There is one pretty good teaching tool at Cal coach Jeff Tedford's disposal this week — the tape of Appalachian State's historic 34-32 upset over Michigan in 2007.
If any of Cal's players thinks an FCS team (formerly Division I-AA) can't beat a FBS team (formerly Division I-A), the sight of the Mountaineers celebrating in front of 110,000 fans at the Big House should have an impact.
The Bears face a potential letdown Saturday when they host Eastern Washington, the 18th-ranked team in the FCS. Cal moved up to No. 10 in the FBS national polls Tuesday and is coming off an impressive 52-13 rout of Maryland in its season opener.
"We definitely talk about it," Tedford said. "Our preparation has to be a lot about us and not so much who we play. We respect all of our opponents, so this is mainly about us. I think we're mature enough, and we've been down this road before and there's enough examples out there of, when you're not ready to play, what can happen."
Cal will be an overwhelming favorite to easily dispatch the Eagles at Memorial Stadium. One thing Eastern Washington has going for it is it's played in some big venues before. The Eagles played on the road at Texas and Colorado last year and lost only 31-24 to the Buffaloes. Over the past four seasons, the Eagles also have played games at West Virginia, Oregon State and BYU.
"I'm confident that our veterans aren't necessarily going to be in awe by the situation, which is
Cal's players seemed to have gotten the message. Several of them said Tuesday they wouldn't take the Eagles lightly.
"They're not crummy players," left tackle Mike Tepper said. "In no way, shape or form does Cal look at them like they are not a good team."