Team preview: California

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(All information as of July 1, 2005)


The question was asked innocently enough. The reporter mentioned that many pundits were picking Cal out of the top three in the Pac-10 this season. Fourth-year coach Jeff Tedford paused for a second before answering.

"I really don't care about that," Tedford said. "I mean, why would I? I don't read any of that stuff. It doesn't matter what anyone else thinks anyway.

"I mean, is the question whether we'll be competitive?"

After talking in a monotone, relaxed voice for nearly 15 minutes, Tedford's voice rose as he repeated the question before the reporter could answer.

"Will we compete? There is no doubt that we'll be a competitive football team this fall," Tedford said. "It doesn't matter where we were as a team this spring or even going into August. We might not have the experience we did last year, but I assure you, this team will compete."

There it is. In barely 150 words, that's why Tedford has enjoyed unequaled success over his first three seasons at Cal. From the day he was hired and inherited a 1-10 football team to coming within a touchdown of possibly playing for the national championship in 2004, Tedford honestly doesn't care about how his team is supposed to perform.