wilbur the Wildcat at a bar. But Oski? We could sit right down and reminisce together about our crazy mutual friend from the dorms freshman year or the incredible basketball game against Stanford. Oski is the eternal sophomore, after all. And although you'll have to carry most of the conversation, he's fully capable of getting his point across non-verbally.

Here's to Oski, the best mascot in the Pac-12 that isn't a real live friggin' Buffalo running around the field.


(14) Troy Taylor

unclesam22 muses on the impact Troy Taylor had on Cal.

Troy Taylor came to Cal in 1986 and midway through his first season, he became the Golden Bears starting quarterback. Taylor went on to set 17 school passing records, all of which remained intact for 10 years. Included in that group are passing yardage (8,126), total offense (8,236) and touchdown passes (51).

Taylor was a fourth round draft choice of the New York Jets in 1990 and spent the 1990 and '91 seasons there as Ken O'Brien's back-up. He then spent part of the '92 season with the Miami Dolphins.

After his playing career ended, he went into coaching and ended up back at Cal from 1996-99, working with the Bears' receivers, tight ends and quarterbacks. After some time away to work at his High School alma mater he returned to Cal to be the color analyst for the football radio broadcasts, a position that he has held since 2005.

On a personal note: As a young and impressionable 8/9 year old just learning to love all things Cal, going to one of my first games and seeing Taylor play and getting a set of Cal trading cards that featured him were a huge highlight. He was definitely the first Cal player I was a huge fan of and for that he always holds a special place.