It’s a new year and things have already gotten off to a hot start in the Bay Area sporting world. Jimmy Garoppolo has San Francisco 49ers fans thinking playoffs and Jon Gruden is on his way to the Bay to coach the Oakland Raiders some 20 years after he was first hired.
The San Francisco Giants are trying to retool and bounce back from a 98-loss season and the Oakland A’s are somehow still trying to nail down a location for a new stadium.
Here are the 10 things I’d like to see come to fruition in the new year:
No. 10 — Cal earns an appearance in the Rose Bowl
This is the definition of a longshot as Justin Wilcox will be entering his second season as the head honcho in Berkeley. With Stanford, Washington, and Oregon not going anywhere, the deck is stacked against the Bears. But heck, they haven’t smelled the roses since 1959. To say they’re due is putting it lightly.
No. 9 — CCSF women’s basketball wins a state championship
The Rams’ women’s basketball team is once again loaded under head coach Derek Lau. They’re currently 13-3 and ranked eighth in the state after losing in the Final Four the last two seasons. Would love to see them break through in 2018.
No. 8 — College of San Mateo football takes the next step
My CCSF people won’t be too pleased with this paragraph on their rivals, but the College of San Mateo football program has been knocking on greatness’ door for more than 15 years. Losing the state championship by four points definitely will sting this program, but it’s trending in the right direction.
No. 7 — Stanford goes to the CFP
What Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw have done down at Stanford has been nothing short of remarkable. The football program is legit. However, it’s time for Shaw to take this program to the next level and play for a national title. Stanford is closer than you think. They just have to avoid their twice-yearly stinkers.
No. 6 — Local college hoops tries something new
Locally, nobody seems to give a damn about college hoops. Outside of St. Mary’s, the men’s basketball landscape is dreadful. Hass and Maples Pavillion are lucky to have more than 50 people attend their respective games. So how about we drum up interest with a six-team preseason tournament between Santa Clara, Stanford, Cal, San Jose State, St. Mary’s and USF? Play the tourney at Oracle Arena or Kezar Pavilion if the former is too big a venue.
No. 5 — Warriors find perfection
The defending champions flirted with perfection last postseason and with a team that’s even more stacked, why not complete the deed this postseason? How cool would that be?
No. 4 — San Francisco Giants hit home runs
The Giants have already acquired Evan Longoria and are looking to make a splash by nabbing Andrew McCutchen and Jay Bruce. That’s good for one thing: home runs. The people at AT&T Park want to see more bombs. More bombs will equal more wins which equals a playoff berth. Hopefully.
No. 3 — Oakland A’s lock down a location
Poor A’s fans. I really feel for them. They have to go watch their team play in a dump and after the Peralta Community College District board of trustees crapped on the proposed 35,000-seat stadium, it’s not farfetched to think that the franchise could bolt to another city. Please, let’s see them nail down a stadium location before 2019.
No. 2 — 49ers reclaim the NFC West
Jimmy Garoppolo has 49ers fans thinking a Super Bowl title is inevitable in the next two to three years. Pump the brakes on that. However, they finished the season as one of the hottest teams in the NFL, and with Seattle and Arizona crashing down to earth, who’s to say the 49ers can’t wrestle the NFC West away from the Rams and host their first ever playoff game at Levi’s Stadium?
No. 1 — Raiders make a quick turnaround
Chucky is back. Rich Gannon will possibly be his quarterbacks coach. The Black Hole will be rocking. We need at least one more blackout at the Oakland Coliseum. With only two years left in Oakland, Raiders fans in Northern California has been salivating for a home playoff game for years. This would be more than an event. Greg Papa wouldn’t sleep all week and Raider fans would be absolutely unbearable on social media. However, I’m here for this simply because it would make the year special.
Bonta Hill of 95.7 The Game can be heard from 12-3 on the Greg Papa Show. Born and bred in San Francisco, he is a sports junkie who loves to sit in the lab (home), eats breakfast food for dinner, and has a newfound love for tequila. Follow at your own risk on Twitter @BontaHill.