Our Signing Day Wish List For the vast majority of sports teams, there’s always a definitive point in the season at which their fans allow their thoughts to stray toward the possibility of “next year.” Yes, for the disgruntled sports fan, irritated and beleaguered by supporting perennial bottom-feeders and cellar-dwellers, avoiding the agony of the present by having a “wish list” for their team is indeed a guilty pleasure. Considering that most UC Berkeley students say “Tedford” while cursing under their breath, it’s fairly safe to say that the 2012 sports season is far behind us.

Signing day is a big time not only for the athletes who are committing to their future alma maters but also for the fans who pine for the biggest names to come to their favorite teams. It represents the potential for future success and the cultivation of championship aspirations all rolled into the squiggly ink that makes up the signature on the contract. Seeing as how Bay Area sports have flourished – the Giants with the Series title, the Niners with a Super Bowl bid, and both the Sharks and Warriors pleasant surprises in the Pacific Division, it’s about time that Berkeley was brought up to par.

Despite all the internally generated hype about  the athletes that will be joining call – conveniently ignoring the lack of a Top 50 football recruit and the Marcus Lee disaster that broke up a potentially contending basketball squad – we’ve developed our own list of athletes and other athletic-type people that should grace the courts of Cal if our wishes were to come true.

1) Aaron Rodgers
Ever since this legendary quarterback left for the Cheeseheads, we’ve had to endure the likes of Longshore, Ayoob and Levy – all in one season! Given the relative ineptitude of Maynard this past, it’d be wonderful to have some form of competence in the most important position in the game. Who better than a Super Bowl champion to bring Cal some more bowl seasons?

2) Titus
For all of you who don’t know who Titus is, take a moment to bow your head in shame and deference. Check out this video to get to know the little guy. Despite his apparent youth, he’s already reached the social status that accompanies single-name celebrities – a la Cher and Madonna. Given that he studies hard for a decade straight and manages to skip a couple of grades, we’ll be looking at the Final Four in 2028!

3) Emma Watson
The English star, notwithstanding all questionable haircuts, would make a perfect addition to the Cal community. The occasionally sunny skies would certainly be a nice contrast to the years of gloom and rain she lived through in Oxford and on the East Coast at Brown. And even though it was the one sport she wasn’t too good at, she could give our eighth-ranked Quidditch team a few extra pointers to help them prepare for the World Cup.

4) Michael Oher
This guy knows how to get it done. For those of you who don’t remember, he was the “true story” that inspired the award-winning film The Blind Side, that showed a rags-to-riches story of an inherently talented football player. He now has a ring as a member of the Ravens, much to the chagrin of all San Francisco fans. However, despite his enemy status, he’s proven to have things we need – good acting and football talent. Sandra Bullock can attest to that.

5) Missy Franklin
Who better to join our ranks than someone who’s the perfect age for collegiate athletics – sorry, Titus – a proven winner and a nationally heralded recruit that would make waves for Cal’s recruiting program? Oh wait … we already signed her months ago?

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Image source: Juli under Creative Commons

For a supposedly poor public school, Cal does tend to throw a lot of moneyDykes Come(s) To Berkeley around at athletics. Over $300 million went into the anticlimactic opening of the Memorial Stadium – an opening that featured a lazy Cal team that lost to an almost-as-pitiful Nevada team. Eight losses and two 40-point blowouts later, athletic director Sandy Barbour decided to rip up ex-head coach Jeff Tedford’s contract – despite the three years and almost $7 million remaining on it. And a little more than two weeks after the end of the teddy bear reign, Barbour has decided to throw the collective tuition of the entire freshman class at a new coach.

Who’s the new guy, you all ask? We guarantee you wouldn’t guess his name – Sonny Dykes. Let that sink in for just a second. The Chicago Bears famously claimed in 2007 that they couldn’t hope to win the Super Bowl with a coach named “Lovie” Smith, so you can imagine how the Cal football team is going to react to the announcement. Not that they’ll all be around to hear it – Keenan Allen, the best receiver in Cal history, declared that he’s bolting for the NFL when he heard the name.

On the bright side, the promising recruit Zach Kline will be taking over for his disappointing Zach counterpart at quarterback next season. And Dykes – he should really have a laugh track ready at his introductory press conference tomorrow – ran an offense at Louisiana Tech that averaged the same number of points that it took three games for Tedford’s gang to get.

Since the word on the street is that Chancellor-designate Dirks has shaved his trademark unibrow upon his appointment, maybe we might see Dykes pull off some of the same magic by tomorrow.

Image source: Westside Shooter under Creative Commons

As the beginning to each holiday season starts to set in, Cal students tend to zoom intoWhat Cal Students Should Be Thankful For overdrive. We fantasize about winter break, especially after Thanksgiving has come and gone. In case you didn’t take a couple of seconds to say your thank-yous this past week, there’s still time! Marvel at all the reasons that being at Berkeley should make you thankful:

1)      You’re still a Cal student… hopefully! That’s something to be proud of, right? After all, you can’t really get higher than #1 for a public school.

2)      Finals are still two whole weeks away. That gives us all extra time to procrastinate on studying, because that’s no way to spend dead week! Sure, you may have had some homework to do over the holidays, but that has to be better than those college applications you were frantically filling out a year or two ago.

3)      Jeff Tedford is finally getting yanked after yet another dismal 3-9 season for the men’s football team. That means you only have to wait 10 more months for a well-coached football team!

4)      There have been less than 10 days that have had more than 0.10 inches of rain so far this school year. Considering that November is the fifth wettest month, it’s not saying much, but enjoy the good weather before February rolls around!

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11-01 Should The Teddy Bear StayUnless you’ve been stuck in the basement of Etcheverry for a matter of months, you know that the brand-spanking-new Memorial Stadium is playing host to our football team from here on out. The presumed hope was that the shiny new arena would somehow increase the level of play from the somewhat disappointing record of last season. With Saturday’s 22-point beatdown in Salt Lake City, many are calling for the dismissal of the man at the helm – Jeff Tedford.

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These are not the cops you're looking for.

You may have noticed a distinct air of cop-like fuddy-duddiness recently in postgame parties after Cal’s two blowouts, especially the first (when people had something to really celebrate). And if you haven’t, there’s a good chance you will in the near future.

Cops from the city and campus are trying out a new program meant to keep drunken stupidity to a minimum. Among the offensive acts: read more »

The University of California released its employee compensation report, and it’s really no surprise that coach Jeff Tedford topped the list of breadwinners.

Last year, Tedford took home more than $2.8 million–that’s out of about $14 million doled out to athletic coaches across the UC system. Also among the top ten are other coaches and health sciences faculty from UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco and UCLA.

And dear ol’ Chancellor Robert Birgeneau? Well, BobBi didn’t even come close with his measly $430,116. C’mon, the dude needs a living wage, people.

Image Source: Michael Kang, Daily Cal
UC Releases Employee Compensation Report [Daily Cal]

800px-south-bend-college-football-hall-of-fame-blocking.jpg Remember the bizarre story about Stanford University reject, Azia Kim? She spent 8 months convincing everyone she was a student at the Palo Alto campus before being busted by their housing department last May. The incident sparked an online sensation among college kids nationwide–especially here at UC Berkeley. Many students even wondered if such brazen trickery occurs on our own campus. Fortunately, the Clog now has an answer: “Yes, it does occur. Kind of. Almost.”

Meet Kevin Hart, an offensive lineman from Nevada who told his hometown reporters that Jeff Tedford wanted him bad. To put it briefly, people didn’t believe it and eventually revealed Hart’s recruitment story to be a complete fabrication by Hart himself (though he initially said someone probably conned him.)

You may be tempted to call him the Azia Kim of Cal athletics, but his con only lasted a few days. To mention both impostors in the same breath would totally dishonor Kim’s impressive 8-month stint, especially since Hart’s plan was condemned to failure the moment he made the absurd claim.

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Not content with Michael Moore and Barry Sanders, people representing the greedy state of Michigan (or rather the University of Michigan, but whatever) are trying to steal our man. That’s right. Those damned Mitten-Staters are clamoring for Tedford.One dastardly Michigan lover sent out a lengthy plea “in which he refers to Teddy as an ‘Ass-Kicking Savior”. Nerve-rackingly enough, the post got mentioned in Dan Shanoff’s super sports blog.Here’s our response to this foolishness:Dear Michigan,We understand that the past couple weeks have been, ahem, trying for you. You guys have suffered some really tough losses recently. We feel for ya. Really, we do.But that gives you no right. Not this early in the season, dammit. As your evil blog boy pointed out, Cal football had an extended period of suck. Did we start bitching and moaning for another coach after the second game? Well, actually, it’s hard to remember that far back because we’re currently distracted. “Watching the YouTube clip of the Appalachian State field goal block” can certainly divert one’s attention. But we probably didn’t pull a knee-jerk coach poach. And we’re damned sure that you shouldn’t.Besides, it’s most likely a lost cause. Ted’s happy here. He’s doesn’t have to do things like living inside an eviscerated caribou as a means of surviving February (that’s a common thing up there, right?). Life is good for our ass-kicking savior. We’re sure he enjoys the California weather. We’re confident he likes the cosmopolitan Bay Area scene. And yes, he probably loves losing to Pete “Gap catalogue model” Carroll every year. Oh wait. Never mind, scratch that last one.Anyway, Ted wants no part of your program or your region. In the unlikely event that he does depart for the icier pastures of Canada, Jr., it will only be indicative of early onset senility. Under those circumstances, the man shouldn’t be coaching or operating heavy machinery for that matter.Oh, and “according to Wikipedia,” (Or science—one of the two at least), a wolverine is a member of the weasel family. How fitting. And read this excerpt:bq. There is at least one published account of a 27-pound wolverine’s attempt to steal a kill from a much larger predator—namely, a black bear (adult males weighing 400 to 500 pounds). Unfortunately for the mustelid, the bear won what was ultimately a fatal contest, crushing the wolverine’s skull.That’s right, you contemptible, mustelids. Don’t think we won’t come up there and deliver a metaphorical skull crushing to your team. Yes, the game isn’t scheduled. But in a world where Appalachian State can beat a top 5 squad, crazy things are possible. Oh, what team did they best again? Eh, it’ll come to us. We can just watch that clip again. For now, hands off our man!Love,CalImage Source: Daily Cal

Hmm, a ram is a fearsome mascot in theory. Upon seeing that sweater-clad goofball of a creature waddling amid the jogging CSU players, we revised that assumption. Immediately. Let’s just hope that Cal became overconfident after spotting the pudgy Colorado State mascot and that’s why the team played a slop of a match. If that’s not the attribution for today’s “victory,” we have some issues here. Anyway, here are our very profound thoughts on a “slightly scary besting of a thoroughly unmemorable opponent”.

  • From now on DeSean will be in the bold. He’s earned it, dammit. Sure, a little more receiving involvement would be nice. But, after yet another game-breaking play, bolding his name is the least the Clog can do. It’s like getting knighted … but lamer … a lot lamer.
  • Yo, Tedford. What say you to the idea of giving the ball to that “Jahvid guy” more often? On his 64 yard romp, the defenders looked more confused than the sprinting pre-game sheep. And yea, “game sheep” could be a good band name. A better name than say, “a flawed victory against an unranked opponent from a state school in the Rockies.”
  • Sick interception, Moye. You aren’t bold status quite yet, but that was a spectacular play.
  • So apparently it is possible to overthrow DeSean. It looked like Longshore had been practicing with a lead ball in pre game.
  • Though there were moments of defensive, um, competence, the secondary was fairly bad. For a team with an annual “Oh man, please let us beat USC” quest, that could be a huge concern. Oh wait, their QB is John David Booty. We might be in the clear.
  • Geez, we love DESEAN (sorry, got a little carried away there). Let’s leave it at that, before he files a restraining order.Image Source: Shamim Pakzad, Daily Cal

  • Last week, we mentioned that Athlon Sports was doing its annual preseason college football rankings, and that they were doing it countdown style.

    Last week, Athlon previewed Cal’s chances for the upcoming season, ranking the Bears at No. 11. Well, today’s June 1 and Athlon says the No. 1 team in the land is (no shit) Southern Cal.

    Of course USC is No. 1.

    Hype is everything in college football and with almost everyone returning and that beat-down the Trojans gave to Big Blue (aka Michigan) in the Rose Bowl last year, all the pundits are now grovelling at Pete Carroll’s feet.

    Even Fox Sports, via Scout.com, thinks USC is the best team.

    But surprisingly, even though everyone in the country is loving the Golden Blur, DeSean Jackson, and that “electric” offense Tedford has, the Bears aren’t getting love from Fox Sports. Fox Sports actually ranks Cal at No. 15. Scout.com thinks the Bears are heading back to San Diego for their third Holiday Bowl appearance in four years.

    Well, Scout, who’s going to the Rose Bowl, you ask? How about the Baby Bears of UCLA? Yeah, while everyone is building Cal up to be the one who can slay the USC dragon, Fox Sports and Scout think the Bruins are the better team.

    How much better? The Southern Branch is ranked No. 7.

    And then we notice the location of Fox Sports HQ—Los Angeles. We’ll just write those rankings off as L.A. bias.

    But they also still love Oregon State, as the Beavs come in at No. 25. Why? Why does everyone love the Beavs?

    Earlier: Let the Preseason College Football Rankings Begin, With Athlon Sports
    Trojans continue to be a BCS mainstay [Athlon]
    2007-2008 Early Bowl Projections [Scout]
    Ridiculously Early 2008 BCS Projections [Scout]