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Statement from Tedford and Barbour

just in from Cal Media:

Jeff Tedford and Sandy Barbour Statements on Cal Coaching Staff Changes

BERKELEY – Cal head coach Jeff Tedford and Director of Athletics Sandy Barbour released statements regarding changes to the Cal coaching staff following the recent departures of defensive line coach Tosh Lupoi and passing game coordinator/wide receivers coach Eric Kiesau.



“Tosh and Eric have decided to take other jobs, and we wish them the best. When people have career opportunities they make decisions based upon a wide array of reasons that are important to them. We appreciate their contributions to Cal football, and we exhausted all of our resources to try to retain Tosh and Eric within the confines and continuity of our coaching staff, but both chose to take advantage of new opportunities. We will proceed to replace them with quality coaches who will continue to stand for what the University of California and our football program represent, just as Tosh and Eric did.”



“Tosh and Eric are outstanding football coaches that did a terrific job during their tenures on the Cal staff. We certainly valued everything they brought to our football program and appreciate their time with us. We did all we were able to do to have them remain at Cal and appreciate our community’s willingness to assist in that effort. We remain excited and confident about the direction of Cal football under the leadership of Jeff Tedford.”

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Bad News Bears

The reaction and feeling of many Golden Bear fans after the events this weekend

After Green Bay’s elimination, Cal fans were left very little to cheer about in terms of alumni who are still left to play for the Lombardi Trophy in Indianapolis. Aaron Rodgers and Desmond Bishop were the latest “pair” of Cal alumni teammates to be eliminated (Cam Jordan/Brian De La Puente, Tony Gonzalez/Thomas DeCoud) which leaves the only Bears left in the playoffs to be Shane Vereen and the injured Andre Carter for the SpyGate Hatriots (can you imagine the ESPN coverage if Tom Brady wins a 4th Super Bowl?). I do feel bad for Aaron as he is left wondering what could have been if wide receivers had run their routes and caught the balls they were suppose to and he’s left with only a one-loss regular season to hang his hat. (Sound a bit like 2004?)

Of course the big news of the weekend was the loss of Tosh Lupoi, the 2010 ESPN Recruiter of the Year, towards the Huskies in the Northwest. Tosh didn’t do us any favors by leaving 2 weeks before National Signing Day, but there have been a lot of recruits including Bryce Treggs, Zach Kline, and Steven Moore who have remained faithful to #Calgang and the school instead of the coach. Unfortunately, social media giant Twitter has been reporting Ellis McCarthy of Monrovia who had committed to Cal during the All-American Bowl has flipped to UCLA and Arik Armstead has eliminated Cal from his choices. Personally I don’t either is that big of a loss considering how deep and full Tosh left the DLine cupboard and Arik’s steadfast determination to play defense. But we do have some nervous moments as 2012 prized recruit Shaq Thompson is now considered 50/50 and two of his and his brother’s biggest recruiters (Justin Wilcox and Tosh Lupoi) are not relegated to Seattle.

Why did Tosh leave? It seems puzzling considering he still will be a DLine coach and it seems a lateral movement at best. Of course, his presumed $500,000 public salary, combined with the fact booster donations and matching gifts are probably more at UDub than at Cal contributed to a much greener pasture in the Northwest. Clancy didn’t appear as if he was leaving anytime soon, which would block any upward mobility for Tosh. Pendergast was making $264,000, and Tosh was making approximately half of that. Even though reportedly Tedford asked the now much maligned Sandy Barbour to give Tosh a raise, it would cause a huge domino affect as she would have to raise everybody on the coaching staff which in total would cost up the 2 million. Could a DLine coach make more than the Defensive Coordinator? Can you justify raising the salary of the ENTIRE coaching staff of a team who went 5-7 two years ago and 7-6 the past year after investing many millions in just a new stadium? And of course there was incident which Lupoi fell on the sword and took a suspension from the NCAA which he might still have bitter feeling towards.

The good news this weekend? Darron Thomas left for the NFL, so the +20 versus the Ducks in Berkeley might look appetizing this year.

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[NFL 2011 Wild Card Weekend] – Cal Alumni News

Aaron Rodgers watches on as Matt Flynn starts against the Lions in week 17

Aaron Rodgers talks about his favorite pre-game rituals. The ghost of Aaron Rodgers lives on in the Bay Area as he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Arod doesn’t feel as if the off-week plus the layoff will hurt Green Bay in their game against the Giants as he took advantage of the down time to join a fraternity and go to State Farm Insurance for a second discount double check.

Thomas DeCoud was disappointed in the Falcons’ secondary and its performance against the New York Giants last week. AJC reports DeCoud, who is a free agent, will likely not be resigned giving him a chance to test free agency. Thomas also made an interesting comparison of Victor Cruz.

Cameron Jordan looks for more moments like this on Saturday at Candlestick.

Brian De La Puenete received great reviews for his performance against the Lions on Saturday, while fellow Bear Cameron Jordan, did not fare as well. Brian received additional great praise here, but was called a “weak link” by a Bay Area newspaper. Another good article here written about Brian from his high school newspaper.

Tony Gonzalez is still searching for his first playoff win. If there’s a silver lining, he has been a pioneer of sorts for Hispanic football players while being the modern Godfather for tight ends.

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How Stoked are Cal Fans?

Disconnect? Ask me again in 9 months.

So this kind of hurts. For those who don’t know who Stewart Mandel is, he’s one of the most prominent and well spoken writers from Sports Illustrated. Couple of good articles by him here and here where he talks about the removal of the AQ status and homogenizing college football. This draft class has definitely generated a lot of buzz. Getting Zach Kline and Bryce Treggs early helped because not only did we have one of the best recruiters in the world in Tosh Lupoi, but we had two recruits who were extremely enthusiastic  and through the use of social media (primarily Twitter), helped us net one of the best “one day” influx of commitments when Shaq Thompson, Ellis McCarthy, and Jordan Payton. The 2012 #calgang class follows two pristine classes in 2010 and 2011.

While what Mandel says has some truth, Cal has seen this movie before. Plus getting stuffed by Texas in the Holiday Bowl does kill a little bit of the recruiting buzz. I’m not sure what barometer Stewart is using to “measure” disconnect. Keep in mind Bear fans, our 2010 and 2011 were top notch, but outside of Keenan Allen, we’ve only seen splashes and hints of the talent play here and there. And then there’s the big white elephant in the room we still don’t have a super-star quarterback nor place-kicker anymore (ask Stanford and Boise State how important this is). The cupboard is definitely full for Tedford, but Cal fans want to be celebrating on January 1st in Pasadena and not on the forums in early February.

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[NFL 2011 Regular Season Week 17] – Cal Alumni News

Ryan Longwell attempts a field goal against the Bears Sunday at the Metrodome

Ryan Longwell kicked himself into second all time in Minnesota’s scoring history after his field goal Sunday. Longwell did an interview last week with Minnesota announcers, talking about what it has been like to be so close to having an opportunity to kick a game winning NFC Championship field goal just 2 years ago, to now finishing 3-13. Longwell’s job as a placekicker is harder than most as he has to prepare kicking off to Devin Hester and now Randall Cobb 4 times a year as well.

Nnamdi Asomugha doesn’t regret choosing the Eagles over the Jets this offseason. Nnamdi believes the Eagles are going in the right direction building towards success next season.  Asomugha and teammate DeSean Jackson also received high praise from Darrelle Revis a couple weeks back.

Tony Gonzalez hauls in a catch against the Saints

Tony Gonzalez inked a 1 year extension with the Falcons on Monday even though he was speculating retirement if the NFL lockout didn’t end this season. Gonzo has been too focused on chasing his first playoff win to look back on his career which includes yet another trip to Hawaii this offseason.

Mike Gibson signed an extension to remain with the Seakhawks next season. Gibson was actually released earlier this season, but persevered to make the NFL roster again. The improved Seattle offensive line’s contribution to Marshawn Lynch’s resurgence hasn’t gone unnoticed.

Ron Rivera looks on during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ron Rivera has enjoyed great success as a first year head coach and has found ways to put rookie Cam Newton into situations where he can prosper. Ron credited his psychology degree from Cal as what helped him get through his first season. He sat down recently with the Charlotte Observer to reflect on his first year and how he has extremely high expectations going into next season.

Lorenzo Alexander received a Pro Bowl invitation after public support from his coach Mike Shanahan for his role on the Redskins’ special teams. Lorenzo lost his starting linebacker job this season, but will train in Mixed Martial Arts this offseason in an attempt to cut weight. Alexander has worn many different hats during his time with the Redskins including being a liaison for the players during the lockout which won him the Media Good Guy Award this season.

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Stanford and Pac-12’s Luck runs out in Phoenix

Jordan Williamson watches the Cardinals' second straight BCS bowl win sailed wide left on Monday

2-5. Ouch. 2-5 was the Pac-10’s bowl record two years ago in 2009 which lead to a ton of West Coast hate and USC+9 Dwarfs jokes two years ago. However with a rejuvenated summer of 2010, Larry Scott re-branded the Pac-10, which included a tour of New York City with all 10 coaches, plus an exclusive ESPN interview with the conferences 4 premier quarterbacks at the time: Matt Barkley, Andrew Luck, Jake Locker, and Nick Foles. Cal fans remember Kevin Riley believing he was left out of the invite list and was “better than all those guys. ”

This year however, the Pac-12 was underdog in 6 out of the 7 games and things weren’t looking good for the conference heading into 2012, with Utah’s miracle come from behind win, the only contest the conference could hang its hat on for the season. Stanford and Oregon had a chance to prove that the conference’s poor bowl record was more a product of difficult match-ups: ranging from reasons such as Boise State getting squeezed and the Big-12 mysteriously getting only 1 BCS bid despite being Sagarin’s #1 conference. Oregon was finally able to get the conference off the snide showing it had the speed and skill sets to beat a “much more physical” Wisconsin team in the Rose Bowl. They were also able to get the important stops on Montae Ball when they needed to even though Wisconsin’s O-Line enjoyed what I guesstimated to be 30-40 lbs in advantage across the board. For Badgers fans who think they are screwed out of the last two seconds, Ryan Leaf and the 1997 Washington State Cougars team can relate to you.

Stanford had a chance to score the Pac-12 a second BCS win which would go a long-ways to cover up the conference struggles earlier in the bowl season. When a broken check-down drove the Cardinals to the Pokes’ 25, it looked as if Stanford would do that. However, Coach Shaw decided to take the foot off the pedal and ran two extremely conservative plays to set up a 35 yard field goal. Ask Kellen Moore and Chris Peterson how much of a gimmie 35 yard field goals are. It’s easy to second guess now, but when you claim to have the best college football player in the world, wouldn’t it be a perfect time to run a bootleg or play-action with 3 tight-ends lined-up? I understand Coby Fleener was injured, but Stanford’s tight end core goes 4 deep and they shouldn’t have had a problem to move the ball close to make it more of a “chip-shot” everyone desires to try to win a game. Williamson was already struggling in the game, missing a 41 yard field goal and kicking a ball out of bounds. Once Jordan hooked the ball left, it seemed all but inevitable Stanford was going to let this one slip away.

Realistically, everyone expects a drop-0ff with Luck leaving next year. He is a once in a lifetime talent and it’s important for non-traditional programs like Stanford and Cal capitalize when they land QBs as talented as Andrew was for Stanford and someone named Aaron Rodgers at Cal. The Cardinals were obviously able to do a lot more with Luck (beat USC and Notre Dame 3 times, and win the 2011 Orange Bowl) than the Bears were able to do with Rodgers, but hopefully for Bears fans, this guy will be the answer moving forward.

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2011 NFL Season Cal Alumni SNF Introductions

Nnamdi Asomugha introduces himself on Sunday Night Football against the Falcons during week 2 of the NFL season.

Week 1 (Thursday): New Orleans vs. Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers – “California”

Desmond Bishop – “San Francisco City College”

Cameron Jordan – “U.C. Berkeley”

Week 2 (Sunday): Philadelphia vs. Atlanta

DeSean Jackson – “California”

Tony Gonzalez – “University of California”

Nnamdi Asomugha – “Narbonne High School and U.C. Berkeley”

*Thomas DeCoud did not start*

Week 5 (Sunday): Green Bay vs. Atlanta

Tony Gonzalez – “University of California”

Desmond Bishop – “San Francisco City College”

Aaron Rodgers – “California”

Thomas DeCoud – “THE University of California”

Week 6 (Sunday): Minnesota vs. Chicago

Chris Conte – “Cal”

Week 7 (Sunday): Indianapolis vs. New Orleans

Cameron Jordan – “U.C. Berkeley

Brian De La Puente – “Cal Berkeley”

Week 8 (Sunday): Dallas vs. Philadelphia

DeSean Jackson – “California”

Nnamdi Asomugha – “Narbonne High School and U.C. Berkeley”

Week 10 (Sunday): New England vs. New York

Andre Carter – “Cal Berkeley”

Week 11 (Sunday): Philadelphia vs. New York

DeSean Jackson – “California”

Nnamdi Asomugha – “Narbonne High School and U.C. Berkeley”

Week 13 (Sunday): Detroit vs. New Orleans

Brian De La Puente – “Cal Berkeley”

Cameron Jordan – “U.C. Berkeley

Week 16 (Sunday): Chicago v s. Green Bay

Aaron Rodgers – “California”

Desmond Bishop – “San Francisco City College”

*Chris Conte is on IR*