Pressure's on Cal, Tedford against Southern Utah


Pressure's on Cal, Tedford against Southern Utah

Southern Utah. That should be a W right?Cal gets a second chance to christen remodeled Memorial Stadium with a victory this coming Saturday. They take on the Thunderbirds, a team that lost its opener last week to Utah State and went 6-5 in 2011.That should be a W, right?But nothing feels certain though after the abysmal home opener against Nevada last Saturday. Even three days later, the post-game dissection has the aura of confusion and panic. Defensive players conceded that, as cornerback Steve Williams said, we got fatigued. We were just out of it.Coach Jeff Tedford said his players were not very happy theyre upset, mad about it. Theres no feeling sorry for ourselves. We cant keep looking back, but we cant forget about it. We have to learn from it and improve.REWIND: Pounded by the pistol: Nevada tallies up yards in 31-24 win at Cal
There are many questions in the wake of the 31-24 loss. Questions about learning. About preparation. About scheduling a team that crushed you in 2010 for the stadium opener. About expectations.Questions about Tedford.Make no mistake, Tedford the winningest coach in Cal history - has done more for Cal football than most anyone could have envisioned when he arrived in late 2001. He put the darkness of the Tom Holmoe era so far in the past, some people dont even remember that it ever happened and think its the Bears natural birthright to be considered a Pac-12 title contender. He did more to make the new stadium happen then any other single person. He raised the bar to previously inconceivable heights.But when you raise the bar that high, youre expected to clear it every year. And when you dont and when you open a season of high expectations with a loss to Nevada - people start talking about your job security.Thats happening right now, all around the Bay Area. It will happen on the Chronicle Live Blitz tonight. Is Tedford on the hot seat?The immediate answer is no. He signed a contract extension through 2015 and theres no way that Cal a public institution is in any position to buy him out of the contract three years early.But that doesnt mean Tedfords seat isnt getting warm enough to cause serious perspiration. A lot of powerful Old Blues donated to make the stadium happen and, darn it, it wasnt so they could see losses to Nevada. A lot of them look across the Bay to Stanford and say, We want what theyve had.Tedford is operating in a world of raised expectations, beyond the hopes and dreams he himself created within Cal. There are exterior expectations as well, with the power move of the Pac-12 conference, the pressure exerted by Stanford (though we will see with the exit of Andrew Luck how sustainable that is) and the overall heightened insanity of college football.The early schedule isnt kind to Cal. The rest of September includes back-to-back trips to Ohio State and USC. The Bears could easily be looking at a 1-3 start.But Southern Utah should be a W, right? Who thought it would come to that?

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe


Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof


The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.