The first visible signs that this is Big Game week were out at practice on Tuesday, although coach Jeff Tedford said that the Cal football team won't fully address the history of its rivalry with Stanford until later in the week. As per tradition, the Bears' scout team players decorated their helmets with materials like white tape, red "S" logos and Stanford trees. Still, Tedford said that he doesn't typically sense a different feel in practice until it gets close to Saturday --- and that he prefers a more focused mood for the first couple of days, anyway.
"As the week goes on, (the excitement) starts to escalate throughout the week," Tedford said. "Early in the week they're just trying to comprehend what the game plan is, what we're trying to get done. ... (Lingering soreness from the previous weekend's game) seems to dissipate as the week goes on, and the enthusiasm just increases." Tedford said that the team will likely bring the Axe -- which Cal recaptured last season after losing it in 2007 to end a five-year winning streak -- out to practice on Thursday or Friday. The Bears will attend the annual Bonfire Rally on Friday night, the same day that Tedford will tell the team a little about the history of the Axe and the importance of the rivalry -- mainly for the benefit of the freshmen.