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Archive for August, 2013

Northwestern preview/prediction

It’s been a long time since I’ve not had a clear opinion of what was going to happen on game day. I mean, sometimes I would think “if X happens, the Bears will win, otherwise they lose” so I’d be uncomfortable making an uncaveated prediction, but not since the day Tedford took over have I been so unsure of what to expect.

And that’s the key phrase: ‘since the day Tedford took over’

New coaches are the biggest wildcard in all of college football. It doesn’t matter if they did really well at a previous school. It doesn’t matter if they have experience in your own conference. It doesn’t matter if they are an internal promotion from a coordinator position. It doesn’t matter how talented or experienced the team he takes over is. No matter what, it’s always a wildcard when a new regime takes over. Sometimes internal promotions work out great (Shaw, Kelly) sometimes they don’t (Holmoe). Sometimes external promotions work out great (Tedford (at first)), sometimes the Peter principle comes into play. Sometimes getting them from the NFL works great (Pete Carroll), sometimes not so much (Kiffin). Sometimes grabbing from a lower tier school is great (Harbaugh, Urban Meyer (from Utah)), but that Peter principle is always lurking (just about every coach who left Boise State). Even lateral transfers have their perils (Willmingham to Notre Dame).

If that weren’t challenging enough, the Bears also have the second biggest wildcard: a young team. While generally speaking, a young team is considered a bad thing, history is not as clear, particularly with a highly recruited one, and we see this in some of the language/questions used. The most notable example is “rebuild or reload?”, an implicit admission that not all young teams are bad. Or there’s the concept of the “sophomore slump” when a QB has a great freshman season but can’t duplicate it in his sophomore year.

All of this is a long way of saying that this is a very difficult game to predict. That aside, I will now bravely wade into these uncharted waters:

Starting with Northwestern, I don’t think this team is as good as their #22 ranking nor their 10-3 2012 record indicates. Last year was a very easy year for them. Their 4-game non-conference match-ups were full of weaker teams and the most marque name, Boston College, had a very weak year. I guess one shouldn’t overlook that both Syracuse and Vanderbuilt were better than their traditional positions last year, but still, they were no juggernauts. When one looks at the conference slate, they missed two of the three best teams from the other division (Ohio State and Wisconsin), and didn’t beat anyone in the conference with a better conference record than 3-5. The best thing about their conference record, frankly, is that they took Michigan to overtime, and played a nail biter with Nebraska, despite losing them both.

In addition, a big part of what made Northwestern’s success is that they’re ahead of the curve in the Big-10 in going away from a power-run offense. It made them more difficult to defend in the big, corn-fed linemen conference that is the Big-10. Yet while being ahead of the curve in the Big-10 is a bonus for them back home, over here in the Pac-12, their offense is pretty run of the mill. Said another way, there’s nothing that Northwestern will throw at Cal that they haven’t seen before.

Thus there’s no reason to believe that Cal can’t beat Northwestern. If this was the 2011 Bears or the 2008-2009 Bears, I’d easily be predicting a victory.

That said, my gut says that the combination of such and young team and a new scheme is going to be a real challenge in the first game. This isn’t week 2 or 3, it’s week 1. The team grows more between weeks 1 and 2 than during any other week of the year, doubly so for young teams. So even if it was just a case of a young Cal team playing a familiar scheme versus an experienced Northwestern, I would have my concerns. But when one adds on the new scheme, on BOTH sides of the ball, in week 1, I just find it too hard to ignore.

All of that is a long way of saying that I’m going to go against the grain of both Cal fans and of the pundits I usually read (including Ted Miller, who has DOOOOOMED us by picking us to win), and say that Cal comes out on the losing end of this one. It’ll be entertaining. It’ll be encouraging. It’ll be a breath of fresh air. We’ll ultimately feel good about the future and see the potential. But a handful of defensive mistakes that results in big plays, too many drives where the offense can’t get in rhythm and perhaps an extra turnover or two that young teams are known for doom the Bears in this one.

Final score: Cal 33, Northwestern 42

An article worth reading before the game

I don’t usually link to articles at our local papers. I figure you can go look for Cal stuff there yourself if you’re interested. It doesn’t take a genius to do it and let’s face it, if we’re smart enough to be Cal fans… (I’ll let you fill in the rest).

But this one about the connections between Cal’s legendary coach Pappy Waldorf and Northwestern is worth reading. See it here.

My reasons for hope

Now that we’ve got the depressing stuff out of the way, here is why I have optimism:

  • There’s lot’s of talent on this team: When most struggling teams get a new coach, one of the first things the pundits do is try to tamper optimism. “Turn arounds take time.” And they point at teams like WSU and Colorado or even ones that have shown success like Kansas State, South Carolina, Michigan State or even Dykes’ previous school LA Tech, all of which took at least a couple years before the wins started coming. But one of the things they overlook is part of what takes time is gathering talent. If one goes looking for teams that had a down turn but had lots of talent, one often sees very quick turn arounds. UCLA and ASU last year are examples of that. Frankly, our beloved Cal benefited from that when Tedford took over. For all of Holmoe’s problems, one thing he did pretty well is identify under-appreciated talent and also convincing at least a few recruits that “shouldn’t have” come to Cal that Berkeley was the place to be (such as Boller). In any case, this year’s Cal team more fits the 2002 Bears or the 2012 UCLA team than it does the Colorado or WSU mold.
  • Jared Goff looks like the real deal: Both from seeing high school footage and seeing snippets from practice, it sure looks like he’s the real deal. The only negative I hear about him is that he doesn’t have “a cannon” of an arm. If that’s all they have against him, I’m pretty excited. Most high school QB’s that have “a cannon” end up sucking in college. They have problems developing touch, bouncing balls off receivers hands and unable to drop a ball into a small window. They learned in high school they could make up for all sins by rocketing it in there and that just doesn’t work at the next level. In contrast, those without that crutch in high school actually tend to learn better fundamentals, better quick decision making and seem better at anticipating how things are going to develop. Plus, when your early-enrolling QB is throwing the least INTs in practice of all the QBs and is the only one who can somewhat consistently throw a ball in the garbage can (it’s a drill they do), that’s an exciting/promising sign. This team is stocked with elite 11 QBs and if the new guy is outplaying them, he’s got to be pretty good.
  • Sonny Dykes’ system looks pretty leading edge without being gimmicky: There have been a lot of different offensive systems in college football that have come and go. Some worked for a few years. Some worked for a long time, but were eventually dismissed. Still others changed the game forever and even new systems integrate what was innovative from the original. I think it is a challenge when a new system comes along to tell what you’re looking at. Is it a gimmick that will be ‘solved’ in a few years? Or does it have some staying power? Yet with that caveat aside, when I look at what I’ve seen from this system it sure feels to me like the next logical step in what the Air-Raid spread (as opposed to the read-option spread) promises, and integrates some of the best ideas that came from the read-option spread (pace of play in particular). Said another way, Cal won’t be running the same plays that the conference has seen from Oregon or even WSU. As WSU has shown, running plays that the conference now has experience defending, but at a novice level, doesn’t work well. We’re not going to out-Oregon, Oregon. And the good news is that it doesn’t look like we’re trying to. It looks like we’re running a system that forces the defense to make tough choices and be reactive in lose-lose situations. It also looks like at the same time that it isn’t overly complicated and is tailored to college players who have to go to school in other things besides the huge playbook.
  • The game won’t be over before halftime: One of the things that truly frustrated me about the end of the Tedford years was that there was ZERO ability to recover from a slow start to a game. Tedford always talked about how important it was to “start strong”. The reason was we were doomed if we ever got 2 scores down. That team just had so little ability to come back from a deficit. The clock would look like it was smoking it ran down so fast in the 2nd half, with both the opposition trying to run down the clock and Tedford’s offense poorly built to conserve it. Dykes’ system is the polar opposite. If I have one piece of advice worth listening to, it is this: If you’re the type who likes to leave early, don’t! You’re going to miss some wild endings under the new regime.
  • Tedford’s “cursed games” are no more:In the middle of the schedule there’s a stretch of games that, for those of us accustomed to the patterns of the Tedford years, scare the crud out of us. UCLA in LA? Just about un-winnable, right? Oregon State in Berkeley? That’s where all of Cal disasters start, right Riley? UW in Washington? That where dreams go to die, or is it freeze? We’re DOOOOOMED! The problem with that sort of thinking is that it overlooks that the particulars of how Tedford ran things were what made those trends. For most teams, Oregon State wasn’t nearly the hurdle it was to us. Plenty of teams didn’t seem to collapse whenever inside the confines of the Rose Bowl stadium nor when making a trip to Husky stadium. We need to purge from our mind the patterns of Tedford. Thus, there are more winnable games in the middle of the schedule than people think.
  • After a tough start, Cal will be battle tested for a strong conference run: There’s no doubt that 3 of the first 4 games are a real challenge. But after that Cal gets WSU at home, a very winnable game, before entering the stretch I mention above. I think UCLA takes a step back this year and Washington doesn’t make the jump to elite status (and hopefully that will have sunk in on their team by the time we get to them). So, if one wants to take the positive road, if Cal can pull the upset over Northwestern on Saturday, something we’ve got a shot at (the Pac-12 always does well against the usually one-dimensional B10), we’ll be 2-2 after the opening stretch. With a strong performance, Cal could win all of the next 5, but let’s say they drop one to UCLA/UW/OSU. The team would be 6-3 and have a lot of confidence going into the final tough stretch. While I still hold out hope that the early games will bear fruit in November against USC and Stanford and we could pull at least one upset, even if they don’t, I won’t be unhappy with 7-5 with a win against Colorado in between those two tough games.

In summary, looking at both this post and the prior one, I say the glass is half full.


My reasons for concern

What do you want first, the good news or the bad news?

That wasn’t really a question, but just a way to do introduce that this is the first of a pair of posts, the first about our issues going into this year, and the second being the reasons to be optimistic. Since I’d like to finish on a positive note, let’s start with the bad:

  • True Freshman QB: The history of true freshmen quarterbacks is littered with highly touted, highly ranked recruits who’s last moment looking good is when trotting onto the field before the first snap. After that, it’s all downhill, the young man often permanently scarred going through such a painful season, never to recover, never to be heard from again except in cautionary tales by bloggers who’ve been around for a while. And while I’ve got some reason for optimism (for another post), there’s no denying that Jared Goff is battling odds that are stacked heavily against him.
  • The injuries seems to be piling up early: Every team sustains injuries during fall practice, but it feels like the body count is a bit high at this point. The result is that you’re going to see a lot of new and young faces on Saturday. RS Freshmen Steven Moore starting at Right Tackle (Ouch!) with Bill Tyndall out, Hardy Nickerson at middle linebacker with Nick Forbes not healthy yet, and Damariay Drew at strong safety if Avery Sabastian can’t play on Saturday. And that doesn’t cover the lesser player injuries.
  • Young offensive line: As mentioned above, there will be a RS Freshman offensive linemen starting on Saturday who we didn’t expect, but in addition to that, we’ve got another RS Freshman on the right side (guard Matt Cochran). While the left side looks stronger with Tagaloa and Rigsbee, they’re both only sophomores and our lone upper-classman, Adcock at center, hasn’t exactly impressed me (yet). If there’s good news, 2014, and 2015 in particular, look very strong with a lot of experience. But this year there’s going to be a lot of growing pains.
  • New systems don’t take hold over night: I’ve been doing my best to understand the pros and cons of Dykes’ offensive system and I’ve still got a lot to learn. But one thing I know for sure is that this system is about as different as one can get from Tedford’s system. There’s just no way they’re going to be operating at 100% efficiency, particularly in the 1st game. To pile on top of that, while I was pretty soft on the defensive change to the 4-3 in my earlier post, it would have been nice if the defense wasn’t going through an overhaul as well, at least for 2013.
  • The worst possible schedule for a young team: A young team does best when they ease into their schedule. If I could have dictated the schedule for this year, I would have played Colorado State to open the season, then our FCS team, then Maryland or Rutgers (or similar). After that I would want to see Colorado, then Arizona, then moving up to a tougher team like Oregon State and Washington, then a bit of relief with a game like WSU, then USC and Oregon, then the other one of UW and OSU, before wrapping up with Stanford. Or in way of summary, back-load, but don’t OVER back-load. Instead we get a ‘returning just about everyone from a 10-3 team’ Northwestern, #2 Ohio State and #3 Oregon in the 1st 4 games. After that, things look a lot better, but it sure would be nice to have gotten some easier games early.

That’s what on the top of my list anyway.

Weird corner-case rule

I was reminded of an odd-rule that exists in both college and pros last night watching the 49’ers pre-season game. An offensive player committed a dead-ball foul just after making a first down. The result was the ball was moved back 15 years (it was a personal foul) and it was 1st and 10.

This has never made any sense to me. Shouldn’t it be 1st and 25?

If it’s 1st and 10 and the running back gains 5 yards and when he gets up he head-butts a defensive player (a dead-ball, personal foul), the ball will be moved back 15 yards and it will be 2nd and 20 instead of 2nd and 5. Those 15 yards don’t magically disappear as far as down and distance is concerned. Why if he instead gains 12 yards, does it not affect the post-foul down and distance?

Of course there are two possible ways to do it, both of which would make sense to me. If he gained 12 yards, it could be 2nd and 13, moving the ball back for the penalty before determining whether a 1st down was reached. Or it could be 1st and 25, moving the ball back after moving the chains. (BTW, 1st and 25 makes more sense to me, particularly since dead-ball fouls can happen a long time after the previous down is complete but still before the huddle of the next.)

But doing this weird ‘after the 1st down is reached but before the new chains are set’ thing just doesn’t feel right.

Anyone else ever thought this?

Pre-season ranking metholodogy

Preseason rankings are a real challenge. If nothing else, it’s all based on opinion since no games have been played. But additionally one has to decide how to rank them. Does one rank them based on how good they think they are right now, i.e. if they were to play every possible team in the first season of the week, you’d expect all teams above them to beat them, and all teams below them to lose to them, or do you rank them where you expect them to land at the end of the season?

There seems to be a movement towards taking the 2nd strategy and I couldn’t disagree more. It creates all the wrong incentives and pre-biases the teams the wrong way. What it all comes down to is schedule. Teams with hard schedules will get ranked lower because the ranker “doesn’t see how they can get through that schedule unscathed” (or something like that). Teams with weak schedules but who by the ranker’s own admission aren’t as good, who have a shot at being undefeated will likely end the season higher ranked based on the benefit of the doubt and their record, they’ll put higher.

The result, since pre-season rankings only affect “seeding”, is that the team who most needs some early season ranking support when the ranking drops after they lose one or more of those tough games, is least likely to get it. The team that is weak and needs to do something to earn it, doesn’t have to because they start at the top.

There’s already far too many powerful incentives to schedule weak. We don’t need another.

Pre-season rankings should be based on how good the team is in the opinion of the ranker as they exit training camp without any biasing towards the ease or difficulty of the schedule. I understand why the pundits want to talk about it, and in concept I’ve got no problem with that, but when they put their rankings down on paper, they need to forget it.

CGB hacked?

Did a Northwestern fan/student (or perhaps Washington), hack the site? Why is their background now purple?

More precise text on what defines a backpack

The webpage describing this change has slightly more precise text than the e-mail I received:

A backpack is considered a bag worn on or over your shoulders. It can have one or two straps and have one or more zippered pockets. Both adult and kids backpacks are not allowed.

So, it looks like it’s still a question of whether it is designed to be worn over your shoulder, but they seem to be implying (the word “can” leaves them wiggle room) that if it doesn’t have either an over-the-shoulder strap AND at least one zippered pocket, it’s not a backpack. So a bag that you put over your shoulder that is open ended (without zippers) or perhaps has snaps or a drawstring opening wouldn’t count. But it also looks like a fanny pack or a small duffel that has zippers, as long as it doesn’t have an over the shoulder strap, would be OK too.

And so I ask this question: In what way does this “enhance public safety and improve stadium access” or from elsewhere on the same page “create a safer environment on game day”?


1st protest idea

Thanks to David, I think we have a first protest idea. Everybody brings a cheap backpack to the game to dump on the security personnel. David suggests some… ehem… “creative” things to put in the backpack. I’m not willing to go quite that far to put something in it so inflammatory. But I do think filling them with something is a good idea, at a minimum so that they take as much room as possible, but also to identify them as part of the protest.

It could be as simple as popcorn. Any ideas?

Looking quickly, this was the cheapest backpack I could find, for those who may not have an old one they’d be willing to donate to the cause:

Amazon – Everest Brown backpack:

Who’s with me?

Starting a protest

Just got an e-mail from the athletic department: No backpacks allowed in Memorial Stadium this year.


I’m not a criminal and I don’t expect to be treated like one. I tried to call 1-800-GOBEARS, but the line was busy… Likely because I’m not the only one who’s upset.

It’s ridiculous policy for a number of reasons:

  • First and foremost, because bags up to 14x14x6 are still allowed. The prior rule was the same except backpacks of that same dimension were allowed. So what defines a backpack? Thankfully, at least they’re willing to define it: “A backpack is considered a bag worn on or over your shoulders. It can have one or two straps, have one or more zippered pockets.” Uh, what kind of security concerns does limiting bags that meet that sort of description limit?
  • It’s ridiculous to release this policy two weeks before the first game, long after people have made ticket purchasing decisions and perhaps after people have purchased bags or other stuff that they might put in an existing backpack for the season, that they now are stuck with. They’d better at a minimum be willing to issue refunds for those who find this policy unacceptable.
  • This hyper-security, over-bearing mindset is ridiculous. The e-mail starts out with “due to heightened security”. What sort of ridiculous BS is that. WHAT REASON do we have for heightened security!?! It’s all a bunch of scare tactics. More people have and will continue to die in their cars on the way to the game than will ever be killed by something that somebody is going to sneak in with their backpack.

Write a comment if you agree and answer the poll question.

4-3 vs. 3-4

Of all of the things I heard over the off-season, the one that gave me the most “instinctual” heart-burn, it has been the decision to return to the 4-3 defense from the 3-4. I think we all remember recent history, but for those who don’t, or perhaps to lay out how I think recent history went:

Starting in 2005 or so, spread offenses started to become all the rage (because they were working). The big thing they did was find a way for smaller teams to work around big defensive lines by going around them. They started developing key plays like the read-option where they could isolate one defensive end and take him out of the equation (either way he guessed, the play went the other way).

And as I said, it worked… almost too well.

But of course defensive coordinators aren’t going to stand still and just take a beating. They started developing new ideas. One of the first was the “Bend But Don’t Break” strategy, which relied on lot of zone coverage and spreading out the defense a bit. It worked to some degree, particularly when they’d force the spread offenses into a big loss every once in a while, breaking their rhythm and into more traditional passing situations on 3rd down where the big defensive linemen could go for broke after the QB. But it only worked so well and it left the defense on the field a lot giving up a lot of small gains that would take their toll in the 4th quarter.

The next stage of development started in the 2008-2009 time frame. (And to give credit to our former coaching staff of which I dare not speak, they were on the leading edge of this.) Defenses realized that by taking a defensive lineman off the field and replacing him with a linebacker they got a number of positive effects. First of all, there was more speed on the field to cover more territory. But just as important (and often overlooked) was the gap assignments of the defense were no longer as predictable to the offense. As a result, things like the read-option trap for the defense end was no longer so clear. Who’s the appropriate guy to read? The DE or the 4th/outside linebacker? It could change on each play depending on alignment.

And this new strategy worked! Looking at the teams who had defensive success against the best spread teams, most of them were 3-4 teams. And while the games of cat and mouse continue to the day, the playing field feels a lot more balanced.

So this 4-3 thing has to be a disaster in the making, right?

Frankly, it might be… but I’m also not so sure until I watch them on the field.

The reality is the line between a 3-4 and a 4-3 has blurred. If you have your outside linebacker up on the line with his hand on the ground pre-snap, how much different is that than a 4-3? If you replied with “speed”, then when your outside linebackers in the old 3-4 become DE’s in your new 4-3, how different is THAT?

The more I think about it, I guess to some degree 4-3 vs. 3-4 isn’t all that important. But I do think there are some concepts that have been integrated into the modern 3-4 offenses that are very important to success in today’s Pac-12. So if you’re going to run a 4-3, you need to make sure you incorporate these things.

So this post was a long way of saying here’s what I’m looking for out of the defense when they take the field:

  • Do they occasionally drop linemen into coverage? One of the keys to the 3-4’s is that where the rush is coming from is very confusing to the QBs and the offensive linemen. You do that by bringing different linebackers at different times. And at some point, you bring so many linebackers that you need a lineman to get up out of his stance and cover the middle zone. This is even more true when 4 of your rushers (instead of 3) are “predictable rushers”.
  • Are the outside linebackers lining up fairly widely? Remember in 2011 when USC beat the ever-loving-crud out of us? (Yeah, I’ve mostly blocked it out too, but dig deep, it’s in there somewhere.) One of the things I remembered was part of how they beat us was by placing the outside linebackers extremely widely. Whenever we went sideways, which we liked to do a lot with Maynard and co. that year, it was a disaster. It seems like the 4-3’s that are successful place their outside linebackers pretty wide (although I don’t think it has to be as wide as USC did that night).
  • Where are the safeties playing? An alternative to the previous strategy is to bring the safeties up, on the outside. This has an upside of keeping the inside run support fairly strong with the outside linebackers able to collapse inside as needed. The downside of this strategy is that there are certain deeper passing routes that are harder to cover with the safeties out of their traditional positions. However, I think a fairly innovative defensive coordinator will be doing the same sort of “position swapping” (or maybe you could call it ‘creative zone coverages”) that we’re seeing today between the linemen and backers, but instead between the safeties and their fast linebackers. It’s something that will keep the QB REALLY off balance. (If I see this I’ll be very impressed, but will expect to see some growing pains.)
  • How dominant are our ‘true’ linemen? I think the #1 key to the 4-3 is that by putting 4 big bodies up on the line you have the potential to be very disruptive right off the snap. But that’s the thing… they NEED to be disruptive. You can’t have a stalemate on the line. Back in the pre-spread days, stalemates on the line were often OK because on running plays the stalemate resulted in a minimal gain and passing plays could often be contained by good secondary coverage. These days, if you’re going to have big bodies on the line, they’d better be disruptive right off the snap (and BTW, I think we have the personnel for this).

So, is the 4-3 bad? Maybe, maybe not. But that’s what I’ll be looking for to find out.

Comments turned back on

Oh for the love of Pete! Yet again (probably during some wordpress upgrade) the setting requiring that comments come from logged-in users turned back on without my permission. Since I don’t HAVE ANY (except for myself) it means that no one can comment.

It’s really frustrating because I can’t see it happening, because I’m logged in as me, so the comment fields show up fine. I have to purposefully logout to see it or go to the comment settings page, which is a pain.

Luckily there are enough of you out there kind enough to send me an e-mail that I find out about it before too long. It’s turned back on now, comment away!

Update at 11:30 AM: And the “auto-moderate” is also now turned off. You’re comments will show up right away.

Thoughts on Goff being named the QB starter

For those who haven’t heard, Jared Goff has been named the starting quarterback.

This was a moderate surprise to those who have believed the rumor mill dating back to the 2012 season that Zack Kline was the program’s savior, but for those who had been paying attention, it wasn’t that much of a surprise:

  • Coach Sonny has long said that the keys to being his QB was consistency, accuracy and quick decision making. Who’s been most consistent since Spring practice? Who’s the only one who can somewhat routinely hit the trash can in their throwing drill (accuracy)? I think the thing that has been hindering Goff has been the decision making, but the word on the street is that he’s improved dramatically since Spring practice and is doing as well if not better than Kline.
  • Which QB was recruited by Sonny? I think the tie goes to the guy that the head coach recruited.
  • As Dykes said in his comments, Goff isn’t really a “true-freshman”, he’s an early-enrolled freshman. Being here for spring practice, and then having the time between then and now to absorb the system makes a WORLD of difference in regards to freshmen QBs.
  • Kline just threw too many interceptions in practice to make his case. He may have one heck of an arm, but the new offense is predicated more on accurate short throws instead of long passes.

And here’s the kicker, the lore around Kline, is just that: lore. Lot’s of people were sick of Maynard last year. Lot’s of people wanted a change. And is the case on every team where the starting quarterback is struggling, the backup QB is the knight in shining armor ready to save the team. But the few times I saw him play in practices I was never really overly impressed. That’s not to say he didn’t have potential. That’s not to say he wouldn’t have been a better choice than Maynard. But it is to say he was no miracle savior.

But the rumor mill/peanut gallery/fanciful dreamer crowd was just too strong in creating a fairy tale that Kline was this semi-mythic recruit destined to save the program once he was given the chance.

News flash: It just wasn’t based on facts.

This if of course not to say that Goff was for sure the right choice. I don’t really know (and unless you’ve been at all the practices, you don’t know either). But what I do know is that this shouldn’t be a shocking surprise. Goff earned being named the starting QB and most showed the characteristics that make a good QB, particularly in Dykes system. I’m looking forward to seeing him perform on 8/31.


Back in business

OK, it’s time to get this show back on the road. I wanted to start earlier in August, but it’s been a really busy month.

So what can you expect from me this year? In a lot of ways, more of the same. I’d be interested in feedback on whether the On The Road Home podcast continues to be appreciated. I’ll be going to 2 (UCLA, Stanford), possibly 3 (Colorado) of Cal’s 5 road games, if that helps bias people one way or another. I’ll of course be going to all the home games. But in addition to that, I plan the following, weekly:

-Pre-game prediction post
-Post game wrap-up
-2 to 5 commentary posts
-(Maybe) a video review of the game (mostly game footage, not my ugly face)

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to make it to practice this year and looking at the next two weeks, I don’t think I’ll be able to make it before the season starts. Nevertheless, this year there is more info out there on practice than there has been in forever, so there’s plenty out there for me to comment on.