Monday, April 07, 2008

Los Angeles Times: It looks like a bear market for Cal

Golden Bears, still recovering from their 1-6 finish to last season, have lost superstar Jackson to NFL and have numerous questions, including at quarterback.

By Chris Dufresne


This is the sixth in a series of short reports examining some of college football's spring story lines. Today: Cal football . . . after the gold rush.

You could say Cal has hit the skids since it rushed to 5-0 and a No. 2 ranking last October.  What does California football need to focus on this spring?  "Everything," seventh-year Coach Jeff Tedford said.

The Bears were poised to become No. 1 before a staggering Oct. 13 home loss to Oregon State sent the program reeling to a 1-6 finish. Cal showed some claws in rallying to beat Air Force in the Armed Forces Bowl, but this is as shaky as the program has been since early in the Tedford era.  The off-season hasn't been much better, starting with the Kevin Hart hoax recruiting debacle. The Bears were so beat up they moved their spring practice start date from mid-March to March 31 just to buy some recovery time.

Spring forward: Star receiver DeSean Jackson declared for the NFL draft and tailback James Montgomery transferred. Tedford must decide whether the injury-haunted Nate Longshore or Kevin Riley deserves to be the starting quarterback next fall.

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