Thursday, June 30, 2005

The 2005 Cal Football season is just around the corner!

From Cal Athletics:
As full-season ticket packages continue to sell at a record pace, thousands of Golden Bears fans are expected to fill Memorial Stadium this fall in anticipation of another great season. Single Game Tickets for all home games go on sale in less than two weeks! Starting at 12:01am on Tuesday, July 12, fans can begin purchasing tickets online at or by calling (800) GO BEARS. The Cal Athletic Ticket Office will be open with extended hours on July 12 (8:30am - 7:00pm), to service fans requests for individual home and away game tickets. Single Game Tickets include advanced sale of reserved and general admission seats for the important match-up against the two-time defending national champion USC Trojans. Cal vs. USC on November 12 - the final home game of the season - is expected to sell out quickly, so be sure to order your tickets on July 12! Other home games feature Illinois, Arizona, Oregon State, Washington State, and the home season opener against Sacramento State on September 3. Click Here for complete 2005 schedule. Single game tickets for the 108th Big Game at Stanford - if still remaining - will go on sale starting September 17. Secure your seats for all six home games and the Big Game at Stanford by ordering your 2005 reserved Season Tickets today!


Byers is the third starter USC has lost since the spring. Defensive tackle Manuel Wright decided to turn pro after becoming academically ineligible, and cornerback Eric Wright withdrew from school after police discovered 136 ecstasy pills in his apartment.
Byrd tore knee ligaments two years ago and missed seven games. He also broke his kneecap last summer and missed the first four games.
Hancock missed last season after tearing knee ligaments in the 2004 Rose Bowl.
Meanwhile, quarterback Rocky Hinds has not yet appealed USC's denial of his transfer release to UNLV.

ESPN: Maisel's 3-Point Stance: Stanford Stadium - USC's Byers Out

2. Stanford has announced an $85 million project to renovate its stadium, site of Super Bowl XIX. The project will slim it from 85,800 seats to 50,858 — yes, the fans will now be in same ZIP code as the game they're watching — and bring the plumbing out of the 1930s. Campus politics is what took so long.

3. USC guard Jeff Byers is out for the year because his surgically repaired hip didn't repair. That's three starters and half the coaching staff that the Trojans have lost since the end of last season. And no, I don't have the guts not to pick them No. 1. But I'm now thinking about it.

ESPN Headline on Tepper

Cal athlete sidelined after he's run down by car - Football player on mend following

Telegraph Ave. altercation that will keep him out until 2006; 3 arrested
By Kristin Bender, STAFF WRITER
Oakland Tribune
Mike Tepper, Cal football player who had his leg run over twice this weekend.

BERKELEY — A University of California, Berkeley football player lauded for his athleticism and toughness is recovering from ankle surgery after being run over twice by a car on Telegraph Avenue over the weekend.
Doctors inserted nine screws and a metal plate into Mike Tepper's ankle Tuesday. The 19-year-old offensive lineman had gotten into a confrontation with a carload of men who police say backed over his leg, then put the car into drive and crushed it again.
Tepper, who is on a full football scholarship, sustained a broken fibula, ligament damage and dislocated tibia. Tepper said he will be off the football field until at least early next year.
The melee early Sunday happened after the 6-foot-6, 320-pound Tepper tried to protect a female friend from a group of catcalling men who were attempting to lure her to drink and party with them, authorities said.
Tepper, a top recruit last year as an offensive tackle, was red-shirted in the fall but projected to be a primary backup player with a solid chance of starting in 2006.
Now doctors say Tepper can't run until November at the earliest and must not get on the practice field until early 2006. He will wear a cast for up to eight weeks, Tepper said.
"They are expecting a 100 percent recovery," he said Wednesday. "But it just sucks that I'm losing something that I love — a season of football."
Police released few details about the case because it remains under investigation, and the Alameda County District Attorney's Office could press charges.
But Berkeley police spokesman Joe Okies did confirm the arrest of three men in connection with the Sunday morning incident. The men fled Telegraph to College Avenue and Parker Street, where they crashed their car into a parked car, Okies said. Three of the four men inside left the scene, Okies said.
Officers caught up with the men and arrested Johnny Ray Smith, 33, of Berkeley on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, property damage, resisting arrest and a parole violation that will send him back toprison, police said.
Also arrested were Calvin Joe Kelley, 29, of Oakland on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, property damage, resisting arrest and a probation violation. Scott Slaughter, 28, of Berkeley, was arrested and accused of resisting arrest, police said. The men were unavailable for comment Wednesday.
At this point it is not clear what will happen to Tepper's Cal football career or his hopes for the NFL.
Football coach Jeff Tedford last year praised Tepper, who is from Cypress, in Orange County, saying he has "tremendous athleticism for his size, toughness, and is a great pass protector."
In a statement issued Wednesday through a Cal athletic representative, Tedford said that although it was an unfortunate incident,

"we are proud of the courage Mike showed Saturday night."
"We are looking forward to him returning to the team," Tedford said. "He is a quality young man, and we expect him to make solid contributions for us."
Tepper said he hopes to be granted a "medical red-shirt," which would make him eligible to play football four more years. But for now he is recovering and trying not to dwell on the incident.
In a telephone interview from his Berkeley home Wednesday, Tepper said he was crossing Telegraph at Dwight Way about 1:30 a.m. Sunday when the men in the car began yelling at his 22-year-old friend, a Cal women's volleyball player.
The woman, who was unavailable for comment Wednesday, said she wasn't interested and kept walking in the crosswalk, Tepper recalled.
"She then began to try and walk by the car, but the driver stepped on the gas and moved directly in front of us at the crosswalk," Tepper said in an Internet account of the incident. "At this point, I was standing next to the passenger side door, I could literally stick my hand out and touch the passenger's face at this distance, possibly 2 feet back at most."
The men continued trying to lure the woman to party with them, Tepper said.
Then he heard the driver put the car into reverse, Tepper said, so he grabbed the woman and pushed her to the ground and out of car's path.
In falling, Tepper said his right leg got caught in the front right tire, and he was thrown at least 8 feet, landing on his face.
Tepper said he then looked to his right to see the car coming toward him.
"I was a speed bump for this car burning out," he said.
Tepper was still on the ground when nearby police arrived, and he was rushed by ambulance to a Berkeley hospital. Tepper said it took a doctor and two emergency room nurses 11/2 hours to stop the bleeding from the leg. Because he weighs 320 pounds, Tepper said he was pumped with three times the normal amount of morphine and painkillers. On Wednesday he said he was "doing all right."
His father took a different stand.
"I'm a little outraged," said Gus Tepper. "I think it's terrible that this happens at the premier university in the country. I'm happy that he doesn't appear to be traumatized and happy that he got the girl out of the way."
The elder Tepper said he is proud of his son, calling him a hero.
"It's a sad story, but I think he saved a life."

Cal Football Player Trades Season For A Life

POSTED: 7:42 am PDT June 30, 2005
BERKELEY -- Offensive tackle Mike Tepper's career with the University of California Golden Bears football team may be on hold, but the depths of what he's willing to sacrifice certainly isn't.
Video On Demand: Sarah Jarvis Reports On Cal Football Player Risks Life, Career To Defend Friend

Tepper was seriously injured in an assault early Sunday morning on a Berkeley street corner. He was walking with friends when four guys in a car began hassling a young lady he was with.
"The guy kept going you know, pushing it," said Tepper. "I said: 'Hey, man, she's really not that interested.'"
The exchange continued as the driver's anger grew. He slammed his car in reverse, aiming it at Tepper and the girl. The Cal tackle, reacted quickly, tackling the young woman to push her out of the way of the car.
"The first thing I did, I didn't have time to think," he said. "I hit her and tackled her practically. I was falling on her and my leg got caught under the guy's tire."
The driver not only ran over Tepper's ankle once, he threw the car into forward and ran over it a second time. Meanwhile, the girl suffered only scraps on her leg. Berkeley police arrested the driver after a short chase Sunday morning.
Tepper's injuries to his ankle were severe -- he cut a blood vessel, tore a ligament and broke several bones. He underwent surgery Wednesday morning where doctors put in nine screws and a plate.
His 2005 season has come to an end. His career is definitely in jeopardy since he will not be able to begin even jogging until November.
But Tepper said he does not feel like a hero.
"I just thought it was a natural reaction," he said. "I don't really think of it as me being a hero."
Still the cost is on his mind.
"You set those goals and work hard and you're almost there and it just cuts you," he said. "It just totally takes you down. You strive so hard for this goal and it never happens. But maybe it wasn't my time, I don't know."
"I supposedly save a life. A limb for a life... I guess it's worth it."

Samaritan has his leg broken Cal athlete run over by men annoying a female friend

Jake Curtis, Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writers
Thursday, June 30, 2005
When a group of men in a car tried to pick up a friend of Cal football player Mike Tepper on Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue over the weekend, the 6-foot-6., 312-pound lineman jumped between the car and the woman.
After Tepper, 19, told them to leave her alone, the men allegedly put their car in reverse and ran over the player -- twice -- breaking his leg and putting him out for the football season. Now, two convicted felons from Oakland are in custody, and Tepper is contemplating his future, wondering why he was attacked for simply trying to help a woman.
"My season's toast," Tepper said Wednesday as he recuperated from surgery to repair a broken fibula and torn ligaments in his ankle. He had nine screws and one plate put in his leg and can't put any pressure on it for eight weeks.
Cal football coach Jeff Tedford said he was "proud of the courage Mike showed Saturday night. ... He is a quality young man. We expect him to make solid contributions for us."
The incident happened at about 1 a.m. Sunday at Telegraph Avenue and Dwight Way, four blocks from UC Berkeley. Tepper and three friends, including the woman, were crossing the street when a carload of young men stopped.
One of them said something like, "Hey, honey, what you doin'?" to Camille Leffall, 22, a UC Berkeley senior and asked for her number, Tepper said.
Leffall ignored the apparent come-on, but the men cut the group off with their car. "I don't think you heard me," one of the men said. "I want your number."
"They were being complete butt-heads," said Leffall, who was a star Cal women's volleyball player.
At that point, Tepper told the man that she wasn't interested and stepped in front of her. That's when the car bumped Leffall, and Tepper fell on top of her to "get me out of danger," she said. But the car ran over his leg and sent him flying about 8 feet, he said.
"They did it on purpose, no ifs, ands or buts," Leffall said.
Then the car came forward and ran over Tepper's leg again, he said.
"I was bleeding like crazy. It took about an hour to stop the bleeding," said Tepper, a graduate of Pacifica High School in Garden Grove (Orange County) whose hometown is in nearby Cypress.
Leffall said of Tepper, "He really lessened the injury to me. I'm really thankful. It was honorable. He didn't have to come up and just stand up for me. "
The assailants crashed into a parked car. Berkeley police arrested Johnny Ray Smith, 33, and Calvin Joe Kelley, 29, for violating terms of their probation or parole, authorities said. Officers also arrested a third man, but prosecutors declined to file charges against him because of lack of evidence.
Berkeley police are handling the incident as an assault with a deadly weapon. No charges related to the incident have been filed, but prosecutors can do that later while the suspects are being held for parole or probation violations.
Both men are well known to local police, court records show.
Kelley was convicted in 2003 of selling marijuana to an undercover police officer at People's Park. In June 2004, police found "seven dime bags in his underwear" at a Telegraph Avenue market, records show.
"Kelley has been a nuisance in the south campus area as it appears he is conducting his illegal drug trade" in the blocks south of UC Berkeley, Berkeley police Officer Richard Marin wrote in a police report.
Kelley's 16-year-old niece, who didn't want her name used, was surprised by the new allegations against him and said she knew nothing of his drug conviction. "My uncle's not like that," she said. "He's a sweetheart."
In November 2003, Smith fled after being caught by residents trying to steal two car stereos and two amplifiers from a home on the 2700 block of Durant Avenue, court records show. He pleaded no contest to first-degree residential burglary and was sentenced to 16 months in prison for a probation violation.
Smith has convictions dating back to 1991 for possession of stolen property, a weapon and marijuana for sale.
Tepper, meanwhile, said he didn't think he would do anything different if he found himself in the same situation again.
"I don't think so," he said. "It just happened. The whole thing only took 7 to 10 seconds. I just did what was natural. I didn't think about being a hero or anything."

UC Berkeley football player hit by car while protecting friend

The Associated Press
Thursday, June 30, 2005
Berkeley, Calif. (AP) --
A University of California, Berkeley, football player was seriously injured when authorities say he was allegedly intentionally struck by a car driven by a group of men leering at a female friend.
Mike Tepper, 19, was walking with the woman near campus during the weekend. The men began taunting the woman, a Cal volleyball player, and eventually cut the pair off with their car, police said.
When the men refused to leave the woman alone, the 6-foot-6, 312-pound lineman jumped between the car and the woman. The men allegedly then ran over Tepper twice, breaking his leg.
"My season's toast," Tepper said Wednesday as he recuperated from surgery to repair a broken fibula and torn ankle ligaments. He had nine screws and one plate put in his leg and can't walk on it for eight weeks.
Police have arrested Johnny Ray Smith, 33, and Calvin Joe Kelley, 29, for violating terms of their probation or parole, authorities said. Officers also arrested a third man, but prosecutors declined to file charges against him because of scant evidence.
Police are investigating the incident as an assault with a deadly weapon.
Cal football coach Jeff Tedford said he was "proud of the courage Mike showed Saturday night."

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Philip, O'Callaghan on Outland Trophy Watchlist

Nice Photo of Today's Non Contact Practice

From the Daily Cal STAFF/BLAIRE BAILY: Cal football players run through several non-contact drills during a workout Thursday afternoon in front of a vacant student section at Memorial Stadium.

Cal football player run over twice; saves coed from attack

Wed, Jun. 29, 2005
By Jay Heater
BERKELEY - Mike Tepper rode along Telegraph Avenue, past the spot where he nearly was killed early Sunday morning.
He noticed that blood stains remained on the street along with the skid marks made by the Chrysler used to run him over.
Those were sobering reminders of a harrowing incident that left Tepper, a freshman offensive tackle for Cal's football team, with a broken fibula, severe ligament damage and a dislocated tibia in his right leg.
The injuries seemed minor considering that Tepper had been run over twice. Berkeley police arrested Berkeley's John Ray Smith and Oakland's Calvin Kelly and charged them with assault with a deadly weapon, leaving the scene of an accident and resisting arrest.
Tepper and a friend, Cal senior volleyball player Camille Leffall, were crossing Telegraph at Dwight Way about 1:15 a.m. when a Chrysler pulled alongside them. "The driver said, 'Hey, babe, what are you doing?' to Camille," said Tepper, who is 6-foot-6, 330 pounds. "She said she wasn't interested. We kept walking, but we only got about five feet when the car pulled up alongside us into the crosswalk. They kept hitting on her so I stepped in front and said, 'Hey, we're going to meet some friends. Can we just get by?' "
According to Tepper and police reports, as Tepper and Leffall tried to cross behind the car, the vehicle shifted into reverse and headed toward them. "I saw the driver had his hand on the steering column and I thought that this guy was going to punch it," Tepper said. "So I hit Camille across the chest and threw her."
Although Tepper managed to toss Leffall out of the direct path of the car, the front, passenger side of the vehicle blasted into them both. The severity of the impact was lessened for Leffall because Tepper already had sent her sprawling backward.
"We both got hit, but Mike got run over," said Leffall, who suffered cuts and scrapes and an injured back. "It's a good thing he pushed me out of the way, because my body couldn't have handled (being run over). I probably would have had my foot amputated.
"It was really nice of him. He was trying to protect me."
Tepper wasn't so fortunate. "The car hit me, and I hit the ground, and the tire ran over my leg," Tepper said. "I looked back to my right, and the guy puts it in drive and runs over me again."
Again, Tepper's right leg was crushed under the tire before the vehicle drove off.
Fortunately for Tepper, Berkeley Lt. Arnold Lui was a block away in an unmarked police car. He called to get Tepper assistance and took off after the Chrysler.
Lui said the driver of the Chrysler turned off his lights, but after several blocks hit another vehicle. The driver and passengers ran from the vehicle, but Berkeley police managed to apprehend four of them. Lui said he wasn't sure how many people were in the car. Leffall said there were five. Only Kelly and Smith face charges at this time.
Although Tepper won't be able to play football in 2005 because of his injuries and subsequent surgery, he said a quick response by Berkeley police saved his life. "It seemed like only about 10 seconds before two cop cars were there," said Tepper, who was recuperating at his apartment in Berkeley on Wednesday. "I was in shock, and Camille was crying. I looked at my hand, and the blood was like wet paint dripping off. Camille was saying, 'I'm so sorry.' I was telling her, 'You didn't run over me.'
"From what the police told me, the guys who ran me over were not drinking, not on drugs. They were sober. What kind of people would do something like that?"
Tepper was transported by ambulance to Alta Bates Hospital. "The police had put tourniquets around my calf, and when the ambulance got there, a nurse was pumping morphine into me. They all did an amazing job ... they saved my life. It took doctors at the hospital about an hour to stop the bleeding because it had ripped a blood vessel that leads directly to my heart."
On Tuesday morning, Tepper had surgery. "They put a plate and nine screws into me," Tepper said. "I can't put any pressure on my right leg for eight weeks. Then they will take out the screws and plate. In November, I should be able to begin jogging. It will be 2006 before I can start running again."
Leffall still is suffering from back pain and emotional trauma. "I have to walk past that intersection to go to school, and it is really, really tough," she said. "I don't think they found all the guys who were in the car, so I am constantly watching my back. This has overwhelmed me ... the emotions you have. We are getting hit by cars driven by crazed maniacs. It takes away your sense of security."
Tepper's father, Gus Tepper of Cypress, said he will keep checking with the Alameda County District Attorney's office to make sure Kelly and Smith are prosecuted. Court dates for the two have yet to be scheduled.
Although "outraged" by the incident, Gus Tepper said he isn't surprised that his son acted in such a heroic manner. "I am proud of him," Gus Tepper said. "This could have been a very ugly situation. But in other situations, Mike has done the same thing. At parties, if some guy is getting picked on, Mike will get in the way."
"To tell the truth, I don't know how I did it," Tepper said. "I just reacted.
"I credit that to Coach (Jeff) Tedford. He teaches us how to be football players with class. He just doesn't teach us football, he teaches us character ... how to be men."

Update From Mike Tepper's Dad

The news is not good regarding Mike Tepper.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Ranking the 10 best coaches ... and the five worst

Tuesday June 28, 2005
Pete Carroll already is sitting pretty at USC; will he earn a third straight national title?
Judging by the e-mails I've received during the past couple of weeks, it seems college football readers, like the sport itself, are in the midst of a summer lull. Not to be mean, but if you had read most of the questions I had to choose from, you, too, would have been headed straight to the hammock for an afternoon siesta.
So to shake things up a bit, I'm resorting to the Internet's one no-fail gimmick (besides porn): lists. In particular, controversial lists that a majority of readers are almost sure to disagree with and will therefore be motivated to type something into that little Mailbag box.
The subject is today's college coaches: the best, the worst, the most underrated and the most overrated. These men almost exclusively were judged on their performance over only the past few years (because that's how quickly job-security status can change these days) and not their career as a whole (sorry, JoePa and Bobby Bowden). And because a head coach is nothing if not for his assistants, the rankings are a de facto assessment of the entire staff and its ability to both recruit and get the most out of the talent it assembles. As a whole, I tend to give more credit to guys who get a lot out of a little, which is why Miami's Larry Coker, who has a staggering 44-6 record but was also handed one of the greatest collections of talent in history by predecessor Butch Davis, does not appear on the "10 Best" list, while Boise State's Dan Hawkins, whose team would have a hard time staying within 20 of the 'Canes, does. So, without further ado:
My top 10 coaches heading into the 2005 season:
1. Pete Carroll, USC: It's hard to argue with this one. In slightly more than four years, he's created the sport's reigning juggernaut, assembled a brilliant staff (which he since has had to replenish), cleaned up in recruiting and continually demonstrated his keen defensive mind with his game plans and in-game adjustments.
2. Bob Stoops, Oklahoma: He would have been No. 1 this time a year ago, but Carroll unseated him in somewhat embarrassing fashion. While Stoops' once impregnable rep has taken a hit after two consecutive late-season collapses, the fact is his teams have had five consecutive seasons of 11 wins or more and played for three national titles.
3. Kirk Ferentz, Iowa: No one has done a better job the past three years of turning dust into gold, producing three straight 10-win seasons and two shared Big Ten titles despite an overall talent level that pales in comparison to that of conference rivals Ohio State and Michigan.
4. Jim Tressel, Ohio State: While his overly conservative nature is tough for many to stomach (and may have cost the Buckeyes a couple of games early last season when he stubbornly stuck with a horrendous rushing attack), he already has won one national title and has recruited the talent base necessary to win another.
5. Bobby Petrino, Louisville: I know, he's only been on the job for two years, but the guy is a certifiable guru. While John L. Smith got the Cardinals' ball rolling, Petrino has taken them to a whole other stratosphere with his unique offensive mind and ability to recruit BCS-caliber skill players.
6. Urban Meyer, Florida: While it remains to be seen how his system will fare at the major-conference level, there's no denying the rapid effect he had at both of his two previous stops, Bowling Green and Utah, and his new-age offensive approach has taken the sport by storm.
7. Frank Beamer, Virginia Tech: Beamer is another master of maximizing his resources, as he demonstrated again with last season's ACC title in what really should have been a rebuilding year. His ranking would be higher if not for a couple of disappointing showings in 2002 and '03.
8. Dan Hawkins, Boise State: What Hawkins is doing in the land of smurf turf is nothing short of remarkable. The Broncos have dominated the WAC the past three years, going 36-3 by constantly adjusting their approach to fit their various strengths each season.
9. Phillip Fulmer, Tennessee: Fulmer's staff has taken its share of criticism, but that's partially because it raised the bar so high in the '90s. The Vols have broken out of the brief rut they hit earlier this decade, winning the SEC East last year and nabbing the nation's top recruiting class.
10. Mack Brown, Texas: There undoubtedly will be many who say Brown should be nowhere near this list because he has yet to actually win any sort of championship, but there's no denying he has created an enviable program that has won 10 or more games each of the past four seasons.
Just missed: California's Jeff Tedford, Fresno State's Pat Hill, Michigan's Lloyd Carr (more on him in a bit), Georgia's Mark Richt and Auburn's Tommy Tuberville.

Sac State Newspaper writes about upcoming Cal Game


SACRAMENTO, Calif. --- Sacramento State’s football season opener at California will kick off at 2 p.m., it was announced today. The game against the Golden Bears will take place on Saturday, Sept. 3, at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley, Calif. The meeting will be the first between the two schools which are separated by only 83 miles. Last season, Cal posted a 10-2 overall record. The team’s only regular-season loss came at the hands of national champion USC, 23-17. Cal, however, will have to replace starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers and starting tailback J.J. Arrington. Rodgers was selected in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft by Green Bay while Arrington went in the second round to Arizona. Tickets for the game will go on sale on Tuesday, July 12. Tickets can be purchased through or 1-800-GO-BEARS. Reserved seats are $32 while general admission tickets cost $17 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.The game will mark the fourth-straight season that the Hornets have opened the year against a Div. I-A opponent. In 2002 the team traveled to UTEP. The 2003 season began at Oregon State while the 2004 campaign started at Nevada.

Mike Tepper Possibly Out for Season

There is an unconfirmed report that Mike Tepper was the victim of a hit and run motor vehicle accident and will be out for the season.

He is a 6'6" 312 pound offensive lineman and consensus all-star selection in Southern California. He earned All-CIF, all-county and all-league honors in 2003. Named to first team all-state in Medium Schools Division by Cal Hi Sports. Played in the CaliFlorida Bowl in Moopark, Calif. in January. Listed No. 116 on SuperPrep's Top 132 seniors in California this year and was placed on that recruiting service's All-Far West Team. Led the Pacifica Mariners to the CIF Southern Section finals as a junior and CIF quarterfinals as a senior. Pacifica High was a combined 19-7 over his final two seasons (11-3 in 2002 and 8-4 this past year).named All-CIF and All-League as a junior as well.also played 11 years of youth soccer, which unquestionably improved his speed (4.9 in the 40) and footwork as a football lineman. Excelled in the weight room, placing first in 2003 and third in 2002 at the Garden Grove Unified School District Weight Competition. He broke the district's weight record in 2003, which had stood for 10 years.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Women's Football Huddle on Aug. 5

Learn the ins and outs of football from the Cal coaches.
June 22, 2005
BERKELEY - Cal head coach Jeff Tedford and his coaching staff will host the second annual Cal Women's Football Huddle Friday, Aug. 5 from 6-8:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in Berkeley.
The event - for women only - will interactively teach participants about the ins and outs of football, from officials' signals to individual position responsibilities. More than 300 women signed up last year and an even larger crowd is expected this summer.
Women can register by visiting and clicking on the Women's Football Huddle icon or by calling (800) GO BEARS.
Appetizers, beverages and a Cal football t-shirt are complimentary with the $25 early registration fee. All participants must be over 21. Sign up a friend during early registration and pay only $40 for two entry fees (must be made at the same time to receive the discount). After July 29, the registration fee rises to $35 per person.
Fans can choose between two different courses. Football 101 includes an introduction to football basics. Learn about equipment, hear from referees and take part in basic drills on the field. This was the only course offered last year and is recommended for those who didn't participate in last year's Football Huddle.
Intermediate Football is designed as the next step for those who came to the Huddle in 2004. This class will feature more interactive drills, including instruction on formations, huddle communication and simulated plays.
Check-in for the event takes place from 4:30-6 p.m. Aug. 5 at the concession area between gates G and GG. The Women's Football Huddle commences at 6 p.m. on the turf at Memorial Stadium. Tours of the facility will be available during check-in and after the event. Participants should wear workout apparel and tennis shoes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Golden State gems

The 2006 preseason California Top 100Every year in California, the talent and the blue-chip football never ceases to amaze observers. Even during down years when the word is that the talent isn't as good as in other states, around 300 players sign Division I scholarships from the Golden State.

Allen Bradford is ranked as the top player in California by year is supposed to be a down year in California, but don't tell that to the 13 Rivals100 members from the group and the players that have made the preseason California Top 100 list.Five-star linebacker Allen Bradford of Colton, Calif., leads the list, followed by defensive back/running back Stafon Johnson at No. 2 and receiver David Ausberry at No. 3. The trio forms a solid nucleus in the state and gives it enough firepower to compete with anybody in the nation."When people first saw Bradford, some were concerned with how tall he is," recruiting analyst Greg Biggins said. "It doesn't matter if he's 5-foot-11 or 10-feet tall, the kid is a big-time player and the best in California. Stafon Johnson is also a two-way threat that some love at defensive back and some love at running back. He's good enough to play at both in college." recruiting analyst Rick Kimbrel likes Ausberry's upside."He's a big, strong, physical receiver," Kimbrel said. "He's the type of receiver that college coaches are looking for in today's game. He's going to create match-up problems because of his height and he can take a pounding with his frame over the middle on the intermediate routes."The top 10 doesn't feature any players that have made commitments at this point. But UCLA does have two pledges from players ranked in top 25 – offensive linemen Andy Keane and Jake Dean, who are ranked 18th and 19th respectively. Overall UCLA has nine commitments in the top 100.With USC recruiting on such a national front, expect the core of its class to come later, but the Trojans do have a top 25 commitment from offensive lineman Zack Heberer of San Pedro. He is ranked as the No. 21 player in the state.The California Bears are also well represented with their quick start out of the gate on the list.Offensive lineman Mike Costanzo of Danville (Calif.) Monte Vista is heading to Cal and is ranked at No. 26 on the list. He's just ahead of Bears defensive end commitment Levirt Griffin of Modesto at No. 34. The Bears do have four impressive commitments in the top 50 and five on the list overall. Click here to read more:

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

2005 College Football Preview: Pac-10

By Avery Smith
The Pac-10 has always been one of the most overlooked conferences in all of college football. Even though the national champion resides within its borders, the conference still yearns to get the respect that it deserves. In this article, the Pac-10 gets the red-carpet treatment. Let's take a look at the teams that will separate themselves from the rest of the "Pac."
Southern Cal (Projected Record: 12-1, League: 7-1)
Is there anyone that will argue me on this point? The Trojans come into 2006 with depth at just about every position. Matt Leinart, the Trojan quarterback, is coming back for his senior campaign after winning the Heisman last year. He will have an experienced group of receivers to throw to, including Steve Smith and Dwayne Jarrett.
However, the most deadly Trojan of all is Reggie Bush. I truly feel that this young man has to be the frontrunner for this year's Heisman. He can, of course, carry the ball, but he is most dangerous when he lines up as a receiver. Even the best linebackers in the Pac-10 have no shot of guarding him.
Speaking of defense, the Trojans are still solid, even with the departures Shaun Cody and Lofa Tatupu. Darnell Bing will anchor a defense that will once again be the true strength of the team. The Trojans' only Achilles heel is the continuity of the team after the loss of offensive coordinator Norm Chow and line coach Ed Orgeron. These two coaches were invaluable to the success of USC last year, and depending on the success of this campaign, they may be sorely missed.
UCLA (9-3, 6-2)
In 2004, UCLA came about as close as anyone to beating USC. They outplayed the Trojans and had it not been for an interception on their final drive, the Bruins might have pulled off the most shocking upset last year. Let's take a look what UCLA brings to the table in 2005.
Drew Olson will spearhead an offense that will continue to improve. At running back, Maurice Drew will anchor a position that has strong for the Bruins for the last 10 years (Skip Hicks, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and DeShaun Foster, to name a few). The receiving corps for the Bruins will be led by a tight end. Marcedes Lewis will no doubt be Olson's favorite target, and if he stays healthy, could be a first or second round draft choice. The Bruins will be hurt on offense by the departures of Manuel White and Craig Bragg, who were both selected in this year's NFL draft.
On defense, Spencer Havner and Justin London are two of the best linebackers in the country. The loss of Ben Emanuel hurts the Bruins in the secondary, but Jarrad Page will be more than ready for the task. The Bruins have their toughest matchups (Oklahoma, Arizona State, and Cal) all in the Rose Bowl this year, and if their run defense and offensive line can improve, the Bruins will give the Trojans all they can handle.
Arizona State (8-4, 5-3)
Last season for Arizona State was a successful one. They were consistently ranked in the top 20 and defeated Purdue in the Sun Bowl. There was much reason for optimism for Dirk Koetter's team until the tragic arrest of Loren Wade for murder this spring. Loren Wade was one of my picks to really excel at running back this year. He would have given ASU many reasons to smile, but unfortunately, all he has given them is heartache.
Also, having Andrew Walter at quarterback would help, but ASU's new QB, Sam Keller, will surprise some people. He has a strong arm and understands this offense well. Another positive for Keller is that he will have Derek Hagan to throw to. Hagan is one of the top 10 receivers in the country. He is, by far, the best receiver in the country that no one has heard of. He is primed for an All-American run this year, and if Keller can be consistent, ASU's offense will be nearly as dangerous as it was last year.
On the other side of the ball, the Sun Devils must improve strongly if they have any hopes for a Pac-10 title. Jordan Hill, Jamar Williams, and Dale Robertson must give solid contributions or ASU's defense may be even worse than last year. The secondary, decimated by injury, will have to step up or the team will most definitely suffer. If ASU can apply pressure on the quarterback and cover better, the Sun Devils might end up in the top 20 again.
California (8-4, 5-3)
The 2004 California Bears had one of the most successful years in the school's history. Their 11-2 record was truly unexpected, and they also had an excellent shot of beating the Trojans last year. This year, expectations have been revised downward with the departures of Aaron Rodgers.
The good news for Bears fans is that there are two capable looking men hoping to take his place. Nate Longshore and Joe Ayoob both impressed Jeff Tedford during spring workouts. One thing is for certain, whoever comes out of camp as the primary quarterback will inherit a team with the cupboards bare at the skill positions.
I'm sure Jeff Tedford wishes his new quarterback would have the luxury to throw to Geoff McArthur and Chase Lyman. These two receivers combined for over 1,200 yards last year, and their departure leaves the Bears uncomfortably slim in that area. At running back, Marshawn Lynch as the unenviable task of replacing J.J. Arrington, one of the all-time greats. Last year, Lynch did a solid job filling in for Arrington as needed, but can he continue his success as a starter? This will be a very important question for Cal to answer.
On defense, only three of the Bears' front seven return from last year. The good news for Cal fans is that Brandon Mebane is one of them. The sophomore will star in a rejuvenated front seven that will continue to be one of the best in the country. This will take some pressure off of Jeff Tedford's offense because they won't have to put up 40 points to win. If they can average over 24, the Bears will have an excellent 2005.
Washington State (7-5, 4-4)
I think that there will be a three-way tie for fifth-place in the Pac-10 between Washington State, Oregon, and Oregon State. Luckily for the Cougars, I feel that they will own the tiebreakers. Washington State's 2004 campaign was a great example of inconsistency. They struggled against teams they should have destroyed, and played much better teams tough. They have a decent chance at a bowl game this year, and it will depend on their offensive production.
Josh Swogger and Alex Brink were both unimpressive last year and they will have to improve if the Cougars have any shot of a bowl game. The best way for them to get better is to throw to Jason Hill. He might end up being the best receiver in Cougar history. Jerome Harrison can also catch the ball, but he will do most of his damage running through and around opposing defenders. Harrison was a nice surprise for the Cougs and he should continue to solidify the running back position.
Pullman, the home of the Cougars, has always been a tough place to play, but will be even tougher this year because of Wazzu's defense. This year's squad will be led by Will Derting. Derting just might be the best linebacker in the conference. He is the "Ray Lewis" of WSU's defense and his playmaking abilities should allow for this squad to continue improving. The front seven is similar to Cal's in that it is very strong against the run. The key point of improving will be in the secondary. If Washington State's can get contributions from Wally Dada and Eric Frampton, the Cougars might win as many as eight games.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Cal football team volunteers at church

Jun. 12, 2005
By Jay Heater
OAKLAND - A group of about 20 men started to line up in the basement of the College Avenue Presbyterian Church and all of them were peering into the kitchen to see what Harrison Smith was doing.
They cared little that Smith just happens to be a starting cornerback on Cal's football team. On this night, Smith's job as a volunteer salad mixer was much more important. As he backed away from the huge salad bowl, the men knew a meal was coming their way soon.
"In Berkeley, we see people who need a meal every day," said Smith, who is a Skyline High School-Oakland graduate. "It's hard to look at it, but it opens your eyes."
Free meals at the church have become a regular offering to anyone in need. During the regular school year, a couple of local grammar schools -- Aurora and NOCCS -- draw upon their resources to find volunteers to help cook, serve and clean the church. But it's a program that has trouble functioning in the summer.
"We were having an event in May and I thought we would be short people," said Stephen Etter, who became involved in the free meal program because his son Daniel attends Aurora. "I called Tosh Lupoi (a Cal defensive end) and Ryan Foltz (a Golden Bears linebacker), who were students of mine at Cal, and asked if they would give me a hand. They came."
Etter, a San Francisco businessman, Cal grad and volunteer professor at Cal, said that he explained to Lupoi and Foltz about the difficulties of finding help in the summer. "Tosh said to me, 'We will do it. These people won't go hungry.'"
So Lupoi and Foltz went back to their teammates, explained the problem and then hung a volunteer sheet on the wall. "No one was there to feed the homeless, so that's where the Cal football team stepped in and filled the void," Lupoi said. "We will donate some Friday nights, provide meals and cook and clean. Basically, it's just a great way to help out the community and establish more unity within our own team."
More than 30 Cal players showed up on Friday night to help serve about 100 free meals. Lupoi divided the volunteers into shifts to help set up, cook and clean and he had to send home teammates who wanted to work longer hours because he didn't have the room in the kitchen.
"Guys like Tosh and Ryan are what a student-athlete should be all about," Etter said of Lupoi, who is a De La Salle High graduate, and Foltz, who attended Westlake High. "They are the kind of role models I want Daniel Etter to be like. They are humble, young men who don't like the limelight."
Cal coach Jeff Tedford said his players participate in many community projects that go without notice. "The kids continually are asking me if there is anything going on they can help with," Tedford said. "I know these kind of things give them a great feeling of self-worth and they are very gratifying. We have great kids who will continue to do things worth noticing. It's just whether people take the time to notice."
Etter agreed with Tedford that the public seldom gets a glimpse at the true nature of most of the athletes. "They're doing a lot more than we read about," Etter said. "Everyone would be surprised how large the campaign really is."
Anyone who would like to find out more about the program can call the church at 510-658-3665. The church holds benefit concerts featuring local artists the second Friday of every month to help fund the program. Admission is $10.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Cal Kicking Game Redux

More problems with Cal's kicking squad...

Stanford Gets a Stadium

As always, cash talks best of all
Ray Ratto
Wednesday, June 8, 2005 now part of stylesheet -->
Even given all the giggly self-congratulations emanating from the John Arrillaga Center about Stanford's football stadium plan, there was a problem nobody wanted to face:
Namely, that the new stadium is likely to be obsolete by the time Cal gets its new box, and that could play havoc with Big Game ticket splits.
To more fully understand Stanford's downscaled but shiny new tackle emporium, one needs to understand exactly why it is getting a new stadium.
One, because it has an ATM with feet -- coincidentally, named John Arrillaga.
Two, because Arrillaga can squeeze Susan B. Anthony dollars out of a contractor's ear.
Oh, there are other reasons -- Stanford's average football attendance has been in a pronounced decline for years now, the old stadium is finally out of slivers to put in people's behinds, and 84 years is enough time for anything this side of Winston Churchill. I mean, they cited Pompeii as an influence on the old stadium architecture, which indicates that there might be 2,000-year-old, soot-encased Italians buried beneath the north end scoreboard.
But when you get down to the mere matter of money, Arrillaga and his pals at Vance Brown Building Stuff, Inc., can get the new joint designed and built for $85 million out the door, without bank debt, maybe even by the time the 2006 season begins.
In stadium cost terms, that's pure fast-food prices in fast-food time.
On the other hand, there's the Cal stadium, which is still in the throat- clearing, hemming-and-hawing, "Gee, Jeff, we're going as fast as we can" stage.
As we know, continents have formed in the time it takes Cal to go "as fast as we can."
In Cal's defense (which was absent without leave in the Holiday Bowl, but we digress), its stadium project includes offices, meeting rooms, weight- training and medical facilities. It also sits on an active and potentially twitchy earthquake fault, so $85 million isn't going to cut it. Twice that isn't going to cut it. To do the whole project, think $250M and watch the donors race for their angina medication.
That's the other problem. Stanford athletic director/rich donor extortionist extraordinaire Teddy Leland said the only reason the school announced its stadium plan at all was because details were leaking out; otherwise, "we probably would have waited until we had most of the money already. I mean, they say you should never announce anything until you have at least half the money."
Stanford already has 70 percent of what it needs.
Cal, on the other hand, claims to have $25 million, between 10 and 12 percent of the likely cost of its project, and is still trying to decide on an architect, let alone plans.
While Stanford has been discussing its stadium plan for less than a year, Cal has been on this topic for nearly a decade, through three or four (we forget the number at this point) athletic directors.
In other words, the only things keeping Cal from a new football stadium worthy of its program are (a) money, (b) will, (c) direction and (d) details.
While this has the additional motivation of keeping football coach Jeff Tedford mollified about a new plant, it makes you wonder if Cal couldn't ask to borrow Arrillaga when Stanford is done with him.
Cal has donors, sure, big donors. But the big-daddiest donor, Ned Spieker, reportedly is leery of committing money to a stadium plan he has neither seen nor has had priced. If he won't leap, the story further goes, neither will the other fat-wallets.
In addition, athletic director Sandy Barbour is still trying to overcome some alumni resentment about having gotten the job instead of other candidates (notably Mark Stephens and Dan Coonan, both of whom have left the hill for flatter land and better jobs).
Cal people also will complain about the Berkeley City Council without much provocation, and yes, the townies aren't terribly malleable on this sort of thing. Still, Cal's not moving the franchise to Las Vegas. Berkeley isn't going to become an offshore casino, so maybe more creativity and less bitching is what's needed here.
Besides, with the problems Cal already has with this not-quite-yet-a- project, the city council is about issue No. 9 on the list.
So Cal, with the coach who has been promised a new plant, is still in full-court dither, Stanford, with a coach who would have played on University Avenue to get the job, is making a new yard in record time, and on budget, because of the handy not-to-exceed-this-cost clause in the construction deal.
The lesson: Money on the hoof is good.
The ancillary lesson: You can get decent odds on Stanford expanding its stadium to 80,000 before Cal schedules a ribbon-cutting.
The asterisk: Maybe Tedford will keep Memorial Stadium filled enough to keep people from noticing that it's still Memorial Stadium. A Cal fan can only hope.
And donate.


Our spies at practice this week have revealed that the team is worried about the QB situation. Apparently the new QB prospect throws more like Billy Kilmer than Aaron Rodgers. Tedford is going to earn his salary on this kid!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Stanford's stadium plan leaves Cal in the dust

By Mark Purdy
Mercury News Staff Columnist
If you can't beat them, outconstruct them. Stanford has always grasped the fundamentals.
Over the past three football seasons, Cal has chewed up Stanford and spit out little bits of Cardinal crumbs, winning the annual Big Game by a combined total of eight zillion to three. Or so it has seemed.
Ah, but now comes sweet revenge. Stanford is going to kick butt in new-stadium building.
In fact, it won't even be close. If this were a hot-dog-eating contest, Cal would already be in negative weiner amortization.
Sometime in the next few days, Stanford's board of trustees is expected to approve plans for a football facility that will cost between $80 million and $90 million. The new stadium will involve a major reinvention and remodeling of the current stadium, reducing the capacity from 85,500 to a more intimate 55,000.
Not only that, but there is apparently enough money and support to get things started and complete the project in time for the 2006 season. Demolition will begin after the final play of the 2005 season. The new structure will be completed in less than a year.
``There won't be any need to play home games at Spartan Stadium or SBC Park for even one season,'' says one voice who should know. ``The plan is to get it done by October of 2006 when the first Stanford home game is scheduled.''
Compare this, if you will, to the ongoing slog in Berkeley, where Memorial Stadium is desperately in need of repair. For the past five years, Cal administrators have been laboring to cobble together some sort of . . . well, some sort of general prospective plans for a possible new stadium that might be feasible. Potentially.
If only that were an exaggeration. Cal has tried to amp up the stadium fever to keep Coach Jeff Tedford from looking elsewhere. But the last official word from Cal on this topic occurred May 10. In a conference call with reporters, a Cal associate vice-chancellor named Tom Lollini said that construction on a football stadium would ``hopefully'' be under way in early 2007. But before that can happen, more money must be raised. Trouble is, there is no cost estimate yet for the project. There are also no specific design plans, although an architectural firm has been retained.
Still, associate vice-chancellor Lollini claimed that the framework for building a new stadium is ``on track.''
This appears to be true, in the same sense that the framework for Adam Sandler to win an Oscar is ``on track.''
Perhaps if you are an associate vice-chancellor, you know more than the average person. But here is how the situation looks from the outside:
As the Cal community has dithered and thrashed about in pursuit of a new stadium, the Stanford community has figured out a way to just get it done. Cal has had a five-year head start in the stadium chase, but Stanford is going to complete the details, get out the heavy equipment and be ready to open for business before Cal even breaks ground -- if ground is indeed ever broken.
And you want to know the hilarious part? This has happened before, with almost the exact same plotline.
Eighty-five years ago, neither Cal nor Stanford had a large stadium on campus. The Big Game was always played in San Francisco. So in the spring of 1921, Cal announced a campaign to build a football facility to honor World War I veterans. A million dollars was raised to get the project started. But bureaucratic procedures needed to be followed, slowing down the process.
Meanwhile, Stanford officials heard about the Cal plans and rushed into action. Stanford vowed to erect a new home for its own football team, and to complete it quicker. Three engineering professors drew up blueprints for a stadium. Teams of mules and men were assembled. A large oval-shaped hole was dug out on the campus' east edge. Bleachers were installed. Stanford Stadium was completed in four months, just in time for the 1921 Big Game.
Memorial Stadium in Berkeley did not open until November 1923.
Now, you could claim that Stanford has always had an unfair advantage in these things. Stanford is a private school and can move more rapidly without filling out as many forms and getting the approval of as many associate vice-chancellors.
You could also claim that Cal's stadium site is far more problematic, because it cuts into a hillside, straddles the Hayward Fault and needs significant earthquake mitigation.
But we all know the only factor that truly matters when big money is needed -- and that's the big money. Stanford is somehow able to find it. Cal is not. Stanford is the more gentrified school by reputation, but Cal has three times as many graduates -- and some of them are millionaires, too.
So it might be just a matter of style and culture. The new stadium project at Stanford is expected to be guided by John Arrillaga, the billionaire developer who has been Stanford's most loyal athletic contributor. When he steps up and offers to drive, Stanford hands him the keys.
That never could happen at Cal, where Arrillaga would be told to sit in the back seat and enjoy the ride while three associate vice-chancellors try to program the GPS device by the steering wheel. Forced to play under those rules, Arrillaga would probably not even climb in the car.
We can empathize with Cal Athletic Director Sandy Barbour, who must navigate the UC red tape (and gold tape and blue tape). But she knew the job was dangerous when she took it -- which is why one person who has been involved with the Berkeley stadium quest says it could easily end with the Golden Bears playing their home games at Oakland's McAfee Coliseum in 2011, after the Raiders' lease expires.
By that time, Stanford's new stadium will already be six seasons old. Location, location, location.