Factors in the California Game

Here are some key elements and issues concerning UCLA and California heading into their showdown this Saturday at the Rose Bowl. The #9-ranked Bears are in the midst of one of the best eras in the history of football in Berkeley...

NOTEWORTHY FACTORS

-- The California Bears come to the Rose Bowl to face UCLA Saturday at 12:30.  The game will be televised by ABC with Dan Fouts, Tim Brant and Todd Harris calling the action.

-- UCLA is 4-2 overall and undefeated in the Pac-10 with a 3-0 conference record.

-- Cal is 5-1 and 2-1. The Bears are currently ranked #9 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll and #10 in the AP poll.

-- Cal defeated then-#15 Tennessee, Colorado State, Louisiana Tech, Arizona, and Oregon, to then lose to Oregon State last week, in Berkeley, 31-24.

-- The series between the two schools dates back to 1933, with UCLA holding a 48-28-1 edge. 

-- UCLA and Cal have split the last six meetings between the schools, with the home team winning in every game. UCLA has won the last three meetings at the Rose Bowl.

-- Last season, Cal beat UCLA, 38-24.  In that game, quarterback Patrick Cowan threw for a career-best 329 yards, and Chris Markey ran for 136 yards.   UCLA amassed 516 yards of total offense in what was UCLA's best offensive display of the 2006 season.

-- In the last match-up in the Rose Bowl in 2005, UCLA rallied in the fourth quarter to pull off an upset of #10-ranked Cal, 47-40.  Tailback Maurice Jones-Drew tied his own school record with five touchdowns, with the last two coming in the final 1:35. 

-- Last week, Cal suffered easily one of its most disappointing defeats in its football history. Ranked #2 in the country, Cal was looking at jumping over #1-ranked LSU, since the Tigers had lost earlier that day. It would have been the first time Cal had been ranked #1 in 56 years. But Oregon State stood in the way.  Cal trailed 31-28, with 1:27 left in the game, and quarterback Kevin Riley, in his first career start, drove the Bears to the OSU 12-yard line.  With 14 seconds remaining, and no timeouts, Cal decided to attempt a pass play, to see if it could score a game-winning touchdown and not have to go into overtime with a field goal. Riley couldn't find a receiver and should have merely thrown the ball into the back of the endzone to stop the clock and call on the field goal kicking team. But Riley, in a moment he and just about every Cal fan alive would like to have back, scrambled and was tackled, with the time running out before they could get off another play. 

-- Being ranked #2 last week was Cal's highest ranking since 1951.

-- Cal has now been ranked in the AP poll for 25 straight weeks and 51 of the last 55 weeks of rankings.

-- This is the first ranked team UCLA has faced all season.  It's only the third team that's had a winning record coming into the game against UCLA (BYU was 1-0 and Washington was 2-1). 

-- It's also just the third ranked team UCLA has faced in its last 13 games. 

-- Cal is coached by Jeff Tedford, who is in his sixth year in Berkeley, with an overall record of 48-21, and 29-15 in the Pac-10. Tedford, in his first season at Cal in 2002, orchestrated one of the biggest turnarounds recently in college football, going 7-5 after the Bears won just one game in 2001.  He then went 8-6, 10-2, 8-4, and 10-2 in the four subsequent seasons.  In the six years before Tedford arrived, the Bears had just 12 victories total. His six-year stretch is the most successful for Cal in over 50 years.   The Bears have been ranked in the top ten in each of the last four seasons under Tedford, and gone to four straight bowl games, winning three of those to make Tedford the first Cal coach with three bowl victories.  Previous to this run at Cal, Tedford had been the offensive coordinator at Oregon, where had earned an excellent reputation as a great offensive mind and quarterback guru.

-- Tedford has been consistently the highest-paid employee in the UC system.  His new salary calls for him to make approximately $1.8 million per year, but there is a plethora of incentives that could easily push that to close to $2 million this year.  Also, there are bonuses in his contract that will play him millions more for merely staying at Cal for the duration of his contrac, which runs through the 2013 season. If he fulfills the contract, and reaches a good amount of the contract's incentives, by 2013, Tedford could make over $4 million per year.  It is believed that a good portion of his salary is provided by Nike, which is the school's athletic gear sponsor.

-- Since Tedford has been at Cal, the Bears have had 22 straight games that have drawn over 50,000 fans, which is every home game in the last four years.  Its game against Oregon State last weekend was the 12th time it's drawn over 60,000 for a home game under Tedford. Cal had only drawn 60,000 for a game nine times in the 12 years before Tedford arrived in Berkeley.

-- Cal established a record for average attendance in 2006, averaging 64,318.

-- It also has established a new season ticket sales record this season - 41,336.

-- The year before Tedford arrived, when Cal went 1-10, it was the worst year for football in the last 104 years for the Bears.

-- The current six-year streak for Cal is considered among the best few eras of Cal football.  Tedford's five straight winning seasons is the first time that's happened in 50 years, dating back to the last great era of Cal football, from 1947 to 1952 when the famous Pappy Waldorf reeled off six straight winning seasons and went to three Rose Bowls (losing all three, by the way).

-- Cal hasn't won a conference title since 1975.

-- UCLA, at home under Karl Dorrell, is 22-6, which ranks the program 20th for home records in college football in four-plus years.

-- The weather is calling for low 70s on Saturday at the Rose Bowl, with clear skies.

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