SI.com went college football crazy a few weeks ago. So, how does ESPN.com do it? Well, when you’re the World Wide Leader in Sports, you outsource, of course.

ESPN uses Blue Ribbon College Football Yearbook’s analysis and breaks down all 119 Division 1-A football teams.

While Blue Ribbon gives Cal passing marks on its report, we’d like to remind you to take it with a grain of salt. Yes, hype is everything, but get too hyped too early and lose badly in the first game of the year (like last year). Then you risk of falling so hard that you won’t be able to get back up.

But without further ado:

Blue Ribbon’s report card consists of four categories—offense, special teams, defense and intangibles. The Bears received an ‘A’ for offense, an ‘A+’ for special teams (thanks to the Golden Blur, DeSean Jackson), an ‘A-’ for intangible (no doubt thanks to God himself, Jeff Tedford) and a ‘B’ for defense.

Couple this with the fact that Athlon Sports ranked Cal just outside the top 10 in its preseason rankings, the hype machine must be working real hard for the Bears.

Blue Ribbon also thinks that Cal can win 11 games, play in a BCS bowl but not beat USC. They say that Bears fans (and maybe the entire college football community) will look back at last season’s 10-3 record, the loss to Arizona, in another-trip-to-the-Holiday-Bowl season, as the one that got away.

bq. When Tedford’s run at Cal ends, whether it’s in 2008 or 2028, there’s a real chance that last season will be looked upon — not only him but Cal fans — as their Moby Dick, the one that got away.

Also interesting is that they think that Tedford is one of the top two offensive geniuses in all of college football. They can’t make up their mind about whether or not Florida coach Urban Meyer is better, but at least Tedford is No. 2.

But Blue Ribbon thinks Cal is second-best in the Pac-10 only to the Trojans because of defense.

We’ll give you another reason—history and coaching. We’re going to say it, 2003 was a fluke. Sure the win over USC put the Bears on the map. But since then, they’ve faltered.

When so much is on the line, Cal has come up short. That’s what happened in Tucson last year. That’s what happened at the Coliseum last year and in 2004.

And what does this come down to? Coaching. Tedford plays not to lose. It’s cliché, but you’ve got to play to win, like our old buddy Herman Edwards said.

Daymeion Hughes put it best last year after the Bears’ loss to the Trojans.

bq. “Their coaches are some of the gutsiest ever,” said Cal cornerback Daymeion Hughes. “They think no matter what the situation is, they’re going to win.”

That’s something Cal doesn’t have yet.

Image Source: Ben Gallup, Daily Cal
Earlier: SI.com Goes College Football Preview Crazy, So We Do Too Team preview: California [ESPN.com]


Well it looks like Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Lee Corso won’t be in Berkeley on Sept. 1.

No, there will be no Corso donning an Oski head or Herbstreit spilling his arrogance into T.V. screens from the Cal campus.

Hokiesports.com, the PR machine for Virginia Tech, just announced that ESPN picked the Virginia Tech/East Carolina matchup to be the host site for College GameDay on college football’s opening weekend.

Now, as much as we would like to bitch and moan about how horrible and how slighted we feel that ESPN chose to take GameDay away from arguably the best matchup on Sept. 1, if we had to choose any other site for GameDay, it would have to be Blacksburg, Va.

After all, everything we know about the Hokies and Virginia Tech is due to what Frank Beamer has done with that football program. If it weren’t for that football team, we wouldn’t even know that a Virginia Tech existed (prior to the Virginia Tech shooting).

And after what happened last April, we say that the Hokies deserve to have GameDay. If it will help them heal, help them get over that horrible day, then let them have it.

Apparently, that’s what ESPN was going for when it picked Virginia Tech.

bq. “Virginia Tech is a special place and the community is one of the most respectful and passionate we have visited,” said Norby Williamson, ESPN’s executive vice president of production. “Our coverage will be considerate of the emotional day facing the students, faculty, and people of Blacksburg and the country.”

So GameDay’s not coming to Cal, but we couldn’t have picked a better place for it to go than Blacksburg.

But we say this: GameDay better be on the steps of Sproul Hall on Nov. 10 for the Bears/USC matchup.

Earlier: Cal Not Picked by GameDay Crew—At Least Not Yet
College GameDay to open season in Blacksburg [Hokie Sports]


If there were any a time to scrap the BCS or change it, it would have been now, with the defending champion’s president pushing the charge for a playoff. It would also have to come from the SEC, arguably the most popular and the best (we’re not sold on that yet) conference in college football.

But we have to shed a tear. After Thursday and Friday’s SEC meetings, Florida President Bernie Machen is backing off his playoff push.

bq. They are persuaded, and I am now persuaded, that the best way to proceed is to try to work within the BCS structure, to make some changes to make it better. That seems to me to be a very good way to go.

Fucking great. The BCS will never go away.

Earlier: BCS on Death Row? Defending Champ’s President to Unveil New Plan
Work within the system [SI.com]

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