Cal Preps For UCLA Tilt With Seven-Hour Bus Ride

During the current recession, one of the main areas hit hardest have been lavish expenditures by large organizations - particularly, oh, athletic departments at major universities. They’ve been inured, however, to their current standards of luxury; familiarity and routine will do that. So cutbacks that you or I might take for granted, instead come as shocks to the system of a typical football coach.

Short Bus
(It could be worse; they could be using UCLA’s ride instead.)

Luckily, Jeff Tedford is a reasonable man.* He knows that no state’s hurting worse than California, and the budget shortfalls are hitting the state schools especially hard. And so off his Golden Bears will go this weekend, traveling down to Los Angeles for a game against UCLA, just like every other year. Except this time, it’ll be in a bus… and they’ll be lucky to get there in seven hours. Hope your iPods are charged!


In an attempt to do their part to help the university with its budget shortcomings, the Bears have agreed to take buses to Southern California for Saturday’s game at UCLA. Cal usually travels on a charter plane for its road trips.

The bus ride actually will allow the team to spend more time together than the one-hour flight down south. Tedford said the Bears might even hold some position meetings during their travels.

“It kind of reminds you of the high school days with the long bus trips,” Cal quarterback Kevin Riley said.

Yes, and the whole point of going to a major college football program is that you never have to do that high school thing with the long bus rides on the bench seats that would never be allowed in cars on account of the horrific safety concerns. You should not be wistfully nostalgic for those days. They’re awful.

Of course, we’re assuming the Bears will be riding in somewhat nicer buses than the Big Yellows that high schools use; any time a major college program only has to go under a couple hundred miles, they pack into nice buses and nobody really complains. Still, there gets to be a point where a trip gets to be too long for bus travel, and seven hours is most certainly too long.

Further, because big ideas always seem better the less you think about the details, the plan isn’t even saving as much money as they originally planned:

But the Bears won’t be saving as much money for the university as originally intended because the team has decided to leave Thursday rather than Friday, meaning an extra night in a hotel for the travel party. The team made the decision after it was announced last week that Saturday’s game will begin at 12:30 p.m.

“We are going Thursday night so we don’t run into a deal of busing down there late Friday, having a late walk-through and then having a 12:30 game,” Tedford said. “We will for sure have gotten over the bus ride. I don’t think the bus ride will be an issue.”

Okay. So Cal-Berkeley wants to do its part and save itself some money… but not at the expense of maybe not playing as well in a football game, damn it! Nice priorities, fellas. Top-notch.

*This is probably why Cal chokes every year that they’re supposed to contend with USC, by the way. Reason is weakness among college coaches.