Well, the road trip that has been preying on my mind all week is half over. And Cal is assured of a split, which is enough to contain my anxieties for the time being. They have a history of starting well in the conference only to fade into lameness, so I remain somewhat pessimistic. But at least they won a game they were expected to win at a place, Pullman, where it has always seemed hard for all but the best teams to prevail. And Washington won a thriller over Stanford, which means that they won't be quite as angry going into Saturday's contest with the Bears. I think Cal matches up poorly with the Huskies, so I'm not getting my hopes up. Still, it's hard to completely squash the sense that this could be a special year for them, like 1996-1997, when Randy Duck, the noble Al Grigsby and my future-hall-of-famer former student Tony Gonzalez -- for the NFL, not basketball -- made it to the Sweet Sixteen and then played North Carolina tough, despite having lost their leading scorer and only star Ed Gray for the season on their last road game of the conference slate, which was played -- you guessed it -- in Pullman. I know that few of you share my interest in the Bears, but musing on their chances is a way for me to not ponder how annoying I find Urban Meyer's smirk and Tim Tebow's 3:16, not to mention Florida's indefensible decision to call a timeout with twenty-two seconds left. Were I not a hater of the Stoops brothers, I would be seething.