Column by Dave Del Grande
CONGRATULATIONS, Steve Levy. You just moved onto the Raiders' draft board. Instead of going down as one of the most impressive wins in recent school history, Cal's participation in the 2006 Holiday Bowl will be best remembered as the game in which Jeff Tedford went Woody Hayes on his third-string quarterback. Hey, the coach had every reason to be upset. When he instructs a player to show some respect for a badly beaten opponent, he deserves better than the touchdown-producing stunt Levy pulled in the final seconds. Some would say the incident demonstrates why Levy, who saved the Bears' 2005 season, was handed a mop eight months later. Tedford doesn't want a quarterback who's in people's faces, he wants one who stands tall and looks over their head. There's no doubt in my mind the Bears would have won more than 10 games this season had the gutty senior led the way. But Tedford seems less concerned about winning than developing pro-game talent, thus his preference for a guy with a future as a quarterback over one with a past as a fullback. I sure hope we haven't seen the last of Levy on the football field. He can captain my special teams anytime he wants. I just wish one of Cal's legion of ballgirls on the Qualcomm Stadium sideline had handed Levy a cup of Gatorade before his up-close-and-personal with Tedford on Thursday night. Talk about a season that could have come full circle. Jim McMahon would have been proud.
DATELINE: No. 2 and looking down. The Holiday Bowl puts on a nice show, but it really needs to lobby for a better matchup. The Pac-10 co-champion against the Big 12's fifth-best team is supposed to produce a 45-10 blowout. Blame this year's debacle on UCLA, I guess. Had the Bruins' defense laid down against USC as it did in the Emerald Bowl,