This SFist was actually kind of excited about the chances of the college football programs around the Bay this season, with the Pac 10 looking wide open. Then Cal got whipped like cream by Tennessee, getting nothing from potential superstar Marshawn Lynch (whom we've been watching closely for years), while Stanford was creamed like butter by Oregon, saddling themselves from the start with a conference loss. So when we were asked to write a weekly college football column, our reason for accepting was rather cynical: "It certainly won't be hard for readers to find tickets on game day."

While we'd love to shift our focus to locals like USF and SFSU, neither can afford a squad of pigskin' tossers any more. And while San Jose State occassionally conjures up a sentimental story, they're also the team Stanford schedules annually for an early-season, confidence-boosting whuppin'. Kinda like Saturday's matchup tomorrow at Spartan stadium -- you'd have to be one depraved longshot gambler to put money on SJ State to score, much less win. But at $17 for a general admission ticket, a fun family outing is a sure bet, and the Spartans' athletics program could certainly use the revenue.

Cal dropped in the polls from ninth place to twenty-second, though in the almost-entirely-arbitrary system that determines national champions, early-season losses are generally surmountable. That is, unless somebody with a strong schedule goes undefeated. But hey, this is Cal we're talking about -- even with a top-25 ranking, $25 general admission seats at Memorial Stadium are now, and will forever be, eminently available. So go catch some rays, but be careful of being electrified by Mr. Lynch as he dismantles the Big 10 punching bag Golden Gophers of Minnesota.

Photo of Cal's Marshawn Lynch by Mike Doeff.