A Press Democrat Blog

Cohn Zohn

Lowell Cohn's pertinent and impertinent take on sports

The scandal at Cal, and why Stanford is better

Here is a link to my Sunday column about the academic-sports scandal at Cal Berkeley. The full text appears below. Stanford is better than Cal. Stanford may not be a better university than Cal — then again it may be better. But when it comes to dealing with its football and basketball players, when it comes to fulfilling its mission to develop student-athletes, Stanford makes Cal look like some rinky-dink community college from the desert somewhere. This is another way… Read More »

Cal defeats Portland State

Here is the opening to my Sunday column about Cal’s 37-30 victory over Portland State: BERKELEY — Three things you noticed about Cal from its 37-30 victory over Portland State on Saturday. FIRST NOTICEABLE THING: Quarterback Jared Goff is very good. He’s not good because just he’s a freshman playing quarterback. He’s good because he’s a very good quarterback playing quarterback. Oh, you could quibble if you were a quibbler. He overthrows receivers on deep patterns. Well, he sometimes overthrows… Read More »

Cal Bears’ football season to open

Here is the opening to my Friday column previewing the season of the Cal Bears: Cal’s new football coach Sonny Dykes and his young players are clear about one thing. This isn’t a rebuilding season — or whatever they call seasons like this one in college sports. The Golden Bears, who went a humbling 3-9 last season, are ready to play with the good teams, and they will prove it Saturday night starting at 7:30 against No. 22 Northwestern. We’ll… Read More »

Sonny Dykes’ “Sonnyisms”

Here is the opening to my Tuesday column about Cal football coach Sonny Dykes: SAN FRANCISCO On Monday, they held the Bay Area College Football Media Day in San Francisco. Sonny Dykes was there. He’s the new coach at Cal. In the Cal handout introducing Dykes you could read, “The Sonny Dykes Era begins in 2013.” As you well know, there are eras and then there are eras. Cal hopes the Sonny Dykes Era is a good era as opposed… Read More »

Mike Montgomery’s big mistake

Here is the opening to my column about Mike Montgomery shoving Allan Crabbe: Mike Montgomery, University of California men’s basketball coach, shoved Allan Crabbe, his star player, during a timeout Sunday night in a game against University of Southern California. You can see the shove, a two-handed, hard push to Crabbe’s chest, online. It is the kind of shove that can start a fight. The Montgomery shove is all over the Internet. You see Montgomery, his face showing anger at… Read More »

Jeff Tedford question

Sandy Barbour said one of the reasons she fired Jeff Tedford is his low graduation rate of football players. Really? If Cal had won the Pac-12 North do you think she would have cared about the graduation rate? It’s debatable.

Alas, poor Jeff Tedford

I am late posting my Tuesday column to the Cohn Zohn blog — I fell asleep early last night before it went up on the Santa Rosa Press Democrat website. It’s about Cal’s head football coach, Jeff Tedford and it’s not complimentary and I feel bad about that. I like Jeff Tedford and I respect him in so many ways. I just don’t think he’s been a very good coach lately and that needs to change. To read my column… Read More »

Cal needs to win Big Game

Here is my column on Saturday’s Big Game which will be played at Stanford at the late hour of 7:15 pm, too late for many newspapers to cover it comfortably. I attended Monday’s Big Game media luncheon in San Francisco, spoke to Cal coach Jeff Tedford and Stanford’s coach David Shaw and Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, and came away with the firm conclusion that Cal sure could benefit by winning this game. To read my column please click here.

Cal stinks out the joint

Cal stunk out the joint against USC at AT&T Park Thursday night. Well, that’s not exactly true. The Cal defense played OK, but the offense is among the wretched of the Earth. I initially thought quarterback Zach Maynard was good. I don’t think that anymore. He threw three picks. Ugh! Also, there were lots of dropped balls and some fumbles and bad snaps. This team was not ready for prime time or any time. To read my column on the… Read More »

Zach Maynard shines

It’s been a while since Cal had a good quarterback or even a serviceable quarterback. On Saturday night Zach Maynard made his Bears debut in the season opener against Fresno State. On the basis of one look — this one game — he is bringing quarterbacking at Cal to a whole new level. He is smart and fast and just plain fun to watch. He also led the Bears to a win. I wrote my Sunday column about Maynard and… Read More »