By Rob Calonge
The California Golden Bears practiced in warmer conditions on Thursday, but they were still in good spirits afterwards. The team stayed later for a little pep rally organized for incoming freshman, and spirits were high at the conclusion of the event. So high were the 'spirits' of the crowd, and the team leading the crowd in cheers, it made it difficult to hear what Coach Tedford was saying in the post-practice interview session with the media. One thing came across loud and clear while Tedford was being cross-examined: Whatever is going on with USC doesn't make a bit of difference to him right now.
When asked if the defense would be licking their chops when they faced true freshman Matt Barkley, who Pete Carroll named as his starter, Coach Tedford was distant as he responded with, "I don't know. I mean, we don't play those guys for five weeks. So, we'll see at that point how that's going. They're not really on our mind right now. We're focused on Maryland." With more than a few reporters around, it only took a few minutes for someone to follow up on his response by asking if it was difficult not to notice what was happening down south due to their success over the last few years. "No, not at all. I don't really--I don't care," Tedford flatly stated. "I really don't care. We've got a lot of football before we play USC. Everybody wants to talk about USC. We got a lot, a lot of hard games before we play USC, starting out with Maryland. That's the number one focus right now, is we have our hands full with Maryland."