Emptying out the notebook - Cal vs. La. Tech

This week's edition includes: the team's uneasiness with its 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech; that in winning 13 of its past 15 games, Cal's tied the best run that its had under Tedford in a 15-game period, a chance exchange with a tree protestor, the biggest hit Justin Forsett took on Saturday, comments from Lavelle Hawkins and Brandon Hampton as well as injury updates as of late Sunday afternoon.

With Saturday's win, Cal is now 13-2 in its past 15 games, which ties the best 15-game stretch of the Jeff Tedford era, but if you listened to the Tedford and the players after Saturday's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech, they sounded about as unsatisfied as a team could be after a 30-point home win and outgaining the opposition by nearly 200 yards.

Although it's a signed of the heightened expectations for the California football team, one wonders if the team is reaching that abyss where losses are unacceptable and wins are seen only in terms of their shortcomings.

"We didn't play well today." - Jeff Tedford

If the team's goal was merely to get to a bowl game or finish near the top of Pac-10, the Louisiana Tech game would have been filed away with the numerous other lopsided early season wins that the Bears have piled up during the past five years.

Yet the Bears have gone to 3-0 without looking nearly their best.  Eight penalties might be acceptable for Arizona State, but not for a Bear team that prides itself on discipline.  Even with one of the best receiving corps in the nation, Cal's deep passing game hasn't been nearly the threat it was last season.  And with injuries to key members on its defensive line, the Pac-10 season becomes a tougher row to hoe.

"We need to work on our execution. We weren't making plays. I could have had a big run but I fell.  Little things like that, like hanging onto blocks longer.   They all added up. We have big goals for ourselves...We did win the game and we can take that with us. But we know we can get better." - Justin Forsett

Maybe it's a sign of how good this year's team could be that they could win convincingly without looking anything close to their best.  Although everybody would have felt more comfortable with a 50-point blowout win where all the reserves had the chance to get a lot of work, Louisiana Tech wasn't a good enough team to keep the game close for very long, but they were good enough to not roll over and give up once the game was out of reach.

Cal won by 30 points in a weekend, in what's proven to be one of the oddest college football seasons in recent memory, where #6 Texas narrowly avoided a banana peel in a 35-32 win over Central Florida, but the Acme anvil landed squarely on the seasons of #9 Louisville, a 40-34 loser to Kentucky, and #11 UCLA which suffered a humiliating 44-6 loss to Utah.  If USC is the Pac-10 football's Wynn, and Cal is its Bellagio, UCLA is most certainly its mirage.

"We're not where we want to be, but we've got three wins, so we must be doing something right. We've got to tighten up, (on defense) some 3rd downs didn't look good. We know we have to be tighter." - Brandon Hampton

This Saturday, the Bears host 1-2 Arizona, which comes in reeling after a 29-27 home loss to New Mexico.  Last season's 24-20 loss in Tucson still stings in the eyes of many Bears players.  Whether it was because it was a game they knew they should have won, whether it was because a change in any one of a half-dozen questionable calls or freak occurrences had gone differently would have resulted in a Bear victory, whether it was knowing in retrospect that a win there would have put them in the Rose Bowl, or whether it was the indignity of seeing the Arizona student section rush the field afterwards, Cal will have no shortage of motivation this week.

Through a scheduling oddity, Saturday's game will also mark the fourth consecutive week of the "Payback is a female dog" part of the schedule.  The Bears previous games against Tennessee (2006), Colorado State (2003), Louisiana Tech (1997), and now Arizona (2006) were all losses.

Three down, one to go.

"As you're going through a game, you want to want to reach your full potential.  Maybe after the first three game, we got some some of the kinks out. We'll keep plugging away." - Tedford

* * * * *

The west side of Memorial Stadium continued to be an eyesore as the sidewalks and fences were cluttered with a wide variety of detritus, human and otherwise.  Curious onlookers walked passed protestors' wish lists, gawked at the structures that were built into the trees, and generally tried to supress their irritation the protestors' horribly misguided quest for attention and relevance.

While one could argue that there's something very Berkeley about doing something even when you're told not to or that all your arguments are specious, the conduct of the protestors is akin to telling a teenager that they need to spend less time with their girlfriend or boyfriend and more time opening a book or going to a class once inawhile.   It emboldens them in the exact opposite direction that was intended. 

Of the many annoyances caused by the protestors, the closing of Memorial Stadium's west gates is one of the biggest.  While taking down the fence and opening the west gates is an option, the University would bear a tremendous amount of risk should anything happen between the protestors and spectators. Consequently, the decision has been made to have fans exit out of the north and south gates.

In addition to having to inconvenience the 15,000 to 20,000 people for the sake of keeping these dozen or so Bozos at a distance, it also adds greatly to the discomfort of many of the Bears' older fans. Navigating the stadium itself can be a challenge, without the added detour and having to be ensnared in a large exiting crowd.

From a public safety standpoint, it's a travesty.  Then, given the amount of respect that the protestors have shown for University property and the law, the utter contempt that the City of Berkeley has shown the University through this process, as well as the propensity of the protestors to make things up as they go, should there be any surprise?

* * * * *

"If the lie is big enough and told often enough, it will be believed."

That quote has been attributed to a wide range of people, nobody who you'd gladly or willingly want to be yoked with.  It also appears to be the mission statement of the tree protestors, who will gladly pull any idea out of their backside and provide it as fact, while the predominantly lazy media willingly laps it up without challenge.

Anyone who's seen pictures of the Memorial Stadium site can easily see that the oaks are not rare, are not an endangered species, and are not indigenous to the area, but trees that were planted as part of the stadium construction. If you need to get caught up on your Memorial Stadium tree facts, go here.   This isn't even a matter that's open for interpretation. The only reason the trees are there to begin with is because of the stadium.

Then there's the myth of stadium site being an old Indian burial ground.   When this idea came out of the blue in February, it was quickly debunked by the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, which said that one isolated skeleton was found at the site in 1923. While the EIR for the Southeast Campus Projects came out, there was no definitive comment about there being an Indian burial ground other than there being "a possibility" of there being cultural remains.

With that in mind, let's share this exchange with a propagandist. The idea was to keep this conversation going as long as was possible without breaking stride:

"Save the Indian burial ground! Save the Indian burial ground! Here, read this, we have to save the Indian burial ground!"

"You're lying. This isn't an Indian burial ground."

"Yes it is, it's in the EIR."

"All of those sources have been discredited. You're lying."

"Why would I lie? WHY WOULD I LIE?"

Not being a medical doctor or a psychiatrist, that answer was best left in the hands of someone more qualified, and the journey continued.

* * * * *

Back to football...

After a three-and-half hour football game, where the other team's been trying to beat your brains out, and you've just taken off your helmet and pads, showered, hydrated, and had a bag of ice taped somewhere convenient, it's completely understandable if a player shows up to the interview room in a t-shirt or sweats.  Nate Longshore will often enter the room in a blazer.

Then there's Justin Forsett.

After putting up his sixth career 150 yard-plus game for the Bears, Forsett, as usual, walked in wearing a suit.  If there were any lingering effects from last Saturday's back injury, it didn't show.  Even someone as cool as Forsett wouldn't wear a suit with an icebag strapped to his back.

For the senior running back, his 26-carry, 152-yard, three touchdown game marked a return to the form and durability that he showed in the season opener against Tennessee. Forsett he felt no ill effects and was fine after the game.

"I was normal by Tuesday," said Forsett about this past week. "I could have practiced then...I'm 100% now."

There was no doubt in Lavelle Hawkins' mind that Forsett would be ready on Saturday.

"Even when you hear he's banged up, you know he's not really banged up.   Forsett's a warrior," said Hawkins with admiration.

Only one time during the game did Forsett have momentary discomfort, and that was courtesy of a teammate.

"I ran into DLP (left guard Brian De La Puente) and it numbed my face for awhile," said Forsett who added that was the hardest hit he had all day.

His 39-yard touchdown run midway through the 2nd quarter gave Cal a 21-6, giving the Bears some separation in what had been up to that point, nervewrackingly tight game.

Forsett took a handoff and slanted left as linemen Mike Gibson and Brian De La Puente did the ol' lift-and-separate on one side of the Louisiana Tech line.

"Craig (Stevens) came around and got a block to open up," said Forsett. "Then I saw Lavelle (Hawkins) and Robert (Jordan) blocking and followed them up.

In the third quarter, Forsett showed off his blocking chops on Longshore's 16-yard touchdown pass to Jahvid Best.

Best was lined up wide to the right, while Forsett was stationed in a halfback position to Longshore's right.  Longshore threw quickly to Best, while Forsett came across and took out Best's defender, Louisiana Tech's Deon Young with a low block.  Best cut around the fallen Young to the inside and ran straight ahead into the end zone. 

Another indication of how well that play worked? Running with Best into the end zone was center Alex Mack.

* * * * *

Defending Cal is a pick-your-poison situation for most defenses.  Too much attention to the wide receivers will mean that the Bears will run all day long, but trying to cheat too many people toward the line will mean that the wide receivers will often be left one-on-one with little or no help.

For much of Saturday's game, Louisiana Tech went with the latter, especially when the Bears were in a three wide receiver set.  Cal seldom challenged the Bulldogs deep, and while Louisiana Tech didn't allow any completions longer than 25 yards, they were vulnerable to crossing patterns all game long.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of that was wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins who had 7 catches for 87 yards along with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Hawkins relishes the challenge of facing a defender one-on-one.

"That's a good thing," said Hawkins, who already has 19 catches for 220 yards in this young season. "But then, I think I'm open on every play. Even if there are three guys on me, I think I'm open."

Tedford praised Hawkins after yesterday's game.

"He's doing a nice job," said Tedford. "He's catching and he's hustling. All three of our receivers have the ability to make plays and today Lavelle played well."

An outstanding kick returner in high school, Hawkins' game-opening return was rewarding for someone who's an adventure or two this season as a returner.  With the fake reverse to Brandon Hampton taking a few Tech defenders out of the play, Hawkins raced up along the Cal sideline, headed toward the end zone with Louisiana Tech's Myke Compton having an angle on him and closing fast.

"He was not going to catch me," said Hawkins. "If he did, I never would have heard the end of it."

* * * * *

The Cal defense did an outstanding job of containing a potent Louisiana Tech offense. In addition to limiting them to 274 yards, the Bears only allowed one gain that went as far as 20 yards. 

"Really? Which one?"

Brandon Hampton was a key member of a Bear secondary that largely kept the Bulldog receivers contained, limiting them to a shade over 8 yards a completion. 

After giving up five plays of 20 yards or more in the season-opener against Tennessee, Cal's given up just five plays of 20 yards or more during the past two games, covering 143 plays.

"Even hearing that we gave up four plays last week, that's way too many," said Hampton. "That was unacceptable and something we knew we needed to correct and we did.  We needed to stay deep, make tackles, and not let them run into open space. Sometimes, though, we did have breakdowns."

One of the games more scintillating plays was Hampton's second quarter interception, where he zig-zagged his way through the Louisiana Tech's offense-turned-defense while getting Michalczik-quality blocks from Tad Smith and Worrell Williams who IHOPed a pair of would-be tacklers.

* * * * *

With the nonconference schedule in the rear-view mirror, Tedford was asked if the team's lack of sharpness might have had something to do with the level of opponents.

"I'd say no. We don't take (those teams) lightly," said Tedford. "It's natural to get up to play the big teams more. Maybe it doesn't happen all the time."

* * * * *

Sunday Notes...Rulon Davis (possible stress fracture) and Matt Malele (possible plantar fasciitis) were both on crutches Sunday and will be undergoing MRIs on Monday...Tedford on Zack Follett, "I don't know the medical term but it's a neck issue. It's a day to day thing. I would doubt that he practices on Tuesday."...Tedford made it a point to discuss the team's sloppy play, "We had procedure penalties, a personal foul that might have cost us a scoring opportunity at the end of the half, and we had to address that today."

While the Bears stayed at 8th in the USA Today Coaches Poll, they rose to 6th in the AP poll, as lackluster efforts by Texas and Wisconsin downgradd them in the eyes of just enough voters for Cal to jump up.  The first five teams in both polls are USC, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.  In the AP Poll, the next five are Cal, Texas, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Penn State.  In the USA Today poll, the next five are Texas, Wisconsin, Cal, Ohio State and Penn State.  In that poll, it should be noted that Texas (1,103), Wisconsin (1,098), and Ohio State (1,062) are virtually even.   The only other Pac-10 team in the top 25 is Oregon, which is 13th in both polls.


©Copyright 2007, TheBearInsider.com and The Insiders. All rights reserved.

If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this online community and get access to the members-only content from the nation-wide Insider's network.

Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.


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With Saturday's win, Cal is now 13-2 in its past 15 games, which ties the best 15-game stretch of the Jeff Tedford era, but if you listened to the Tedford and the players after Saturday's 42-12 win over Louisiana Tech, they sounded about as unsatisfied as a team could be after a 30-point home win and outgaining the opposition by nearly 200 yards.

Although it's a signed of the heightened expectations for the California football team, one wonders if the team is reaching that abyss where losses are unacceptable and wins are seen only in terms of their shortcomings.

"We didn't play well today." - Jeff Tedford

If the team's goal was merely to get to a bowl game or finish near the top of Pac-10, the Louisiana Tech game would have been filed away with the numerous other lopsided early season wins that the Bears have piled up during the past five years.

Yet the Bears have gone to 3-0 without looking nearly their best.  Eight penalties might be acceptable for Arizona State, but not for a Bear team that prides itself on discipline.  Even with one of the best receiving corps in the nation, Cal's deep passing game hasn't been nearly the threat it was last season.  And with injuries to key members on its defensive line, the Pac-10 season becomes a tougher row to hoe.

"We need to work on our execution. We weren't making plays. I could have had a big run but I fell.  Little things like that, like hanging onto blocks longer.   They all added up. We have big goals for ourselves...We did win the game and we can take that with us. But we know we can get better." - Justin Forsett

Maybe it's a sign of how good this year's team could be that they could win convincingly without looking anything close to their best.  Although everybody would have felt more comfortable with a 50-point blowout win where all the reserves had the chance to get a lot of work, Louisiana Tech wasn't a good enough team to keep the game close for very long, but they were good enough to not roll over and give up once the game was out of reach.

Cal won by 30 points in a weekend, in what's proven to be one of the oddest college football seasons in recent memory, where #6 Texas narrowly avoided a banana peel in a 35-32 win over Central Florida, but the Acme anvil landed squarely on the seasons of #9 Louisville, a 40-34 loser to Kentucky, and #11 UCLA which suffered a humiliating 44-6 loss to Utah.  If USC is the Pac-10 football's Wynn, and Cal is its Bellagio, UCLA is most certainly its mirage.

"We're not where we want to be, but we've got three wins, so we must be doing something right. We've got to tighten up, (on defense) some 3rd downs didn't look good. We know we have to be tighter." - Brandon Hampton

This Saturday, the Bears host 1-2 Arizona, which comes in reeling after a 29-27 home loss to New Mexico.  Last season's 24-20 loss in Tucson still stings in the eyes of many Bears players.  Whether it was because it was a game they knew they should have won, whether it was because a change in any one of a half-dozen questionable calls or freak occurrences had gone differently would have resulted in a Bear victory, whether it was knowing in retrospect that a win there would have put them in the Rose Bowl, or whether it was the indignity of seeing the Arizona student section rush the field afterwards, Cal will have no shortage of motivation this week.

Through a scheduling oddity, Saturday's game will also mark the fourth consecutive week of the "Payback is a female dog" part of the schedule.  The Bears previous games against Tennessee (2006), Colorado State (2003), Louisiana Tech (1997), and now Arizona (2006) were all losses.

Three down, one to go.

"As you're going through a game, you want to want to reach your full potential.  Maybe after the first three game, we got some some of the kinks out. We'll keep plugging away." - Tedford

* * * * *

The west side of Memorial Stadium continued to be an eyesore as the sidewalks and fences were cluttered with a wide variety of detritus, human and otherwise.  Curious onlookers walked passed protestors' wish lists, gawked at the structures that were built into the trees, and generally tried to supress their irritation the protestors' horribly misguided quest for attention and relevance.

While one could argue that there's something very Berkeley about doing something even when you're told not to or that all your arguments are specious, the conduct of the protestors is akin to telling a teenager that they need to spend less time with their girlfriend or boyfriend and more time opening a book or going to a class once inawhile.   It emboldens them in the exact opposite direction that was intended. 

Of the many annoyances caused by the protestors, the closing of Memorial Stadium's west gates is one of the biggest.  While taking down the fence and opening the west gates is an option, the University would bear a tremendous amount of risk should anything happen between the protestors and spectators. Consequently, the decision has been made to have fans exit out of the north and south gates.

In addition to having to inconvenience the 15,000 to 20,000 people for the sake of keeping these dozen or so Bozos at a distance, it also adds greatly to the discomfort of many of the Bears' older fans. Navigating the stadium itself can be a challenge, without the added detour and having to be ensnared in a large exiting crowd.

From a public safety standpoint, it's a travesty.  Then, given the amount of respect that the protestors have shown for University property and the law, the utter contempt that the City of Berkeley has shown the University through this process, as well as the propensity of the protestors to make things up as they go, should there be any surprise?

* * * * *

"If the lie is big enough and told often enough, it will be believed."

That quote has been attributed to a wide range of people, nobody who you'd gladly or willingly want to be yoked with.  It also appears to be the mission statement of the tree protestors, who will gladly pull any idea out of their backside and provide it as fact, while the predominantly lazy media willingly laps it up without challenge.

Anyone who's seen pictures of the Memorial Stadium site can easily see that the oaks are not rare, are not an endangered species, and are not indigenous to the area, but trees that were planted as part of the stadium construction. If you need to get caught up on your Memorial Stadium tree facts, go here.   This isn't even a matter that's open for interpretation. The only reason the trees are there to begin with is because of the stadium.

Then there's the myth of stadium site being an old Indian burial ground.   When this idea came out of the blue in February, it was quickly debunked by the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology, which said that one isolated skeleton was found at the site in 1923. While the EIR for the Southeast Campus Projects came out, there was no definitive comment about there being an Indian burial ground other than there being "a possibility" of there being cultural remains.

With that in mind, let's share this exchange with a propagandist. The idea was to keep this conversation going as long as was possible without breaking stride:

"Save the Indian burial ground! Save the Indian burial ground! Here, read this, we have to save the Indian burial ground!"

"You're lying. This isn't an Indian burial ground."

"Yes it is, it's in the EIR."

"All of those sources have been discredited. You're lying."

"Why would I lie? WHY WOULD I LIE?"

Not being a medical doctor or a psychiatrist, that answer was best left in the hands of someone more qualified, and the journey continued.

* * * * *

Back to football...

After a three-and-half hour football game, where the other team's been trying to beat your brains out, and you've just taken off your helmet and pads, showered, hydrated, and had a bag of ice taped somewhere convenient, it's completely understandable if a player shows up to the interview room in a t-shirt or sweats.  Nate Longshore will often enter the room in a blazer.

Then there's Justin Forsett.

After putting up his sixth career 150 yard-plus game for the Bears, Forsett, as usual, walked in wearing a suit.  If there were any lingering effects from last Saturday's back injury, it didn't show.  Even someone as cool as Forsett wouldn't wear a suit with an icebag strapped to his back.

For the senior running back, his 26-carry, 152-yard, three touchdown game marked a return to the form and durability that he showed in the season opener against Tennessee. Forsett he felt no ill effects and was fine after the game.

"I was normal by Tuesday," said Forsett about this past week. "I could have practiced then...I'm 100% now."

There was no doubt in Lavelle Hawkins' mind that Forsett would be ready on Saturday.

"Even when you hear he's banged up, you know he's not really banged up.   Forsett's a warrior," said Hawkins with admiration.

Only one time during the game did Forsett have momentary discomfort, and that was courtesy of a teammate.

"I ran into DLP (left guard Brian De La Puente) and it numbed my face for awhile," said Forsett who added that was the hardest hit he had all day.

His 39-yard touchdown run midway through the 2nd quarter gave Cal a 21-6, giving the Bears some separation in what had been up to that point, nervewrackingly tight game.

Forsett took a handoff and slanted left as linemen Mike Gibson and Brian De La Puente did the ol' lift-and-separate on one side of the Louisiana Tech line.

"Craig (Stevens) came around and got a block to open up," said Forsett. "Then I saw Lavelle (Hawkins) and Robert (Jordan) blocking and followed them up.

In the third quarter, Forsett showed off his blocking chops on Longshore's 16-yard touchdown pass to Jahvid Best.

Best was lined up wide to the right, while Forsett was stationed in a halfback position to Longshore's right.  Longshore threw quickly to Best, while Forsett came across and took out Best's defender, Louisiana Tech's Deon Young with a low block.  Best cut around the fallen Young to the inside and ran straight ahead into the end zone. 

Another indication of how well that play worked? Running with Best into the end zone was center Alex Mack.

* * * * *

Defending Cal is a pick-your-poison situation for most defenses.  Too much attention to the wide receivers will mean that the Bears will run all day long, but trying to cheat too many people toward the line will mean that the wide receivers will often be left one-on-one with little or no help.

For much of Saturday's game, Louisiana Tech went with the latter, especially when the Bears were in a three wide receiver set.  Cal seldom challenged the Bulldogs deep, and while Louisiana Tech didn't allow any completions longer than 25 yards, they were vulnerable to crossing patterns all game long.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of that was wide receiver Lavelle Hawkins who had 7 catches for 87 yards along with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

Hawkins relishes the challenge of facing a defender one-on-one.

"That's a good thing," said Hawkins, who already has 19 catches for 220 yards in this young season. "But then, I think I'm open on every play. Even if there are three guys on me, I think I'm open."

Tedford praised Hawkins after yesterday's game.

"He's doing a nice job," said Tedford. "He's catching and he's hustling. All three of our receivers have the ability to make plays and today Lavelle played well."

An outstanding kick returner in high school, Hawkins' game-opening return was rewarding for someone who's an adventure or two this season as a returner.  With the fake reverse to Brandon Hampton taking a few Tech defenders out of the play, Hawkins raced up along the Cal sideline, headed toward the end zone with Louisiana Tech's Myke Compton having an angle on him and closing fast.

"He was not going to catch me," said Hawkins. "If he did, I never would have heard the end of it."

* * * * *

The Cal defense did an outstanding job of containing a potent Louisiana Tech offense. In addition to limiting them to 274 yards, the Bears only allowed one gain that went as far as 20 yards. 

"Really? Which one?"

Brandon Hampton was a key member of a Bear secondary that largely kept the Bulldog receivers contained, limiting them to a shade over 8 yards a completion. 

After giving up five plays of 20 yards or more in the season-opener against Tennessee, Cal's given up just five plays of 20 yards or more during the past two games, covering 143 plays.

"Even hearing that we gave up four plays last week, that's way too many," said Hampton. "That was unacceptable and something we knew we needed to correct and we did.  We needed to stay deep, make tackles, and not let them run into open space. Sometimes, though, we did have breakdowns."

One of the games more scintillating plays was Hampton's second quarter interception, where he zig-zagged his way through the Louisiana Tech's offense-turned-defense while getting Michalczik-quality blocks from Tad Smith and Worrell Williams who IHOPed a pair of would-be tacklers.

* * * * *

With the nonconference schedule in the rear-view mirror, Tedford was asked if the team's lack of sharpness might have had something to do with the level of opponents.

"I'd say no. We don't take (those teams) lightly," said Tedford. "It's natural to get up to play the big teams more. Maybe it doesn't happen all the time."

* * * * *

Sunday Notes...Rulon Davis (possible stress fracture) and Matt Malele (possible plantar fasciitis) were both on crutches Sunday and will be undergoing MRIs on Monday...Tedford on Zack Follett, "I don't know the medical term but it's a neck issue. It's a day to day thing. I would doubt that he practices on Tuesday."...Tedford made it a point to discuss the team's sloppy play, "We had procedure penalties, a personal foul that might have cost us a scoring opportunity at the end of the half, and we had to address that today."

While the Bears stayed at 8th in the USA Today Coaches Poll, they rose to 6th in the AP poll, as lackluster efforts by Texas and Wisconsin downgradd them in the eyes of just enough voters for Cal to jump up.  The first five teams in both polls are USC, LSU, Florida, Oklahoma, and West Virginia.  In the AP Poll, the next five are Cal, Texas, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Penn State.  In the USA Today poll, the next five are Texas, Wisconsin, Cal, Ohio State and Penn State.  In that poll, it should be noted that Texas (1,103), Wisconsin (1,098), and Ohio State (1,062) are virtually even.   The only other Pac-10 team in the top 25 is Oregon, which is 13th in both polls.


©Copyright 2007, TheBearInsider.com and The Insiders. All rights reserved.

If you haven't done so already, subscribe to The Bear Insider so you can participate in this online community and get access to the members-only content from the nation-wide Insider's network.

Bear Insider staff writers visit the Insider discussion board regularly, and are available to discuss questions you may have about this article and Cal Athletics.

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