The California Golden Bears needed to restock and did so in a crucial way with impact Power 5 transfers.
My view is that our biggest problem last year wasn't a lack of talent, but a lack of effective coaching. Our line wasn't stocked with Alex Mack's, but as others have pointed out, didn't block and execute properly. And Musgrave simply didn't get the best from anyone, especially our tight ends and line. So the portal has surely helped, and hurt, our Bears. What matters more to me is that Coach Spavital and Bloesch get the best from what they got, which I'm trusting they will. That alone gives us a decent offense to go with a continually league leading defense.
Sent to Jim Knowlton, our AD.
"“The one school the Pac-12 could have added anytime the last 40 years that would have created value is BYU. But generation after generation of league presidents made it clear they wanted nothing to do with a church-owned university that’s not a research institution, just like they’ve thumbed their nose at Boise State. Now they‘re down to the likes of San Diego State and SMU, which would help keep their roster at 12 but will not move the needle in terms of interest from media partners.”
Not mentioned, but I'm sure one reason that adding BYU would have been beneficial, without other factors precluding it, in being asked into the conference, is that it would have been the second longest cross state game, vs. Utah, in the Pac 12, after Cal -- Stanford, if they were invited into the conference. Being a somewhat famous cross state game, it would have generated lots of eyeball across the country if the game was carried on TV
The biggest take away for me is that the various services see our portal class as a winner. Noice! GO BEARS!
If the Cal offensive line stays healthy, and blocks as well for the running game as it did last season, then the new, more nimble passing game may help us win 2 o3 more games this year. The defense will have to be better since the offense is predicated on quicker possessions. Let's hope for the best.
I think a better question is not simply is there more or less talent, but will the change in talent be a better fit for our new offense? Or will the change in talent address/mask some of our flaws? Adding game-ready OL is a clear victory. I don't think SJV can make the finesse throws like Plummer, but his legs will add another dimension to take pressure off the beleaguered OL. Sure we lost JMike, but we have a full rotation of WRs who will be able to get the ball in space. I'll be surprised if we're not a full TD better (~30ppg) in 2023.
J Michael Sellout has drop issues. Much rather than Hightower, Dortch, and Davis combo over J Mike
More talented. Hopefully the reloading at major positions on the offense will help Cal break out of the offensive doldrums. Depth at RB helps to mitigate the loss of a couple of backs unavoidably to injury at some point. The troubled O-Line has been bolstered.
It can’t be much worse than it was last year and if it, well it might be time to fire Wilcox despite the buyout.
I think we are more talented overall, and we have fully engaged new coaches who will bring this talent to bear. The offense will be better too. Pass me the Kool aide thermos. What about Luke Bottari? Is he considered an NIL transfer?
It’s really too tough to say. They have entirely new everything, and how they come together is anyone’s guess. They don’t have a single easy game on the schedule.
Wish the schedule wasn’t as challenging…they could realistically go 3-0 or 0-3 in non-Con, as none of those games are gimmes.
Thanks for reviewing the current status of ex-Bears. Really miss having Hayes as a backup.
Does the W4C team have access to receiver metrics (or track stats)? My hypotheses:
a) Terry & Latu would sort rank #1 & #2 for drops per pass attempt.
b) Terry & Latu would sort rank in top 4 for not being open per pass attempt.
I predict this offense will struggle at least through mid-season. Jackson will be coached up to stay in the pocket, but his instinct will tell him to use his legs to get out of trouble with early injury a real possibility. The trouble part comes with having a portal transfer who played center last year playing at left guard and a guy still penciled in at starting right tackle who played matador in the pass rush much of last season. (See reason why Jack Plummer left). Add in new tight ends, new running backs, and you must give some time to develop necessary unit cohesion. By the time they hopefully get it figured out, a murderers row awaits the team: Oregon State, Utah, USC and Oregon all back to back. So me thinks the team could finish better on offense and still end up 3-9.
Feel bad for the TBD guys like Street and Johnson. Not that it matters much, but there is no spot for them to return I assume if they cannot find a home?