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Study: no active faults under HPC site

Posted by Eric | May 31, 2007 at 3:42 pm | In Facilities | 1 Comment

According to Cal’s official website, a study has confirmed that there are no active faults on the proposed site for the Student-Athlete High Performance Center:

The new explorations turned up no active fault traces in the planned construction area, confirming the company’s earlier conclusions. Geomatrix’s conclusions were also supported by the seismic consulting firm William Lettis & Associates Inc., which conducted peer reviews of the 2006 and the 2007 studies. …

Professor Gregory L. Fenves, chair of UC Berkeley’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, reviewed both Geomatrix reports and has concluded that the design is in complete compliance with the Alquist-Priolo act. The building will be built with the most modern structural engineering technology to protect UC Berkeley athletes from the ground motion expected during a large magnitude Hayward Fault earthquake, he said.

“Seismologists and engineers know from studies of past earthquakes that the level of ground shaking is approximately the same right next to a fault as it is anywhere else within two miles of the fault,” Fenves said. “Thus, the new student-athlete center is unlikely to experience ground motion higher than any other building on campus or in downtown Berkeley should a major earthquake occur on the Hayward Fault.”

EDIT 2007-06-01: In addition, Professor Fenves has written a very nice article published in the SF Chronicle about the matter. An excerpt:

With top geologists now reaffirming that there are no active faults under the proposed center, the city’s allegation is unfounded from our perspective as earthquake engineers. In fact, the city’s lawsuit, filed last December, has the potential to jeopardize the safety of Cal athletes by delaying and possibly derailing the first step of a critical project to seismically retrofit the 83-year-old Memorial Stadium.

This is a major step forward for the stadium construction project, as it addresses the Alquist-Priolo objections completely. Still, Cal must fight the City of Berkeley’s public access claims and the bogus Save the Oaks tree issue.

However, this finding should contribute greatly to overcoming the preliminary court injunction issued early this year that is preventing the project’s progress towards stadium modernization and safety.

Rivals: Cal in two of “the best games of 2007″

Posted by Eric | May 31, 2007 at 2:54 pm | In Ranks/Predictions | No Comments

Rivals has put together a 2007 season “dream travel package for a college football fan”, and two of Cal’s highlight games make the list:

Week 1: Saturday, Sept. 1
Tennessee at Cal: We expected this game to be a toss-up last year, and Tennessee instead scored the game’s first 35 points on its way to a 35-18 triumph. California should put up much more of a fight at home. Both programs could start the season ranked among the top 15 teams in the nation, which makes this the most attractive game in a relatively lackluster opening weekend.

Week 11: Saturday, Nov. 10
Southern California at Cal: Southern California’s chances of winning a sixth consecutive Pac-10 title and playing for the national championship could depend on whether the Trojans can pull off this road victory. California will need a big performance from Nate Longshore, who completed less than half his passes and threw two interceptions last season in a 23-9 loss to USC.

Not coincidentally, these are the two games I will be attending from out of town this season. Both should be great showdowns… Go Bears.

QB commit Beau Sweeney

Posted by Eric | May 31, 2007 at 2:35 pm | In Recruiting | 2 Comments

Last week, quarterback Beau Sweeney (6′1.5″, 200 lb, 4.65 forty) out of Clovis West High School (Fresno, CA) committed to Cal’s 2008 class. As pointed out by Scout, Sweeney is not only a great athlete but an excellent student (4.0 GPA), and he has an incredible football pedigree with connections to Coach Jeff Tedford:

Sweeney’s uncles played at Alabama, Ohio State (2) and Montana State and Sweeney’s father, Kevin set an NCAA record for career passing yards with 10,623, passing Doug Flutie of Boston College in the process in 1986. Sweeney’s grandfather, Jim was the longtime Fresno State Head Football Coach as well. …

Tedford played quarterback under Jim Sweeney and was teammates with Kevin during Sweeney’s redshirt freshman season

Sweeney picked Cal over offers from other Pac-10 schools and some interest from USC as well. He looked good after participating in the Elite 11 workout and Nike camp per Rivals:

Fresno, California’s Clovis West quarterback Beau Sweeney made a name for himself as he attended both the Elite 11 Workout and the Nike Camp the following day.

Also, here’s a brief from ESPN and longer pieces from the Fresno Bee and the Contra Costa Times about Sweeney’s commitment.

JC WR Tucker commits

Posted by Eric | May 18, 2007 at 3:32 am | In Recruiting | No Comments

Verran Tucker, a wide receiver from El Camino Junior College, is the fourth recruit to commit to Cal’s 2008 recruiting class. Tucker is a fast (4.42), tall (6′2″), and athletic (36″ vertical) receiver who appears to have a lot of upside. A look at the recruiting videos make him out to be a tough receiver willing to hang on to tough throws and take big hits. With 3 years to play 2, we’ll probably be seeing Tucker become a big part of the offense in future seasons.

Athlon: Cal is preseason #11

Posted by Eric | May 18, 2007 at 3:23 am | In DeSean, Ranks/Predictions | No Comments

In Athlon Sports‘ annual pre-season countdown of their take on the top 25 teams, Cal has taken the #11 spot. Describing the Bears’ offense as “electric”, Athlon raves about DeSean Jackson as a Heisman candidate, QB Nate Longshore, the other wideouts, and most of the other positions as well. Take a look.

WLB Shaun Mohler commits

Posted by Steve | May 14, 2007 at 1:03 pm | In Recruiting | 5 Comments

Shaun Mohler verbally committed to Cal yesterday, intending to transfer from Orange Coast City College. The 6′3″ 225 pound weakside linebacker, ranked by Scouts as a 4-star recruit, is an excellent addition to a defense that has lost many core starters. He is a strong athlete, capable of benching 20+ reps of 225 and running a 4.62 forty, and with his prior JC experience he is expected to make an immediate impact.

ESPN GameDay in Berkeley

Posted by Alex | May 13, 2007 at 9:34 pm | In Uncategorized | 10 Comments

HUGE news. ESPN GameDay will reportedly be in Berkeley on 9/1/07 for the Cal-Tennessee game. Scout.com reports that ESPN has chosen Berkeley to host this staple college football show from the Berkeley campus because of the spectacular matchup that this game offers. The probable location on campus will be on Sproul Plaza which will offer pre-game festivities, though it is not actually close to the stadium. I would wager that Maxwell Family Field is also being considered, though there is no report of this at all, since it is right next to the action.

Why is this so big? This offers national exposure for the Bears, and not just for the football team. It gives a chance for the nation to see how much the fans and students support the team and to show great enthusiasm. Also, potential recruits will be able to see how much the community gathers around the team and how lively the campus is. Basically, the show will be broadcasting all day long from Berkeley. Cal fans, be ready to bring your excitement and support to show the nation what Cal football is about.

Marshawn as offensive ROY?

Posted by Alex | May 7, 2007 at 10:31 am | In Marshawn | No Comments

There is a great mention of Marshawn in SI’s Monday Morning QB by Peter King.

7. I think they might as well go ahead and inscribe the Offensive Rookie of the year trophy with Marshawn Lynch’s name. With a run-blocking offensive line coach in Jim McNally, two very high-priced line free agents in the fold (Derrick Dockery, Langston Walker) after being trained in run-blocking in their previous places, and the likelihood that Lynch will get 300 carries if he stays healthy … I mean, unless Calvin Johnson catches 80 balls or some Hofstra receiver comes out of nowhere again, Lynch should win it in a walk.

Look for a great year from Marshawn behind what looks to be a rebuilt OL of the Buffalo Bills.

Cal adds second recruit

Posted by Alex | May 2, 2007 at 3:43 pm | In Recruiting | No Comments

J.P. Hurrell, a linebacker out of San Mateo, CA, verbally committed to Cal today. He is listed at 5′11″/195 lbs and runs a 4.58 40. Although he played linebacker in high school, he is expected to play as a safety in college.

While probably not a big name recruit, it is good to see the Bears get a second recruit on board. It is also significant that Hurrell comes out of the Bay Area, showing that Cal can keep recruits at home. He also had offers from BYU, Washington, and Oregon. Hurrell joins Tyler Rigsbee as Cal’s second recruit of the season.

Tennessee, USC games to be on national TV

Posted by Eric | May 1, 2007 at 12:42 pm | In Games | 3 Comments

ESPN has picked up both the Tennessee and USC home games to be broadcast nationally on ABC’s Saturday Night Football. The Tennessee game will kick off the Saturday Night Football series. So, both are going to be 5pm night games - I can tell you now that the atmosphere is going to be electric.

If the trend continues from last year, the Bears will be coming out of the gates in the yellow jerseys. These seemingly have become the home/night jerseys of important games. Note that the Bears have not lost a game in the yellows, and I’m excited to see the streak continue. Here’s a release from Cal about the broadcasts.

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