Cal football over/under at 5.5 wins for 2022
There is still plenty of skepticism in Vegas around the ceiling for these Bears.
Vegas win totals have been out for awhile, and it’s safe to say the Pac-12 is getting a very bearish outlook. Only FIVE teams are expected to have winning records!
California Golden Bears: 5.5 wins
Cal is again slated to be in that 6-6 range. It’s safe to say Vegas probably has the a pretty solid feel of the Bears. This is the third time in the last four full seasons that Cal is projected at around this mark (2018: 5.5 wins, 2019: 6 wins, 2021: 5.5 wins).
That being said, there are a LOT of Pac-12 teams that are not projected to be particularly good in 2022, so the roadmap is there for the Bears to return to bowl eligibility.
Other Pac-12 teams
Arizona Wildcats: 2.5 wins
Arizona managed one win last year (quick, don’t look up who they beat), but they managed a solid recruiting class near the top of the Pac-12, stocked up their depth with a host of transfers and got a solid quarterback in former Washington State starter Jayden de Laura. This has to be the year Cal finally beats Arizona in the Pac-12 era, right?
Arizona State Sun Devils: 5.5 wins
Hasn’t been much good news for ASU this offseason, as nearly their entire 2021 offense was lost to the portal. The Sun Devils will need to rely heavily on transfers to keep from falling apart as Herm Edwards and the remaining Sun Devil staff face scrutiny from the NCAA for recruiting violations.
Colorado Buffaloes: 3.5 wins
Colorado was one of the worst offenses in college football last year, and not much done was in the transfer market or in recruiting to really get better on this front. This game in Boulder amounts to a should win for the Bears, but we’ve seen us lose weirder games.
Oregon Ducks: 8.5 wins
In what amounts to a transition year for the Pac-12 North champs with Dan Lanning after Justin Wilcox turned down the job, Oregon is still the slight favorite to get back to Las Vegas. The Ducks will likely have the best player in the conference in Noah Sewell, but the defense is very inexperienced and showed its flaws late last year. And well, Bo Nix is Bo Nix. It’s a vulnerable Ducks team, but still the most talented in the division.
Oregon State Beavers: 5.5 wins
Oregon State is rebuilding on defense, again, with a new defensive coordinator in Trent Bray. If he can upgrade things from an execution perspective, OSU could likely take a huge leap. If not, they’ll likely be searching. Oregon State has plenty of offensive weapons to put together a bowl team, but the other side of the football has been trouble.
Stanford Cardinal: 4.5 wins
Stanford better hope their team stays healthy. After a somewhat passable first-team, things get really dire, really quickly. Transfers and graduations have left the Farm fairly bare at almost every position, with barely a two-deep worth of talent. The Big Game is usually a must-win for a Cal coach, but it’d be pretty sad to lose to this version of Shaw’s boys.
UCLA Bruins: 8.5 wins
This has to be the year Chip Kelly breaks through, particularly now that he’s been extended. UCLA has stacked their team with a host of players that knows the system and can execute it at a fairly high level, and they’ve handled the portal as well as any major team. The defense remains a big question mark though.
USC Trojans: 9.5 wins
Hype is off the chart for Lincoln Riley in SC with the addition of Caleb Williams, Travis Dye, an entire new starting wide receiver corps with Brenden Rice, Mario Williams, Jordan Addison and a host of other immediate injections of four/five-star talent through the portal. This team is still a little thin if the injury bug hits, but it’s hard not to see USC immediately contending for the top of the Pac-12.
Utah Utes: 9 wins
A lot of pundits aren’t favoring the defending Pac-12 champs to repeat, and to be fair Utah lost a lot of graduating skill players and line talent. But Cameron Rising is back, the majority of the best defense in the conference is back, and Kyle Whittingham is still at the peak of his powers. Utah is going to be a contender as long as the latter stays true.
Washington Huskies: 7.5 wins
It’ll be a crucial year for Kalen DeBoer to prove he’s the man for the job in Seattle. His high-flying offensive schemes will be a rapid change of pace for the defensive-minded focus of Jimmy Lake and Chris Petersen at Montlake. But it might be the injection the program needs. UW is still filled with tons of recruiting talent, so it’s an ideal situation.
Washington State Cougars: 5.5 wins
It’s the first full year at the helm for Jake Dickert, and it’s unclear what to expect from the Cougars—their defense did a good job in shutting down Cal last time, and Dickert was the defensive coordinator, so it figures that we might have a very low-scoring contest in Pullman this fall.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish: 8.5 wins
Notre Dame is going to have a new head coach at Marcus Freeman and a new quarterback in likely either Tyler Buchner or Drew Pyne. This is an Irish team not expected to contend for a title, plus they start the season in the meat grinder in Columbus against a likely top-five Ohio State. Regardless of the lower expectations for the Fighting Irish, Cal will be major underdogs in their trip to South Bend.
UNLV Runnin’ Rebels: 4.5 wins
Marcus Arroyo is approaching hot seat territory so you can expect him to come out blazing in Berkeley. With Cal likely looking ahead to South Bend, this is as trappy as they come.