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Wednesday, November 15, 2006
AP: Golden Bears Shake Off Arizona Debacle Before USC Trip
BERKELEY, Calif. - Mickey Pimentel knows California must forget what its showdown with USC might have been, or the Golden Bears will forget what it still is: Their most important game in four decades, with a Rose Bowl berth and a Pac-10 title for the winner. The Cal linebacker must heed his own advice, however. As the 17th-ranked Bears returned to practice Tuesday, a few players acknowledged they were still thinking about the opportunities they lost by allowing Arizona to sneak out a 24-20 upset win last Saturday - a loss that erased Cal's eight-game winning streak, top-10 ranking and slim national title aspirations. "After the game, a lot of us were crying, tearing up," Pimentel said. "I had 25 (friends) at that game, and I didn't talk to anybody after. It really got the best of us, but it motivates us not to ever feel like that again. "I know a lot of people just want us to go to the Rose Bowl, but we had bigger dreams than that. We wanted to play for the national championship, and we think we were good enough to do it. That's gone, but we've still got a lot to play for."