This reversal of faith certainly qualifies as welcome relief, yet it's regrettably painful. But I've given up on UC Berkeley returning to the Rose Bowl football game in my lifetime. Go Bears? No-go Bears. I've waited patiently for 50 years — Holy Oski! — for Cal to get back to Pasadena on New Year's Day. My patience has run out along with my enduring faith. I've come to the conclusion Cal is a second-tier bowl team, and that's that. Cal's last Rose Bowl appearance ended the 1958 season — a 38-12 loss to Iowa. The Bears' half-century Rose Bowl drought is the longest among Pacific-10 Conference schools, excluding Arizona, which didn't join until 1978.
After humiliating losses the past two weekends, Cal has no chance of playing in this next Rose Bowl, which will be the rotating national championship game. Cal players can buy New Year's roses for their mothers. Oregon and USC dragged the Bears back to reality by a combined 72-6 score. Once again, Cal teased its long-suffering, endlessly loyal alumni with great expectations then brought them more heartbreak. My decision to abandon Cal occurred last year, however, when it lost 35-27 at Maryland then blamed the defeat on its "body clock" being on West Coast time. You never hear USC using body clock as an excuse. That's when I became convinced Cal wouldn't overtake USC for a very long time.
The Rose Bowl was Jeff Tedford's primary goal when he began coaching Cal in 2002. His secondary goal, even more far-fetched, was a national championship, which Cal hasn't claimed since the 1937 season, when it last won a Rose Bowl game — 13-0 over Alabama.