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Archive for August, 2008

Michigan State pictures

Let’s kick this season off!

2008 Season Kickoff

Kevin Riley handled himself quite well.

Riley throws

We saw a lot of speedy Jahvid Best.

Best Stops on a Dime

We saw very little of Nate Longshore throwing to Cal receivers…

In Flight

…but saw him throw to Michigan State defenders twice.

Spoils of Longshore

We may never see him throw again, however.

In the end there was a nice huge run by Shane Vereen…

Vereen Sheen

…and after a last defensive stand, Cal fans went home happy. The Bears are 1-0.

See the whole Flickr set here.

And now to bed. More observations coming at a more decent hour.

Live from Berkeley…

I said I could post blogs on my iPhone, not that I could do it coherently…

Best: fast but I’m not convinced he’s great up the middle.

MSU snapping: really bad. More practice.

Cell service at Memorial: not good.

Longshore! Well, the controversy is now at an end. Terrible performance. No more excuses.

Cal defense: your traditional Gregory bend-but-don’t-break story.

Hippies unfurl banner on Panoramic Hill. “We Can Have Old Trees + Gyms.” Banner is on old trees. Now where’s my gym?

Updated game-by-game predictions

Here are my updated predictions for the season now that everything has settled out:

Cal 41, Michigan State 27:
On paper, MSU looks to be a formidable opponent. However, between the spring and now expectations have fallen a bit with them no longer in the top-25 of any major poll. The offense is also experience laden with senior quarterback, Brian Hoyer, in this third season starting under center, a senior running back coming off a nearly 1500 yard season and over 2700 yards in his career as well as an offensive line with 3 seniors and 2 juniors. On defense MSU doesn’t look quite as strong up front but will have a formidable secondary with all four spots manned by players with lots of experience. All of that aside, my gut says that this is a well over-appreciated. The team was 7-6 overall last year and 3-5 in a VERY weak Big 10. Call me an optimist if you wish but Cal will keep the MSU running game in check and that will be all that is needed to ensure a win with the offense clicking early. (Change from spring: none)

WSU 13, Cal 35:
If for some miraculous reason WSU is able to pull the upset against Oklahoma State in their opening game, this game may not be the walk in the park I expect it to be. With a new head coach a big upset can fuel a team to play above its pay-grade. Since I don’t expect that upset to occur, I don’t expect this game to be a tough one and the Wougs will go down easy. (Change from spring: none)

Maryland 20, Cal 35:
Maryland is a very young team going into 2008. Their starter at quarterback has never taken a snap. Their running back has only one year of experience under his belt and it wasn’t a very good one. The rest of the roster is full of freshmen and sophomores and the occasional inexperienced junior. Considering the team just snuck into a bowl game at 6-6 with their experienced roster last year and couldn’t pull off the victory despite Oregon State spotting them 14 points in the 1st quarter, I don’t think there is much to fear from Maryland, despite the fact they will enter the game undefeated after beating up on two patsies. (change from spring: reducing from the absolute blowout of 10-45. One should never expect that big of a win when going cross country.)

Cal 26, Colorado State 13:
If the Bears had not squeaked by versus Colorado State last year I would say that this game would have the potential to be a letdown game. Colorado State had a rough year last year, losing their first six games (including a 28-34 loss to Cal) before playing .500 ball to finish out the season 3-9. However, the team lost very little of its now “school of hard knocks” battle tested squad and looks quite experienced coming into this season. Colorado State could themselves be undefeated if they can pull the opening week upset against Colorado before playing two patsies of their own. Nevertheless, the Bears won’t forget what happened last year and will be ready to show the home crowd why we have reason to be excited about 2008, even though the end score reflects a dirty, drag ’em out victory. (change from spring: none)

Cal 30, Arizona State 24:
ASU will be fresh off having their teeth knocked out of their heads versus the highly regarded Georgia Bulldogs when they come to Berkeley. Nevertheless, they’ll still be 3-1 after beating up on two patsies and Stanford, who will be a tougher challenge this year than people originally thought. The pundits are pretty high on ASU mostly because Rudy Carpenter is back under center and their experience on the offensive line. What is forgotten is just how much talent ASU lost to graduation, particularly on defense. Expect Cal to be out for blood against this finesse team and romp to an early lead before the resolve of ASU under Erickson tightens the score. (change from spring: none)

Arizona 27, Cal 24:
Normally I would say that Cal getting Arizona before November is a good thing. However, I think this is the year that Arizona continues their trend of mediocrity to enter the game versus Cal 3-3, losing to UCLA, Washington and Stanford. Arizona will be desperate to get back on track versus the Bears to stay in the hunt for bowl eligibility before getting to the meat of their schedule. As much as I hate to say it, and when reviewing this in the fall I’m even more loath to say it, this is Cal’s letdown game on the road and the 5-0 curse continues. It’ll feel eerily like 2006 where it looks like the wildcats are going to go down early before clawing back into it in the 2nd half and taking the lead late in the game. (change from spring: closing from 27-21 to a field-goal margin)

Cal 35, UCLA 20:
The quarterback situation at UCLA is one that should make every legitimate college football fan feel sorry for UCLA. How many QB injuries can one team sustain? There will be even more reason to feel sorry for them after their brutal schedule to open the season where they could enter the game as low as 2-5, although they could be as high as 4-3. Nevertheless, Cal won’t let a repeat of 2007 occur particularly with this game at home and the home win streak in this series will grow to 10. (change from spring: revising scores down from 49-27)

Cal 20, Oregon 23:
Here’s a sure betting tip for all you gamblers out there: NEVER take the over for the Cal-Oregon game. This game is always lower scoring than everyone expects. If this game was early in the season I would expect Cal to win and win easily. By this point however, the inexperience that Oregon will have had early in the season, particularly at the skill positions, will be long gone and Oregon will be clicking on all cylinders. If the Bears can win this game it would set them up for the key showdown with USC the following week. Alas, the very experienced Oregon defense will stifle the Cal offense and Oregon wins this one in one that comes down to the wire yet again. (change from spring: no change despite QB issues at Oregon… although if it turns out as nasty as it could, Oregon could disappoint a lot of people and this game could be much easier than I think)

USC 27, Cal 20:
My gut says that USC will lose another uncharacteristic Pac-10 game in 2008. I’m guessing it is either Arizona or Washington because I don’t think WSU has it in them and Oregon and ASU wouldn’t qualify as “uncharacteristic”. Nevertheless, the one loss in conference play will ensure that this game is for all the marbles yet again and yet again the USC defense will be the deciding factor. Sorry Bear fans, no Rose Bowl in 2008. (change from spring: none)

OSU 13, Cal 41:
I don’t know if I’ll ever figure this out, but a trip to Corvallis may help me understand why the Cal-OSU series is the antithesis of the Cal-UCLA game. The home team hasn’t won this game since 2002 when the Beavers actually won at home in Tedford’s first year. That trend will continue this year as the Bears are desperate to get back on track after back-to-back loses to Oregon and USC. OSU will also be having difficulty filling all the holes in the depth chart as the usual injuries pile up this late in the season. Expect Cal to romp and romp early.

Cal 38, Stanford 17:
Two words: RE – VENGE! The Cal defense will be out for blood in this one and the offense will be back to clicking like early season form. Stanford will be fairing far worse than most with the injury bug depleting an already thin depth chart. The one difference is that Stanford’s offensive line should be good enough that Stanford won’t need 3 QB’s and Cal fans won’t find themselves answering the difficult question of whether it is more morally bankrupt to feel sorry for whoever is the next Stanford QB to take that beating or to show no mercy. (change from spring: revising up Stanford’s score significantly from 3 points. This team showed to have a lot of heart and plucky resolve Thursday. It’ll still be a Cal win, but not an absolute blowout.)

Cal 31, Washington 17:
The only reason to fear this game is if it was in Seattle, since it is now early December or if the Huskies are but one victory from bowl eligibility. However, my guess is that Washington will have likely found their 7th loss against UCLA two games prior because of their BRUTAL non-conference schedule. They have the nation’s toughest schedule two years in a row with non-conference games against Notre Dame, Oklahoma and BYU (even if the national rankings show them as #2, there’s is the toughest because Notre Dame is better than people think (See Danzig, at least it’s consistent Catholic homerism)). Add in having to play the conferences three toughest teams (USC, Oregon and Cal) on the road as well as the Apple cup in Pullman and it’s going to be tough for the Huskies to get to their last game with only 6 losses. Expect Cal to grind this one out on the ground and only go to the air when necessary with the young defensive front being unable to hold off the determined Cal offense. (change from spring: none)

Cal 35, Kansas 19:
The Holiday bowl is not a happy camper faced with a Texas vs. Cal match-up “by the numbers”. Unwilling to pick below their ranking on both sides, they pick Cal because of their good historical showing in San Diego and because Texas was just there the prior year. Instead they go for Kansas who has taken the #2 spot yet again in the Big-12 north. Their other choice was Texas Tech. in third place in the Big-12 south but they didn’t want a rematch of 2004. (change from spring: none)

So, no major changes here. I was tempted to change both the Arizona and Oregon games or at least one of them to a win, but in the end, this feels like a 9-3 team, even with Riley under center. Mark my words: there will be a moment this season where Riley makes a big mistake that sinks the Bear’s hopes in that game. I say this not because I don’ think Riley is good, but because only one quarterback in 1000 don’t, if that. Riley is still very young with only 7 quarters under his belt and two of them were not very sharp (albeit the first two).

So, 9-3, losses to USC and Oregon and one other “unexpected” loss to a team like Arizona. That’s my ‘general’ prediction. We’ll see how it turns out.

Pregame thoughts on MSU

The last week has been an absolute blur for me. Between a busy week at the day job, bookshelves and desks in the woodshop that I’m furiously trying to finish before the deadline I promised my wife of “before football season starts” (I got an extension until Labor Day), going to practices and press conferences for and a TV interview, the amount of time I’ve had to think about the upcoming game is pretty small.

But as I showed on TV, not having time to think has never stopped me from blathering away.

So I looked up my post-Spring Practice game-by-game predictions to see what I had to say about MSU (as an aside, expect updated preditions for the season before tomorrows game):

Cal 41, MSU 27

While I think the numbers might be a bit high (perhaps 34-24 feels more right at this moment), I think my thoughts on MSU were about right. Cal is not going to overlook MSU because they’re a mediocre Big-10 team, which is good, and the fact is that they’re a mediocre Big-10 team, which is even more good.

In an lot of ways I expect MSU to be very similar to Minnesota who Cal played in 2006. They’re just a little too one-dimensional to be a true threat to the Bears. The one thing that the Pac-10 teaches its teams is balance. Defenses need to be ready to stop both the pass and the run. There’s not a single team in the conference that shutting down one aspect of their game is going to completely shut them down.

As such, when Cal faces a one-dimensional team, whether they be run-oriented or pass-oriented, they usually do well. Playing defense is A LOT easier, when the other team is one-dimensional. MSU would be well suited to start the game on a passing spree because the Bears are going to be very geared up to stop the run. They won’t at all be expecting a pass-heavy set of play-calling.

But here’s to thinking that MSU is just as incapable of doing that as Minnesota was a couple years back. I expect this game to be easier than everyone expects. While it won’t be a walk in the park, when it’s all said and done I expect there to be a lot of fans thinking “what were we so worried about?”.

So I’m sticking with my spring prediction: 41-27

SAHPC article published

Another update on the SAHPC published over at

MSU practice podcast

My podcast from Tuesday’s practice and press conference is posted over at

It’s got audio quotes from Tedford, Riley, Follett, Williams and young WR Marvin Jones.

Pick’Em League starts TODAY

We’ve got 19 people signed up for the Pick’Em league, which is a good number. However, if you’ve been on the fence, the day to sign-up is today because the first game of the season, Oregon State at Stanford, is tonight.

For those already in the league, a couple of reminders:

  • Please be patient after tonight’s game regarding properly posted results. The under the cover code that goes and gets the scores has yet to be fully tested for this year and I’ll have to make sure it’s doing the right stuff come game time. I promise to have it all worked out overnight though.
  • Week 2 start MONDAY with the UCLA vs. Tennessee game. Since the college football week ends Sunday, it’s a week 2 game even though it “feels” like a week 1 game. Put your picks in now.

Michigan State Preview Podcast

We’re back with another three-man podcast featuring Ken Crawford, Jason Snell, and Philip Michaels.

Among our topics:

  • How little we know about Michigan State
  • Observations from spring practice
  • Longshore and Riley
  • Tedford’s failings
  • Hippies, trees, and getting into Memorial Stadium
  • Plans for the blog this season

And of course, we come up with the idea for a new running segment in the podcast, “What Makes Phil Cry?”

All the Cal Football you can stand — and more — in 36 minutes.


I was so busy with interviews and press conferences and practices yesterday I didn’t get a chance to chech for a ruling. Looks like late yesterday Judge Miller issued her updated judgment. And the key phrase is the last line:

…the preliminary injunction entered on February 9, 2007, is hearby dissolved. The Amended Judgment is effective and enforcable immediately.

Some of you are thinking, “Woohoo! Trees come down today!”

But remember, the University has promised that with this ruling, they will not start on construction immediately (and that means not cutting down the trees) if Judge Miller ruled this way, even thought the court documents seem to indicate so.

The promise was they wouldn’t start construction until:

  1. Two days pass and no appeal has been filed.
  2. If an appeal is filed, the appellate judge refuses to grant an injunction.

So, that means construction could start as early as Friday if Volker and company don’t file their appeal, although nobody expects that.

What it really means is that we’re back to a waiting game again, this time for the appellate jugde. When they get the case, they’ve got a handful of options and just about as much time as they want to do one of the following:

# Option Time Result
1. Refuse the appeal Trees can come down the next day
2. Take the appeal, but refuse an injunction Trees can come down the next day
3. Take the appeal and have a hearing about a possible injunction Trees have to wait until after hearing is held and judge rules in that regard (see #4 if they rule to put an injunction in place)
4. Take the appeal and issue an injunction We get to wait until well after the season while the appeal hearings continue

My understanding is that the length of time we should expect to be waiting is on the order of a week, or maybe two. As an example, when the previous appeal was made, it was made on July 25th and the judge made his ruling rejecting it as premature on August 7th. However, from what I can tell, there are either no deadlines or the deadlines are so long that they’re not usually relevant.

Hopefully the COA (appellate court) doesn’t get gun-shy now that the case is actually in their hands and the trees can come down sometime shortly after the Michigan State game (which everyone agrees will still have the Berkeley zoo still in full operation on gameday).

As an FYI along those lines: read this letter to Cal fans with updates on how to deal with the protests and congestion.

My Eyes! My Eyes!

Well, the interview went well yesterday… or so I thought:

I know that we’re often our own worst critics but MAN my facial expressions were flat. Yeah, the answers were fine. But I just can’t get over how, as Jason put it in an IM discussion with me “you did sort of look like your cat had just died”. I mean, I SPECIFICALLY said to myself “make sure you’re smiling” because I know that I can look a bit stone faced in pictures. In fact, I remember a couple moments when I tried to smile more. There’s absolutely no indication of that attempt on film.

I mean, how is even POSSIBLE that I can look both like this:

and this:

Oh well…

In any case, here’s a little background on how it all works. They sent me to the University studio when the show was being taped in the morning. They put me in a little room with no more than a chair with a backdrop and video equipment. Then they put a mic on me and an earbud in my ear. The earbud had the audio from the show as well as occasional cut-ins from the producers with instructions or heads up.

That’s all I had. No video monitor to see what was going on. No teleprompter with questions that were going to be asked (they did give me a general idea in the studio that they’d be asking about Riley as starting QB, Javhid Best, the 3-4 and team chemistry, but that’s about the extent of it). Nothing. So if you’re one who noticed that my eyes kept shifting off camera too, I have NO IDEA what I was looking at. I think it was mostly that I felt pretty disengaged and distant as opposed to feeling like I was “talking to the camera”.

While I guess the equipment setup is the norm, I had no idea what to expect and was a bit thrown off by it. But what REALLY threw me off, was the pacing of the show. I had never watched the show before, so I had no idea. I was expecting something a bit more drawn out with more detailed discussion as opposed to the quick hitting, fast paced answering that was expected.

So when the first guy from USC, who’s not in the clip, started blathering away at lightning speed, I had a huge “oh crap” moment. I knew I would get about a 15 second warning when my turn was up, so I quickly in my head got ready to just fly through my answers and did my best to prepare them. I knew that when the moment came I just had to spew out whatever was first on my mind. “Don’t think, just talk”, I told myself. As an example, I had no idea I’d say that Riley’s attitude/energy might make a difference after the first loss. It’s just what came to mind while I was blathering away. The whole thing was just a stream of consciousness. There wasn’t even time to think. In fact, I couldn’t have told you afterwards that I said that. I couldn’t even say how long I was on the air.

I think the next time I’m on I’ll do a lot better. I’ll spend a lot of time prepping content to say. What I noticed from the other two guys (the 3rd guy was Florida) was that they didn’t mind straying from the question and would just keep talking as long as the host would let them, so that’ll allow me to prepare content and use it liberally after quickly answering the question. Basically, the first time you pause, no matter what you just said, they’re asking their next question.

Also, I’ll spend some time in front of a camcorder “having a little talk” with Mr. Stone Face.

All in all though, I was happy with my answers. My only complaint was with the stone faced delivery. In fact, I’m genuinely surprised my answers were as good as they were considering how it all came about and how much of a blur it was. I think what saved me is that I’m so comfortable with the material, that there was never a moment I had to pause to come up with anything. I was able to “execute” on my “don’t think, just talk” and it didn’t make me sound stupid.

Hopefully I’ll get another chance to show I can do it better…

On TV today

Watch College Football NOW today at 3:00 PM PDT to see me give my thoughts on Cal football to the NFL network crew.

The NFL network is on channel 212 on DirecTV and caried on a number of other providers usually in the same range of channels as the “extra” ESPN channels like ESPN classic, etc.

Fall Practice #3 Podcast

My third podcast from Fall Practice is now posted over at

Discussion topics include Longshore vs. Riley and the wide receiver core.

Court case antics has their regular article on the happenings in court today.

The key take-away is that Judge Miller did not judge from the bench, as I expected, but that she’ll rule in the next day or two.

But what was interesting is that the University made what seems like a minor concession to the other side, extending their two-day no-build promise to a promise to not start the chainsaws and bulldozers “until a ruling was obtained from the Court of Appeals” (quoted from the BearInsider article).

I’m curious about the actual language used in court. If the University promised what the article indicates they did, I think it’s a HUGE mistake. What seems to be assumed in the article is that the court of appeals would RULE quickly. That’s a huge difference from the court of appeals refusing to put an injunction in place while it hears the case, allowing for the construction to go forward while the appeal is being heard, and waiting for the final ruling.

While it’s defintely a good possibility that the court of appeals will reject the appeal rather quickly, I see it as a big risk to assume that.

Perhaps the language was more nuanced and it took into account the possiblity of an appeal without an injunction and my comments are much ado about nothing.

UPDATE as of 3:30 PM: The language was indeed FAR more nuanced than the article indicated. It specifically had the caveats I was concerned about and mentioned only that the University would wait until the appellate court ruled regarding putting a new stay in place. So basically they’re offering to wait until after the appellate court has ruled on an injunction as long as Judge Miller rules the way they want and the plaintiffs (tree-sitters, etc.) file an an appeal within two days including an immediate request for an injunction. If all of that happens, it’ll clear the way for construction to begin in a week or two.

In any case, keep your eyes pealed for a final judgment from Judge Miller in the next day or two and the associated commentary from me here.

Back in court today

Just a reminder for everyone that today the SAHPC court case is having yet another hearing. What about? I don’t anyone knows EXACTLY what it’s supposed to be about.

Originally it was about the request for a re-trial. But that’s no longer the case because it was withdrawn. However, by the time it was pulled, the appellate judge had made his ruling and it made it clear that Judge Miller was going to have to issue a new final judgement. So the hearing on the 25th hung around assumably to hear arguments about that, although the court documentation was never updated to explicitely say so.

Finally, last week the Panaramic Hills Association (PHA, the home-owners association) made a motion that, while the specifics of which have not been posted on the case webpage, it has been agreed that the motion will be heard on the 25th.

Add in that both sides have now submitted updated proposed judgments that the Judge will likely want to review and today should be a hodge-podge of discussions all around how to wrap this case up. Since that’s the case, I don’t expect Judge Miller to issue her final judgment today, but to take a couple days to review everything and publish her document.

For those counting, the key day is Wednesday if there’s any hope of getting the tree-sitters out and the trees down before Saturday’s matchup against Michigan State. If Judge Miller doesn’t rule by then, and it should be noted that she’ll have to rule the way the University wants in its entirety, well, expect to be disappointed on Saturday.

Riley is starting QB for Michigan State

WOW! This really surprises me. Last night Tedford named Riley the starting QB, at least for the Michigan State game. He then reiterated what he had said earlier that both QBs will get playing time.

What’s surprising to me is not the timing of the announcement. Everyone expected an announcement late this week or over the weekend. What is surprising is that Riley got the nod. It is true that Riley has gotten stronger as camp has progressed. But it’s also true that Longshore has looked pretty sharp and in my opinion has had better command of the huddle and the team. Since that’s a quality Tedford cares a lot about, I figured it was going to be Longshore.

But clearly what has made the difference is that with Riley throwing as well as Longshore, his mobility became the difference.

What will be interesting to see is how much Teford (and Cigneti, let’s not forget that he’s a pretty big factor in offensive decisions) is willing to stick with Riley in his rough patches, particularly if those rough patches come early. Tedford has a history of sticking with his guy, as we all know. But Tedford also has a history of picking experience over talent.

It may be a whole new day in Cal Football.

More action at the Grove

Looks like the University is continuing in their plan to limit the movements of the tree-sitters. Today they started pruning the redwood tree that all the tree-sitters are in and surrounding trees to make it more difficult for the tree-sitters to move from tree to tree.

Of course anytime a cherry picker or a chainsaw gets fired up around the grove the tree-sitters start their wailing and shreaking.

See the SF Gate article for more details.

The one interesting note there is that “Dumpster Muffin” is back in Berkeley although not back in the trees.

D-Line article posted

My analysis of the defensive line during Fall Camp was just posted on

As an FYI, this is a subscription article. I’d very much encourage people who like what I write to signup with Rivals as I’ll have about 3 articles a week that require a subscription during the season. It’s less than $10 a month which works out to be about $0.75 per article and that’s not taking into account the great articles by Chris and AW as well as access to the subscriber message board (which is by far the best subscription board between all the Cal subscription sites). If you care at all about recruiting or Basketball in addition to football game coverage, is the site to subscribe to.

For the financially challenged amongst us, have no fear about this blog suffering. Between the On The Road Home and yet to be named podcasts that Jason, Phil and I will be doing as well as the usual slew of posts including the best live-blogging of road games in the Cal blogosphere (with Jason as our gracious host), we intend to keep this the #2, yet highest quality Cal blog online.

Flury of legal activity

For those not daily visiting the SAHPC court case page, there’s been a ton of activity. I summarized the current state of things as of this morning in an article just published at

But even since this morning there has been fresh activity. The University submitted a proposed Judgment for Judge Miller to look over. Their hope of course is that Judge Miller just rubber stamps it.

The key development here is that the University is pushing REALLY hard to get these trees down before the MSU game. Their strategy now is to ask Judge Miller to immediately end the injunction with the knowlege that the University has promised not to cut any trees down for two days after the decision giving Volker and Co. two days to file an appeal and attempt to get an appellate injunction in place. By ending the injunction immediately, the whole 20-day extension for appeal is no longer relevant (how can an injunction that doesn’t exist get “extended”).

So in theory, if Judge Miller rubber stamps the University’s proposed Judgment, Fan Appreciation day on Saturday may be a LOT more exciting than we had previously thought, what with the screaming tree-sitters and the chainsaws echoing in Strawberry Canyon.

There is one thing I’m concerned with in the University’s strategy: Judges don’t like to be rushed. I’m not concerned with Judge Miller… she’s so sick of this case she can’t wait to get it off her desk. But the appellate judge is a different matter. If the University does indeed get the injunction lifted with only two days for Volker and Co. to get a new injunction in place from an appellate judge, I can easily see that judge being more likely to issue an injunction because of the shortness of time they get to consider it.

Said another way, if there were 24 days left in the injunction when the appellate judge first gets the case, that gives them plenty of time to think over what to do. They can read a bunch of the rulings and briefs and various submissions from both sides and get a good sense of things without ever having to make any decisions for a number of weeks. Once they’ve done that, they can then decide with confidence that there is nothing here that merits an injunction and deny that request with plenty of time to spare.

If, however, this judge has all of two days to make that decision, they’re going to feel VERY rushed. Many judges will be tempted to put on the brakes at this point so that they can take a more thorough look at the case. The way they do that is by instituting a temporary injunction. And once we’ve opened that pandora’s box at the appellate level, it’s going to be more difficult to get that injunction removed before the entire appellate process is completed.

So, is it worth that risk to potentially move up the tree cutting by 4 weeks? Maybe. Only time will tell.

Blogroll updated

I’ve updated the blogroll for what I think to be the best of the blogs around the Cal blogosphere. Is your blog missing? Well, drop me a line in the comment box.

As a reminder to those new here, here’s my criteria for inclusion in the blogroll:

  1. Moral content: The #1 thing to prevent your blog from inclusion on the list is any content that is morally offensive. The most common example of this is frequent swearing. Does it really add anything to a post to say a player is f-ing pathetic? Find better words to describe yourself. Other examples include any suggestions of violence against anyone, this is college football not a war, or personal attacks against players or coaches beyond just their capabilities on the football field. It’s OK to say that Joe “Booya” Ayoob is the worst player to ever grace the Cal sideline and Tedford is a complete coaching moron to have let him stay behind center for as long as he did (even though I’d disagree), but to say you want to rip out his bowels and force-feed it to Tedford crosses the line. Finally, I expect the comment sections being in line with my moral standards and that the comments of the blog’s author on other blogs meet the standards as well (one blogger in particular suffers from this problem). For the comment sections, I don’t expect one to moderate to the degree that all comments meet my moral standards, but that truly, wildly objectional comments are deleted and somewhat to moderately objectionable content is somehow rebutted/chastized.
  2. Frequency of posting: I’m only going to link to blogs with somewhat regular posting. Generally that means at least a couple posts a week during the season. I’m not too concerned with off-season posting but someone who is consistent all the time gets extra props.
  3. Quality of posts: What this means depends on what your blog is trying to accomplish. If you’re just trying to report news, I’m not going to hold it against you that you don’t have detailed analysis. At the same time, if your goal is news and you’re always a week behind everyone else, well, that’s not very good news. On the other hand, if you’re a game-analyst type guy, I’m not going to hold slower posting against you, but I do expect that your analysis is meaningful. Generally what this means is if when I go to your blog, do I find something worth reading?
  4. Longevity: I generally like to see that a blog has been around for at least a year before it gets the nod. This is partially to give me time to judge based on the above criteria and also because lots of bloggers drop off within a month or two of blogging.

Fall Practice #1 and #2 Podcasts

My first two podcasts from Fall Practice are now posted over at

You’ll notice that this is a change from the spring and last season where all the podcasts were hosted here. My podcasts from practices this year are going to be hosted from However, the On The Road Home podcasts after each game as well as the usually mid-week group podcasts with Jason, Phil and I will still be posted here. Just an FYI.