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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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Arik Armstead to Cal?

Could this be our next Tony Gonzalez?



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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.