Berkley, as it’s known in non-athletic endeavors, is a haven of intellect. A bastion of liberalism and progressiveness, a cornucopia of innovation and entrepreneurship. Heck, people have even called Austin the "Berkeley of the South" in what I believe is a totally non-pejorative way. But for all of their exceptional world rankings and laundry list of Nobel laureates, MacArthur Fellows, and Turing Awards, "Cal" (or the "Golden Bears")--as they posit themselves in the sporting sphere to achieve distance from the slovenly, intellectual nous--is entirely illogical.
Though they have a lowkey major impact on your fantasy draft (Marshawn Lynch, Aaron Rodgers, Keenan Allen, C.J. Anderson, DeSean Jackson, Shane Vereen), they haven’t really been a powerhouse program since the days when Don Draper was slinging fur coats. But these seemingly rational, intelligent fans are always holding out for glory.
And they apparently HATE Texas, and especially, Mack Brown for his realpolitik appeal in 2004. All because they wanted into Vince Young’s 2nd most famous Rose Bowl (though for whatever reason, I have watched that DVD from the Co-op more frequently than the National Championship) a decade ago? Aaron Rodgers said when we last met in 2011 that he’s still upset about it. It was still a talking point during media days this season. They are all kinds of salty about it at California Golden Blogs.
Whatever. We’ve played 3 games in the Rose Bowl in the past 10 years, and Cal has played none in the past 45 years. We're 5-0 against Cal, with a total score of 155 - 28. Why not add another rivalry where an inferior opponent takes it way more seriously than we do, even though we haven’t played each other in years?
The more important thing to focus on is the Matt-Barkley-esque-media-hype-train redux named Jared Goff and the 2015 Golden Bears. Being academically elite and all, Cal fans have come up with clever puns like the "Goffense" led of course by the Based Goff (but for real, don’t mess with Lil B) and using a system known as the "Bear Raid." Corny as it may be, that offense is no joke.
The defense, however, should definitely be joked in their general direction. Their 2014 pass defense might be the worst to ever step on a football field. Cal allowed 4,406 yards and 42 touchdowns through the air, both of which are the worst of all time. They also gave up 70 MORE passing yards per game (367.2) , than the second-to-last, which is mind boggling. So here are a few clever defensive nickname puns, from a graduate of merely a top-10 public university (we need Mack to lobby U.S. News & World Report):
In theory, this pits strength against strength (Cal O/Vance’s D) and weakness against weakness (Cal D/Pre-Heard Offense). But that was before Charlie went ahead and unleashed the Freshmen. Fielding what looked like an international soccer equivalent U-19 squad, the Longhorns are a bit more of a wildcard. Sure the geniuses can count cards à la the 2008 blockbuster film "21," but they've never played Texas Hold 'Em against Charlie with a deck full of WILDCARDS!
Because "We’re Texas," you probably heard that we made a few changes in Bellmont. Sometimes Athletic Directors leave, and no one outside of the team or maybe a rival blogosphere even notices. But this was a full-scale Lead Story. Everyone was talking about it, so we grabbed a few tweets from the certainly Not Fake Twittersphere® to take the pulse of the nation after the recent announcement of Steve Patterson’s firing resignation. The saga seems to have been rabidly followed by 14-17 people, including a slice of pizza:
Never the emotional one, Steve seems to have bounced back via high-end retail therapy. #TeamRocketBlastingOffAgain
An outpouring of support flowed forth on Patterson’s behalf from an eclectic group of individuals.
Ahmad Brooks chimed in to relieve fans’ fears that this would lead to a shakeup at LHN.
John Canzano had his moment.
Though there seemed to be another Nostradamus.
The hard-hitting journalists came out of the woodwork.
In the end, Steve landed softly enough.
All the while Mack Brown appears to be doing some maneuvering of his own.
Better Know A Roster
For being a school full of nerds and international students, there is a tremendous amount of name talent here. As far as expectations go, they have never been exceed further in Pregamer history. Nary a stereotypical "Moonflower" either. This is serious, Division 1 talent. Look simply at the editorial cuts (your Jaylinn Hawkins, Matt Rockett, Michael Trani, Maximo Espitia, Bug Rivera, Quentin Tartabull, and Harry Adolphus-es of the world). They also have a guy who goes by "Honey Mustard!"
- Malik McMorris (HB, Fr.) and Malik Psalms (CB, Fr.) - While no one can be as awesome as Longhorn Malik, this is a solid pair of freshmen. The first (a 300 LB RUNNING BACK?!?) takes a solid double alliteration and adds the always pleasing "Irish Triple." The latter may be my favorite of the bunch, because it sounds like a Christian rapper that I would’ve been REALLY into during my really intense youth group days. Like KJ-52, big.
- Luke Rubenzer (S, So.) - A total scrooge who detests the thought of eating a Reuben. Our story begins with him "Bah, Hamburger"-ing around, singing the praises of ground and grilled beef over salt-cured. After meeting the ghosts of sandwich past/present/and future, he changes his name to to Luke Katz and opens a deli that never closes.
- Jeffrey Coprich (RB, Jr.) and A.J. Greathouse (S, So.) - at some point the 1% just got really literal.
- Fabiano Hale (RB, So.) - I love this name. Can't put my finger on it, but I've said it aloud 25 times and it gets better each time.
- Khari Vanderbilt (S, Jr.) - You're gonna sit there, owning a fireworks stand, and tell me this doesn’t sound like a female adult film actress?
- Evan Rambo (S, Fr.) - Yes this team features Hardy Nickerson's actual son, but I like to imagine a world in which John Rambo's son overcame the crippling anxiety of never knowing if your father would return home from his renegade suicide mission, and the developmentally stunting series of grunts and platitudes that he used to communicate whenever he was. The fact that Evan overcame the odds to get into Cal...I'd watch that movie.
- Ashtyn Davis (CB, Fr.) - No doubt rushed Berkeley Tri Delt.
- Dylan Klumph (P, So.) - What NUTTY family dinners he must have. Hercu-lees!
- Bradley Northnagel (LS, Jr.) - I originally read this as "Northangel" and had all kinds of John Snow/angel/wearetheNorth tie-ins ready to go. Bradley Northnagel just sounds like the name Bryant "Big Country" Reeves used to check into hotels on the road so people wouldn't pick on him.
- Hunter Abel (DT, Fr.) - Only the Most Dangerous Game will declare itself HunterAble.
- Puka Lopa (DE, Sr.) - This sounds like a product line Kenny Chesney would've taken to market in the early 2000s. "Howdy y'all. I'm country megastar Kenny Chesney, lifelong fan of Puka shells. I live by a code of no shoes, no shirt, no talent, no problem. But one thing I've always got with me is my Puka Lopa."
- Henry Bazakas (OL, Fr.) - He could not possibly look more like a lineman who introduces himself as "Bazakas. Kinda like Bazookas, but with them different letters there in the middle."
- Russell Ude (DT, Fr.) - I simply love that on a state sheet this shows up as "R. Ude."
(Davante Wilson (DE, JR) becomes the 9th Presidential last name of this young season)
VY Pump Fake: People say Californians are ruining Austin. I say if they open up a Cheese Board on the drag, let ‘em come. Texas wins after Daje deals our visitors a return TD or two.
Kyle Carpenter: I’m not entirely sure why Patterson sent me on the scouting trip to Dubai last week (#UAEvenKnowIt) if he knew he was resigning. Especially since potential replacement, #AnyoneButMack had already gathered intel. The game was on at around 5 am. 9 time zones away. 9 - 5 - 1 AD = 3. There it is. Texas by a Nick Rose field goal. 34-31.
TejasChaos: I've lived in SoCal for almost 5 years now. You'd think the Trojans, or UCLA would be the most annoying fanbase - but no - its always that one Cal fan who wants to pull out a spreadsheet about the 2004 Rose Bowl snub. Over. And over. And over. She's just not that into you Cal. That said - I think the hippie bears are going to drop more than a dimebag on a very young Texas secondary, and I don't think we are ready to do the same. Cal covers the spread and I never hear the end of it.
Instead of blowing our nest egg on the rights to political satirist Donald Trump's hair (for the obvious photoshop onto President Fenves for a "you're fired" gif), we've compiled some memes and fire-able Cal offences (not offenses).