Spring Game Soundtrack

As the Cal spring game, Coachella, and Record Store Day intersect Saturday, nine song selections to prepare for the open practice.

BERKELEY, Calif. – The compilation is dead. Long live the compilation.

iTunes, Spotify and smart phones have rendered the act of recording a bunch of songs to a CD or cassette obsolete.

But with the California spring game taking place Saturday morning at Edwards Stadium, the same day as Record Store Day, the unofficial holiday celebrating vinyl and the independent record store, and the second weekend of Coachella, America's premier music festival held in the desert just outside of Palm Springs, Calif., it seems like the perfect timing to put together a soundtrack for the Golden Bears' final practice.

Having made the trip to Indio last weekend to be one of the more than 80,000 fans at the Empire Polo Club, break out the headphones for music selections from Coachella correlating with previews of what to expect from Cal.

Quarterbacks
Swedish House Mafia – "Save The World"
Cal is banking on Zach Maynard to take the next step.

Maynard was solid enough in his first season as a starter, but bombed out in the big games when defenses put the game on his shoulders. With the defense and run game looking sound again, improvement from the Buffalo transfer should give Cal a chance to finish second in the Pac-12 North. That means avoiding turnovers and upping his completion percentage.

If Maynard bombs out and the Bears again finish in the .500 range, the pining will be for early enrollee Zach Kline to be the savior.

Running Back
Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg – "Nuthin' But A ‘G' Thang"
Star power for days. Expect nothing more than a cameo from incumbent and 1,300-yard rusher Isi Sofele, but there are plenty of others capable of delivering the explosive runs behind the senior and C.J. Anderson.

Sophomore Brendan Bigelow has been nothing short of a revelation this spring, so will that make him the Eminem to Sofele's Dre in years to come?

Wide Receivers
The Hives – "Tick Tick Boom"
It is now or never for those receivers already on the Cal roster. With five touted and talented newcomers set to arrive, leaving a good impression would go a long way to securing snaps this season.

Keenan Allen is going to play. Everything else seems wide open, and the clock is counting down.

Tight Ends
The Weeknd – "House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls"
Hype can be dangerous. Cal head coach Jeff Tedford has been pouring on the praise for sophomore Richard Rodgers, who has yet to catch a pass in college. The physical tools are definitely there, but the first real look at Rodgers comes Saturday.

Can he live up to the expectations? If he delivers half as well as R&B internet sensation Abel Tesfaye did in his primo spot Sunday while the sun set, Rodgers will be a force in a conference loaded with outstanding tight ends.

Offensive Line
The Shins – "So Says I"
Rebuilt band, meet rebuilt line. The front five has shown gradual improvement as they get used to new configurations, but it is the center spot that may ultimately determine how they perform. Brian Schwenke has asserted himself during the spring, but Dominic Galas will return from a shoulder injury and freshman Matt Cochran could also get a look.

The good news is they won't face a better defensive line on Saturdays than the one lined up across the way in practice everyday.

Defensive Line
The Black Keys – "Ten Cent Pistol"
The most consistently outstanding unit on the team, the Bears' defensive line hasn't missed a beat this spring despite losing Trevor Guyton and Ernest Owusu. The sheer depth and talent throughout the group is outstanding and could rank among the best positions in the Pac-12 in the fall.

Just as they overpower the offensive line with sheer power, so too does Akron, Ohio's native sons overwhelm the festival grounds as a guitar and drums two-piece, becoming the most dependable act in rock in the process. If your backyard can hold 30,000 people, you've probably invited the Black Keys over to play in the past three years.

Linebackers
Radiohead – "Bloom"
Radiohead is never going to go back to the heady days of "The Bends" or "OK Computer," so accept it, move on, and enjoy the new stuff.

Mychal Kendricks and D.J. Holt, responsible for 189 tackles last season, are off to the NFL. The new guys are going to take some time to get settled. While the seniors J.P Hurrell and Robert Mullins have seen the majority of reps with the ones, Tedford has been very high on redshirt freshman Jason Gibson's athleticism. It wouldn't surprise to see a shake up inside during fall camp.

Defensive Backs
Madness – "One Step Beyond"
Ho hum, a group of veterans that knows what they are doing and does it oh so well. Experience abounds at cornerback once Marc Anthony and Stefan McClure return from injury, forming a solid core with Steve Williams. Josh Hill and Alex Logan have asserted themselves at safety, while a pair of sophomores in safety Avery Sebastian and corner Kameron Jackson have taken a step up and could work their way into the mix.

Special Teams
Daft Punk – "Robot Rock"
Just because you're not here doesn't mean we aren't thinking about you. The robot-loving French purveyors of electronica turned in one of Coachella's most legendary performances back in 2006, and fans have been waiting for their return ever since.

They'll be back among the palm trees sooner than later, and the same can be said for the Bears' special teams. Don't expect to see much, aside from some field goals and extra points from redshirt junior Vincenzo D'Amato.

Cal is waiting on the arrival of three punters this summer, with Cole Leininger coming in on scholarship. That alone has dramatically limited how much work the Bears have been able to do, even going so far as listing Rodgers as a potential option at punter in its spring prospectus.

Dan Greenspan is the publisher of Cal Sports Digest and covers the Pac-12 for Fox Sports/Scout.com. Follow him on Twitter @DanGreenspan.


BearTerritory.net Top Stories