It was nice to see Cal finally win a game in blowout fashion, since I don’t recall them doing that recently at all. There was that fun shootout with Virginia Tech in the Insight Bowl, that blowout loss in the Holiday Bowl, and then the closer-than-it-really-should-have-been win over BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl, so it was nice to see Cal really trounce an out of conference team. I don’t think it will completely wipe away the stench of the loss to Tennessee, but we get another crack at them when they visit Memorial Stadium next year, so here’s hoping that goes well.
Of course, that will probably have to be without The Man They Call Marshawn, since every writer and his mother (Todd McShay, Stewart Mandel, and Ivan Maisel, among others) thinks Marshawn’s already made up his mind to leave. I wish him well, and do honestly believe he’ll do much better than J.J. Arrington at the next level. I mean, he can’t do much worse. It was also nice to see our passing game have some semblance of consistency again, as Longshore has really become the barometer of our team and the key to the offense, much moreso than Marshawn. I mean, even a Football God can’t do much running straight up the middle all the time (ARE YOU LISTENING, TEDFORD?!?!? When you’ve got a guy with breakaway speed, maybe you can try some tosses or counters or misdirection every now and then. Just a thought.) if Longshore’s throwing up a stinker like he did against Tennessee and for the second half of the USC game.
Where do I think we’ll end up in the polls next year? Probably around 16-18 or so. Our running game should still be stout, since Justin Forsett is, apparently, still alive (though you wouldn’t know it by how he played for most of the regular season) and I always like having speed in the backfield, like with incoming recruit Jahvid Best. DeSean will be back, as will Robert Jordan, and Longshore should only get better as he learns to read defenses and improves his decision making. The defense will have to replace Desmond Bishop, but we have an abundance of wealth at the linebacker position, so his departure should just open up more playing time for other returning players there. Mixon may be back to take Hughes’ spot, so I’m not too worried.
Well, unless Robert Meachem comes back. Then all bets are off.
Bonus! As seen here:
When asked if the outcome might help convince his younger brother Devin to finally commit to Cal and continue the family tradition in Strawberry Canyon, Desmond Bishop said, “I think this victory will help him make a decision. We are trying to persuade him. He’s still young, he’s still trying to find his way, but I think this win will show him our talent and how good we are going to be next year. The whole institution of Cal is on the rise, especially in football. His choice should be easy now.”
The final potential benefit was revealed to Bear Insider well after the game ended, by Cal play-by-play man Joe Starkey.
"There’s a large group of alumni who have been involved in raising money for the coaching contracts, and were responsible when he got his big raise a couple of years ago. The word I get is that they are VERY close to another new contract for Tedford, more dollars for him and for his assistants, that will carry him much longer into the future."