Ron Agostini

Start to Raiders' season open to second guesses

Reading time, two minutes:

The race is on to Game 1 for the Raiders' JaMarcus Russell and the Blazers' Greg Oden. The finish line is 2008.

NFL insiders say one week of the regular season is equal to one day of preseason camp -- bad news for those who want to see Russell.

Calvin Johnson beats the Raiders. Randy Moss turns back the clock for New England. Daunte Culpepper collects $3.2 million for just standing on the sideline. Not a good opening day for the Silver and Black.

On the flip side: Even in defeat, the Raiders appeared light years better than last year under Art Shell and the bed-and-breakfast guy.

Culpepper, the People's Choice, probably will start for the Raiders. Warning: The last People's Choice was Kerry Collins.

TV honed in on all those stunned Michigan fans last week, including one we knew -- former Johansen High water polo star and Wolverine freshman Ryley Plunkett.

The steam all but swirled from Jeff Tedford's ears last week at Colorado State. Methinks Cal will perform better today against Louisiana Tech.

The Golden Bears owe a "thank you" to linebacker Justin Moye (Central Catholic) and his leaping, game-changing interception.

San Jose State-Stanford today will feature a game-long tribute to the late Bill Walsh, who was tied so closely to both schools.

Overdue: a Stanford win in its remodeled new home. The Cardinal hasn't won on the Farm since October 2005.

Planning another step forward: Stanford sophomore defensive tackle Levirt Griffin (Modesto High), after a career-high four tackles vs. UCLA.

Overheard: The best punishment for Bill Belichick is to make him wear Mike Nolan's suit.

Bill Belichick was fined $500,000. He makes $4.2 million per year. He can still afford those torn sweatshirts.

The 49ers fooled Arizona with their game-winning end-around to Arnaz Battle. The message: Nolan is shedding his reputation for playing safe in short yardage.

Running, tackling, running and tackling: 49ers rookie linebacker Patrick Willis.

Fresno State fans think quarterback Tom Brandstater (Turlock) had his breakout game last week against Texas A&M (260 passing yards and three TDs). Ditto for Pitman product Anthony Harding (two touchdowns).

The Oregon duck is lucky he's been suspended. Timeout, the Fresno State Bulldog mascot, would have pounded him.

The season for UC Davis tight end Brad Bispo (Downey) is over -- broken fibula and tibia.

The Cardinal Newman-Central Catholic mess could have been averted if both sides had done their advance work and communicated.

Roger Federer lost a few matches earlier this year. Tiger Woods misses a putt now and then, too.

If you've seen Washington freshman quarterback Jake Locker, you know the Huskies have a chance today against Ohio State.

Two weeks too late: Asafa Powell and his world-record 9.74 in the 100.

Welcome to The Show: Giants pitcher Erick Threets (Modesto Junior College).

Happy 10th birthday to the Oakdale Cowboy Museum.

Spare a kind thought for the Bills' Kevin Everett.

Russell referred to reporters as "Sir" and "Ma'am," which will surely change after he's introduced to the Black Hole.

Bee sports columnist Ron Agostini can be reached at ragostini@modbee.com or 578-2302.

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