Part 1: How badly does Cal need Justin Wilcox to turn the corner? Part 2: Defense Part 3: Offense Part 4: Special Teams Predict the Season: Results Meet the Freshmen Practice Reports: Notebook 1; Notebook 2; Notebook 3; Notebook 4; Notebook 5; Notebook 6
Davis and UNLV will be bellweather games for this team. If we look like we're struggling to dominate or be the clear favorite in either game then we're in for a rough season. This is most applicable to the way the OL and DL will play, if both are struggling then we're in for a long season.
It's listed under the Most Likely Scenario section, but I think even in the Best Case Scenario the wins against Davis and UNLV are no more than two scores. We know Wilcox likes to keep the playbook barely cracked against early teams we're supposed to be at and that leads to closer games than necessary. I imagine he'll be busting it wide open vs. Notre Dame if we keep it close, or against Arizona the next week if we don't. But these next two weeks may be less pleasant than some are hoping for.
So, I'd suggest judging our capabilities by individual effort and defensive coverage rather than hoping for big score differentials.
Sometimes I think back to the Oregon during Brett Johnson's freshman year and remember how he looked like the best lineman on both teams, including current NFL player Kayvon Thibodeaux...
Hope Brett gets well soon and unleashes two years of frustration next season.
Sounds about right, I really like Wilcox as a person and hope he turns the corner as a head coach, but I also like low hanging fruit down the street, Troy Taylor (offensive coordinator or head coach)!
My crystal balls says a 3-3 start for the first half with road losses to Notre Dame, Colorado and Washington State. WSU is going to be good to very good on offense and will probably give fits to the Cal offense as they did last year. Colorado got a lot better after their embarrassing loss to Cal last year and actually won their last two home games. Cal has a 2-4 lifetime record in Boulder.
I think the whole conference is going to be better this year, and I don't think Cal will have improved as much as some of the teams they are playing. I think 5-7 sounds about right, and it will not be easy. Oh, and it looks like Mettauer will be a starter for Oklahoma this year.
You're 'most likely scenario' looks spot on. Finally going to hit that sweet spot between 5-7 an 7-5. I think the successive road games against WSU and Colorado will tell us a lot. Of course if we don't sweep the first two games we'll already know all there is to know about the team.
Let's hope your optimistic assessment turns out.
Agree that 6-6 or 5-7 is the most likely outcome. The loss of Johnson is a blow to the D-line since he was a major disruptor and occupied sometimes two of the opposing teams' O-linemen. Without that piece the defense may slip down a notch and require better effort by the linebackers to avoid a drop-off in performance.
On O I have no idea what will happen and at this point it is all speculation. But history tells us that past performance is no guarantee of future results. In this case the performance has been weak to middlin' in the past which does not inspire a lot of confidence that things will be better. Thanks for the write-up. So while I am looking forward to the season, there is a lot to prove this year.