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The Return of Golden Nuggets! Spring Football Articles, and The Future of the Pac-12

A lot of Olympic Sport articles as well.

Mississippi v California Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After a brief I-had-4-straight-early-morning-shifts-and-I-was-depressed-by-Cal-basketball I’m back!!! And since I’m playing catchup there’s by my count 19 articles I have to post about... so lets get it started.


The Bears chose captains and drafted “accountability teams” this offseason, forming groups that gained and lost points based on things as big as classroom attendance and as small as carrying around a water bottle.

“I know I have to be accountable to my teammates, or else everyone on my team is going to suffer,” cornerback Camryn Bynum said. “I don’t want them to take the blame for my mistakes.”

Many of the players said they’ll take a break over the weekend and visit their families early next week. Quarterback Chase Forrest said his trip home will include throwing sessions, and quarterback Ross Bowers said he didn’t want to leave at all.

After struggling to get through a 14-play “fastball” session in fewer than nine minutes for much of last spring, the offense reeled through those periods in fewer than five minutes in their first two sessions this year. The defense has already installed 70 percent of the scheme it was using last year.

“That’s what makes it tough leaving,” Bowers said. “You want to keep going and building on these practices, but it’ll be good in a way.

The math is simple: Zero spots are secure as the Bears enter training for the 2018 season.

“That’s where we’re at,” head coach Justin Wilcox said. “We won five games and didn’t make it to a bowl game. That’s not OK. We’ve got to coach them better, we’ve got to execute better and we’ve got to play better individually. Competition will always help drive that.

“Nobody is sacred in our program. I’m not. There’s not one player, one coach, one administrator. We’re just not. The team will always come before the individuals. That’s what is best for them: make it competitive.”

James Looney didn’t even have to participate in the 40-yard dash, shuttle run or three-cone drill to make an impression Tuesday.

By the time the defensive lineman had completed his first rep in position drills, many of the NFL personnel members gathered at Memorial Stadium for Cal’s Pro Day were being drawn to get a closer look at his display.

“I feel like I can play any position at the next level,” said Looney, who is considered a bit of a tweener at 6-foot-2, 289 pounds. “If they wanted me to lose a little weight and play outside linebacker, I could do it.

“I feel like that’s my key: my athleticism.”

  • Cal Athletics’ writeup of Pro Day.
  • Find out why Zahran Manley chose Cal for his school in his interview with Rivals.
  • If Cal Football’s sales go up, or if the Oakland A’s get a downtown stadium built, you might want to thank Collin Moore and Michael Saffell who are part of a Sports and Business group at Cal that Moore helped start.


  • Kristine Anigwe has been selected as an All-Region nominee for the WBCA Division 1 All-America team. Congrats!
  • Jon Wilner says don’t blame Larry Scott for the awful Pac-12 basketball season that seemed to plague all 12 teams.
  • The next two months will really tell whether the Pac-12 will be better next season. (Cal isn’t mentioned in either of these articles)
  • Cal basketball recruits (men’s and women’s) go over their favorite parts of a wild Men’s Tournament last week.


  • Seniors Nick Silverthorn and Zach Stevens have been valuable leaders for the Men’s Swimming team.
  • The women should still feel proud of themselves despite being unable to upset Stanford at the NCAA Championships, as school records and personal bests were still set.
  • SIXTEEN women made the All-Academic lists... Amy Bilquist made the first-team, just like last year, after earning a 3.77 GPA so far this academic year. Maija Roses, Jenna Campbell, , Noemie Thomas, and Alexa Cacao made the second-team.

The other eleven made the Honorable Mentions list: Kathleen Baker, Keaton Blovad, Alexa Buckley, Chenoa Devine, Maggie Gallagher, Valerie Hull, Phoebe LaMay, Jasmine Mau, Katie McLaughlin, Maddie Murphy and Courtney Mykkanen.

The team itself made the All-America list for owning a collective 3.51 GPA in the Fall. Congrats!

  • See how Cal Athletics was able to revamp Spieker Aquatics Center, which I was able to enjoy when I saw Cal women’s water polo top UCLA on the 10th.


  • A glowing profile of men’s gymnastics head coach JT Okada.
  • Multiple men’s water polo players and coaches will be playing with Team USA for international competition later this month, in Australia and New Zealand, including Johnny Hooper and Luca Cupido. Find out more here.
  • Kindred Paul was named MPSF Player of the Week in women’s water polo after she helped the #1 Bears top ASU on the road last weekend.
  • Congrats to Bella Bergmark and Gabby Bellizzi for signing their letters of intent and will join Cal Volleyball in the fall.

Go Bears