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Things are looking up for Cal football...maybe?

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Posted: 06/11/2014 8:39 PM

Things are looking up for Cal football...maybe? Post Rating (2 votes)


"This waiting for Cal's first football game is killing us!"


Below is ESPN's recent 2014 Preseason Football Power Index Ratings

(http://espn.go.com/college-foo...r-index-ratings) for the Pac 12 teams in relation to 127 other D1 BCS teams. I feel this ranking is pretty good at this juncture of time.



The good news is that Cal is rated #63 overall teamwise! But, hold on before you scream for joy, the bad news is that all of Cal's opponents, except for Colorado, are rated much higher. ESPN breaks down its overall team rating even further by rating the offense, defense, and special teams. These latter ratings were used to come up with the overall rating. Sure there may be some over-ratings, like 'zona and UDub's offensive ratings, but still, these clerical-coaching guesses are close to how I feel things will generally shake out this coming season.

Team                          Offense Ranking            Defense Ranking         Special Teams Ranking

2. Oregon                                1                                 10                                       25
5. UCLA                                        6                                  12                                      16
8. Stanfurd                            16                                    8                                        4
13. USC                                12                                  17                                      12
27. Washington                     21                                   41                                     59
28. Oregon State                  14                                    53                                     41
31. BYU                                32                                    36                                     34 
32. Arizona                           36                                    28                                     87
49. Wash. State                   47                                    45                                     77
52. Northwestern                 61                                    43                                     35
63. California                      45                                    74                                     99 *
66. Colorado                       74                                     50                                   111


* Tommerdahl = Alamar Sr. ?????


It doesn't look too good for Cal.


These ratings seem to break down Cal's opponents into three distinct power groups. Group 1 is composed of Whoregon, ucla, 'furds, and u$C. Group 2 is UDub, Oregon State, BYU, and Arizona. And, then there's Group 3 consisting of Wazzu, The UnionBusters, and  Colorado with Cal included in this group. Note Sac St. isn't included because hopefully this game is the only one that we Cal fans can ink in as a "W" in  the W-L column (I hope I didn't piss off the Woofing Gods?).

I don't think Cal has a chance against the Group 1 teams or the Group 2 teams if Cal's rankings turn out to be fairly accurate. Wow, if true, there's 8 "L's" for Cal already. Cal appears to have a chance for wins against Colorado, Northwestern and maybe Wazzu. So, if all goes well for Cal (hee, hee, Heee), Cal could potentially win 4 games next season, including the inked "W" game.

But wait, what if the sunshinepumpers are right in that Cal is much better than these projected rankings? That is, Coach Dykes' offense comes to the fore like LA Tech, and the new DC is all that he is cracked up to be. I don't think its too unreasonable that Cal's #45 offense could be ranked a little higher than it is. Surely, Cal could be as good as #44 Kentucky, or #43 University of Central Florida, or even #42 Nevada? The real key to a better-then-predicted season for Cal is obviously a greatly improved defense. Cal ain't #74 (not with a new DC, the plethora of incoming JUCOs, injury returns, etc.) , especially if Cal starts the season by beating NU! Such a win could mean Cal's defense is at least as good as #50 Colorado, #45 Wazzu, and of course #43 Northwestern itself. Maybe (can I dream here for a moment) Cal's defense could even be as good as #42 Utah and #41 UDub. If so, Cal could threaten Group 2 for possible upset victories! Two wins from this group would put Cal into a post-season snack bowl! OMG! Cal would be back on track with the Tedford era!


I have to stop now because I'm shaking all over.......

Blueblood of lod

Last edited 06/14/2014 1:03 AM by Bluebloodthescorned

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Posted: 06/12/2014 4:17 PM

Re: Things are looking up for Cal football...maybe? Post Rating (1 vote)


I doubt they could be looking down after last year.
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Posted: 06/12/2014 10:39 PM

Re: Things are looking up for Cal football...maybe? Post Rating (2 votes)



ZULUasKONO wrote: I doubt they could be looking down after last year.



"I admire your optimism..."

Blueblood of lod

Last edited 06/14/2014 12:58 AM by Bluebloodthescorned

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  • BluesandGold2
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Posted: 06/14/2014 8:05 AM

Re: Things are looking up for Cal football...maybe? 


As an avowed sunshine pumper (who speculated prior to last season that the Bears might only win one game), I think I have to tell you that you need to temper your optimism.  Offensively two things need to happen for the Bears to be close to that #45: the line needs to improve, and the Bears need to find a running back that can consistently pick-up 4.5 yards (I'm not sold on Lasco even though the Spring reviews were positive).

On defense, the Bears might be better than #74, but even if they rise all the way up to #50 they will be underdogs when matched with nine of their opponents. 

As for special teams, I would be very happy to have a kicker who can consistently hit the kick-offs to inside the 8 yard line a returner who can take a knee in the end-zone to get Cal out to the 25.  After that, everything for me is gravy.

In my estimation, Cal is thin on both lines.  A couple of injuries to these players and three wins would be an achievement.  As for Cal being back on track with the Tedford era, do you think that guy is available?  Tampa can't be all that nice....  tongue
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Posted: 06/14/2014 10:06 AM

Re: Things are looking up for Cal football...maybe? Post Rating (1 vote)



BluesandGold2 wrote: As an avowed sunshine pumper (who speculated prior to last season that the Bears might only win one game), I think I have to tell you that you need to temper your optimism.  Offensively two things need to happen for the Bears to be close to that #45: the line needs to improve, and the Bears need to find a running back that can consistently pick-up 4.5 yards (I'm not sold on Lasco even though the Spring reviews were positive).

On defense, the Bears might be better than #74, but even if they rise all the way up to #50 they will be underdogs when matched with nine of their opponents. 

As for special teams, I would be very happy to have a kicker who can consistently hit the kick-offs to inside the 8 yard line a returner who can take a knee in the end-zone to get Cal out to the 25.  After that, everything for me is gravy.

In my estimation, Cal is thin on both lines.  A couple of injuries to these players and three wins would be an achievement.  As for Cal being back on track with the Tedford era, do you think that guy is available?  Tampa can't be all that nice....  tongue


I respect your upbeat pessimism.biggrin


"So, you think things may still be looking

down for Cal football?"


If so, assuming that we agree about the outcome of the Sac St. game, Cal will probably

have anywhere from another 1-11 season to maybe a 3-9 season. Couple this outcome with

last year's 1-11 season, does it make sense to keep Dykes for another year? If Cal does (and

the AD probably will), she will have another season to scope out another headcoach and

avoid another contract buy out.


That is, it really won't matter what Dykes' third season will be like because I just don't think it will

be in the magical 9-3 to 12-0 range which would cause one to think about keeping Sonny

around for awhile longer. If there still is any doubt about retaining Sonny longer, we fans ought to pay

real close attention to the margins of loss in those games that Cal will certainly lose. Blow

out losses should cause the AD to hand Sonny some train tickets (to Reno?...like Tedford) as soon

as this season ends. 


The irony of it all is that poor seasonal performances by Cal's football team might not necessarily

mean that Sonny was bad coach or that Cal's players had little talent. Instead, it just might mean

Cal's air raid offense won't support championship level play, especially in the Pac-12. It's just too

simplistic. I mean, as it stands now there's not a team on Cal's schedule that doesn't know what

the basis of Cal's game plan will be....Surprise! Goff is going to throw a short range pass or he just

might occasionally attempt to hand off to Lasco on a delayed hand off up the middle! Where's

Tedford's playbook when you need it? 

Blueblood of lod

Last edited 06/16/2014 11:07 PM by Bluebloodthescorned

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  • BluesandGold2
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Posted: 06/17/2014 7:13 AM

Re: Things are looking up for Cal football...maybe? 



Bluebloodthescorned wrote:
BluesandGold2 wrote: As an avowed sunshine pumper (who speculated prior to last season that the Bears might only win one game), I think I have to tell you that you need to temper your optimism.  Offensively two things need to happen for the Bears to be close to that #45: the line needs to improve, and the Bears need to find a running back that can consistently pick-up 4.5 yards (I'm not sold on Lasco even though the Spring reviews were positive).

On defense, the Bears might be better than #74, but even if they rise all the way up to #50 they will be underdogs when matched with nine of their opponents. 

As for special teams, I would be very happy to have a kicker who can consistently hit the kick-offs to inside the 8 yard line a returner who can take a knee in the end-zone to get Cal out to the 25.  After that, everything for me is gravy.

In my estimation, Cal is thin on both lines.  A couple of injuries to these players and three wins would be an achievement.  As for Cal being back on track with the Tedford era, do you think that guy is available?  Tampa can't be all that nice....  tongue


I respect your upbeat pessimism.biggrin  Being a Cal fan can create ironic personality types.


"So, you think things may still be looking

down for Cal football?"


If so, assuming that we agree about the outcome of the Sac St. game, Cal will probably

have anywhere from another 1-11 season to maybe a 3-9 season.  I would put the upside at 5-7, but the most likely outcome at 3-9.  Couple this outcome with last year's 1-11 season, does it make sense to keep Dykes for another year?  In my opinion, yes.  First, the buyout clauses I'm sure make it inevitable that Sonny gets a third season.  Second, I saw the espn power index from last season that showed five of the top 10 teams came from the Pac-12.  My sense is that there will not be too much drop-off this season.  This implies to me that Cal can improve in all phases of its game and still not win more that 1 or 2 games.  However, if Dykes doesn't get Cal to a bowl game during his third season I think it will be time to pull the plug.  If Cal does (and

the AD probably will), she will have another season to scope out another headcoach and

avoid another contract buy out.  Exactly.


That is, it really won't matter what Dykes' third season will be like because I just don't think it will

be in the magical 9-3 to 12-0 range which would cause one to think about keeping Sonny

around for awhile longer.  Hmm... really?  8-4 wouldn't do it for you?  7-5?  6-6 and a minor bowl victory?  If there still is any doubt about retaining Sonny longer, we fans ought to pay

real close attention to the margins of loss in those games that Cal will certainly lose. Blow

out losses should cause the AD to hand Sonny some train tickets (to Reno?...like Tedford) as soon as this season ends.  I agree, blow-out losses will darken the clouds of a poor season.  However, 7-5 with some blow-out losses I think still gets him a fourth year.


The irony of it all is that poor seasonal performances by Cal's football team might not necessarily

mean that Sonny was bad coach or that Cal's players had little talent. Instead, it just might mean

Cal's air raid offense won't support championship level play, especially in the Pac-12. It's just too

simplistic. I mean, as it stands now there's not a team on Cal's schedule that doesn't know what

the basis of Cal's game plan will be....Surprise! Goff is going to throw a short range pass or he just

might occasionally attempt to hand off to Lasco on a delayed hand off up the middle! Where's

Tedford's playbook when you need it?  Well, the players have now seen the offense for a season, so this season some new wrinkles may be added.  The philosophy is not too different from the 49ers in the 1980s... use the pass to set up the run.  Given the weak O-line play, quick passes are probably the most effective plays... until the defenses crowd the line, and then the hope is that the line can hold up long enough to go long effectively.  On this point I have my doubts.

My hope is that Art Kaufman can work a miracle... and as we know, "only a miracle can save the Bears."
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Posted: 06/17/2014 5:25 PM

Re: Things are looking up for Cal football...maybe? Post Rating (2 votes)


"Ahhh, you still believe Sonny will deliver and serve some pie in the sky!"


I respect your upbeat pessimism.biggrinBeing a Cal fan can create ironic personality types. [I wholeheartedly agree. Thank goodness, I'm still normal!"]tongue

"So, you think things may still be looking

down for Cal football?"


If so, assuming that we agree about the outcome of the Sac St. game, Cal will probably have anywhere from another 1-11 season to maybe a 3-9 season.  I would put the upside at 5-7 [Sure, but there's no way Cal is going to win five games this season. Granted Cal may beat up on Sac St. and outlast Colorado for a win, but not Northwestern with medical hardship returnee RB Vinric Mark and their experienced QB Siemian running their offense, or not Wazzu or 'zona with Leach and Rodrigues as their headcoaches, or not BYU with their wild running fool big guy QB Hill. And, Cal sure as hell won't beat 3 of the other remaining teams on their schedule.], but the most likely outcome at 3-9.[Oh, okay. You had me worried there for a moment.]  Couple this outcome with last year's 1-11 season, does it make sense to keep Dykes for another year?  In my opinion, yes.  First, the buyout clauses I'm sure make it inevitable that Sonny gets a third season.  Second, I saw the espn power index from last season that showed five of the top 10 teams came from the Pac-12.  My sense is that there will not be too much drop-off this season.  [I wholeheartedly agree again. Most pundits/magazines have ranked u$C, ucla, 'furds, UDub, and Whoregon in the top 25.] This implies to me that Cal can improve in all phases of its game and still not win more that 1 or 2 games. [Yes, you're sharper than most as I think most sunshine pumpers miss or otherwise ignore this aspect when projecting Cal going to a BCS bowl.] However, if Dykes doesn't get Cal to a bowl game during his third season I think it will be time to pull the plug.[Hey, you hear that sound like water swirling around like right after a toilet flush?] If Cal does (and the AD probably will), she will have another season to scope out another headcoach and avoid another contract buy out.  Exactly.


That is, it really won't matter what Dykes' third season will be like because I just don't think it will be in the magical 9-3 to 12-0 range which would cause one to think about keeping Sonny around for awhile longer.  Hmm... really?  8-4 wouldn't do it for you?  7-5?  6-6 and a minor bowl victory?[Oh, I realize for most Cal fans such results will cause them to start talking about erecting a statue of Sonny somewhere on campus. For me, such results merely lend credence to the question, "Why did Cal fire Tedford?"] If there still is any doubt about retaining Sonny longer, we fans ought to pay real close attention to the margins of loss in those games that Cal will certainly lose. Blow-out losses should cause the AD to hand Sonny some train tickets (to Reno?...like Tedford) as soon as this season ends.  I agree, blow-out losses will darken the clouds of a poor season.  However, 7-5 with some blow-out losses I think still gets him a fourth year. [Ahh yum yum, the pie tastes good. Seven wins in Cal's 2015 schedule? Really? Although they've been tough lately, maybe Cal can beat San Diego St. and of course poor Grambling...but forget any thought of victory against Texas in Austin. Cal will then have to beat 5 Pac-12 teams...good luck with that no matter how good Goff turns out to be by then. No, I think its a midnight train to Georgia for Sonny. So good god! We're a'talkin' Cal might have a winning season during 2016 or 2017...2018? Hmm...maybe my doctors can keep me healthy a little longer?]


The irony of it all is that poor seasonal performances by Cal's football team might not necessarily mean that Sonny was bad coach or that Cal's players had little talent. Instead, it just might mean Cal's air raid offense won't support championship level play, especially in the Pac-12. It's just too simplistic. I mean, as it stands now there's not a team on Cal's schedule that doesn't know what the basis of Cal's game plan will be....Surprise! Goff is going to throw a short range pass or he just might occasionally attempt to hand off to Lasco on a delayed hand off up the middle! Where's Tedford's playbook when you need it?  Well, the players have now seen the offense for a season, [but...so have the Pac-12 DC's.] so this season some new wrinkles may be added. [Mmmm...more pie!] The philosophy is not too different from the 49ers in the 1980s... use the pass to set up the run. Given the weak O-line play, quick passes are probably the most effective plays [Surprise!]... until the defenses crowd the line, and then the hope is that the line can hold up long enough to go long effectively. [Yummy, some pie leftovers!]  On this point I have my doubts.[So do I....."All aboard for that midnight train!"]

My hope is that Art Kaufman can work a miracle... and as we know, "only a miracle can save the Bears."
Blueblood of lod

Last edited 06/20/2014 11:58 PM by Bluebloodthescorned

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