Thursday, August 2, 2012

Pac-12 Preview: California

No team has done less with more the last ten years than Jeff Tedford's California Golden Bears.  I would even argue that they lead the Pac-12 in the "Losing games to far inferior teams" category, ahead of even USC.  The teams have immense talent and athletic ability, the 2006-07 squads had the ability to win a national championship.  The 2006 team won 10 games, the 2007 team, the more talented of the two, went 7-6, losing six of their last seven games. 

The wins have decreased with the quarterback play.  After Aaron Rodgers left in 2004, Cal fans have suffered the indignity of watching hacks like Jeff Ayoob, lazy supertalented fratboys like Nate Longshore, short, gutty but lacking perennial backups that are forced to start for seasons on end because everyone else sucks like Kevin Reilly, and statues with no football IQ like Brock Mansion.  The current quarterback is Zack Maynard, he's a great athlete, has a decent arm, but was plagued last season by inconsistent play and an inaccurate arm.  Although he greatly improved as the season went on, I wonder how he will handle the pressure of close games against top opponents.

Iso Sofele is a solid back, but not a between the tackles runner.  They have some legit depth at running back, with some pounders that can hammer the ball up the gut. Keenan Allen is a stud at receiver, he had over 90 catches last year with erratic quarterback play.  Last year he had some other playmakers at wide receiver to draw coverage over, I don't know that the thin receiving corps will help him much this year.

The defense lost two stud linebackers but they always have talent at all positions.  It's just a matter of them playing hard consistently.  I have felt like their defense has improved the last couple years, they run an exotic, variable front, blitz happy system which can cause offenses headaches when its working but it gives up a lot of big plays when tackles aren't made.

I think this will be another 7-8 win squad this year.  Although Tedford is on the hot seat, and rightfully so given the results lately.  I believe that the program bottomed out in 2010 and are on their way back up.  But Cal has disappointed before, many times.

Sept. 1 Nevada: Win
8 Southern Utah: Win
15 @Ohio State: Loss
22 @USC: Loss
29 Arizona State: Win
Oct. 6 UCLA: Win
13 @Washington State: Win
20 Stanford:Win
27 @Utah: Loss
Nov. 2 Washington: Loss
10 Oregon: Loss
17 @Oregon State: Win

Record: 7-5

No comments:

Post a Comment