Bear Revival, Maryland Mess
My apologies to Cal fans.
My brother-in-law, Mike Hosterman, a proud Old Blue and Pleasanton's pre-eminent legal mind, gently chided me for not mentioning Cal’s upset win over Washington in my Pac-12 roundup yesterday.
And PR man extraordinaire Bob Rose—who has rendered his considerable talents to Stanford, Cal, the Giants and A’s—suggested that I include the Bears’ attendance woes in my “empty seats” item.
Both comments were completely valid. My bad. Despite the heavy preponderance of Stanford alums among our subscribers, we don’t want to get too Stanford-centric here at The Inside Track.
Cal’s 12-10 win over Washington was huge. The Bears have switched from quarterback Brandon McIlwain, who had 11 turnovers in three games, to Chase Garbers, who has eliminated the mistakes and led them to impressive victories over Oregon State and Washington.
The Huskies, deflated by a loss to Oregon that banished them from playoff consideration and damaged their Pac-12 title hopes, phoned it in against Cal. Coach Chris Petersen, for some inexplicable reason, opted to replace QB Jake Browning for a couple of series to try “to get a spark.”
But inexperienced Jake Haener, who hails from my new adopted hometown of Danville, and whose mother Julie is a news anchor on KTVU, threw a pick-six to Cal LB Evan Weaver that decided the game.
The Bears (5-3) now need to find one upset win in upcoming games against WSU, USC, Stanford or Colorado to get bowl eligible.
Per Bob’s suggestion, we should also mention that Cal experienced the same attendance issues that plagued Stanford and USC. The Bears drew an announced crowd of 39,000, which included lots of fans disguised as empty seats. Disappointing.
CFP rankings: I got the top 5 right in my prediction yesterday. Also was very pleased to see Washington State at No. 8. The Pac-12 is not dead!
Maryland Misfires: If you read the reports about what was happening in the football program at Maryland, it's inconceivable that any responsible Board of Regents member would vote to reinstate D.J. Durkin as head football coach. Yet after a four-month study, the Maryland Regents have opted to keep Durkin, a distressing turn of events that shocked the college football world and many of his players.
Those players should walk out. Their lives may be at stake.
Back when he was a defensive assistant at Stanford under Jim Harbaugh, Durkin majored in verbal abuse and profane language. The toxic culture he created at Maryland—exemplified by the obscene, bullying tactics of an out-of-control strength coach named Rick Court—resulted in the death of one of his players, Jordan McNair, earlier this year.
Durkin is no Nick Saban. His record at Maryland going into this season was 10-15. But even if he was 25-0, he should've been sent packing.
Shame on Maryland.