Now that Brendan Bigelow has played his first college football game, he has something else to get excited about.
Bigelow literally jumped out of his seat earlier this week when asked about Saturday's game at Washington. The freshman running back orally committed to Washington before changing his mind and signing with Cal.
"It's a huge game," he said, walking in a little circle before sitting back down. "I'm excited. I know they probably hate me."
When asked if he expected to get booed, Bigelow said: "Oh, yeah. I'm pretty sure."
Bigelow said Washington was his only scholarship offer at the point when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in a playoff game during his junior season at Central East High in Fresno. Uncertain of his future, he made his oral commitment to Washington coach Steve Sarkisian.
"I didn't think I was going to get any offers because I tore my ACL the first time," Bigelow said. "I didn't know how bad it was. I thought it was my only option, I might as well just take it."
But a visit to Cal's Junior Day, a recruiting event, got Bigelow thinking otherwise. He said he really didn't understand his oral commitment wasn't binding until Cal coach Jeff Tedford told him it wasn't. High school athletes aren't bound to a school until they sign a national letter of intent.
Despite tearing his ACL a second time during senior-year training camp, Bigelow eventually had offers from the entire Pac-10 and others. He took trips to Cal, Tennessee, Washington and Oregon before finally picking the Bears.
"Everybody has to do what's best for you and your family, and Brendan felt like that was better for him," Sarkisian said.
"I don't know anything about it, to tell you the truth," he said. "I haven't paid attention to it. Someone just told me briefly about it yesterday. Really, that's nowhere on my radar screen. If, or when, this happens, then we'll take a look at it at that point. That's just a hypothetical thing as far as I'm concerned."
Texas and Oklahoma were considering applying for membership to the Pac-12. If they did apply, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State were expected to join them. On Tuesday, Pac-12 officials said the conference would not be expanding further.
"It's an issue that we have to correct," Tedford said. "We can't let those things go just because we won the game. We need to improve on it."
On the other hand, Cal leads the conference in opponent penalty yards per game (85.7).