FanIQ College Football Top 25: No. 24 California Golden Bears

Can Cal Bounce Back In 2008? Only The Tree-Sitters Know

8/4/08 in NCAAF   |   Todd   |   respect

Team Slogan (I’m guessing here): “Oski Wow-Wow! Whiskey Wee-Wee! Olee! Muckie-eye! Olee! Berkeley-eye! California! Wow!!”

What was learned in 2007
The number two spot in the polls was not kind to several teams around the country in 2007, and another casualty of that spot was Cal. After California pulled victory from the jaws of defeat at Oregon in late September, the Bears went just 2-6 the rest of the way (including the narrow victory over Air Force in the lowly Armed Forces Bowl). One thing I’ve learned about Coach Jeff Tedford over the years is that he despises mistakes.  I like that in a coach, but I’m kind of surprised the latter half of the 2007 season didn’t kill him. The amazing thing is, all that talent on the field couldn’t translate into a possible dream season. The frustration of the season was so prevalent, the fans couldn’t get their game back on track either:

Expectations in 2008

College Football, Cal Bears Football, Jeff Tedford, Editorial

As Coach Tedford recently stated in his blog Tedford Talk, he says:

“We are in great shape at quarterback; we feel very fortunate to have two very quality guys in Nate Longshore and Kevin Riley who have both proven they can win. And Brock Mansion is a freshman who gives us depth as good as anyone's in the country. It will be very competitive throughout camp and we feel very good about the situation, but who will take the first step is still undetermined. One reporter at media day pointed out that only two quarterbacks in the Pac-10 started every game last year, so you can see how valuable depth is at that position. Our staff and players have all analyzed last year over and over, and I know everybody has searched to put their arms around the disappointment of 2007. But it's time to focus on 2008 so this is the last time I'm going to touch on last year's experience; our focus is this year's team. There is no definitive answer for what happened. Football is a team game and everybody that is part of this program, coaches and players, has shouldered responsibility. There are so many variables involved, they can be statistical, mental, emotional or physical, but the fact is, lessons are learned from each one of those factors. We are very excited to use these lessons to move forward and we feel great about our progress, our vision and the new season which is upon us.”

With a brewing quarterback controversy, the overall health of their (previously injured) running back Jahvid Best, lack of receiver experience, and with USC and Oregon outdistancing Cal in recruiting the last few years, it’s uncertain where the Golden Bears will exactly land in 2008.

Big Men On Campus

C Alex Mack – possibly one of the best centers in all of college football will anchor the offensive line.
LB Zack Follett – quarterbacks should fear him (5.5 sacks in ’07). 

Achilles Heel

If there are unresolved offense issues deep into the 2008 season, and if they don’t discover who the playmakers are quickly, California is looking at a 7 or 8 win season.
My take

Cal is not a very deep team offensively (especially at wide receiver and running back). Luckily, they have a good core on the offensive line, with Mack in the middle. Defensively, it’s a mixed bag. Weak defensive line, but the secondary should be there to stop big plays. At this point in the preseason, I don’t think it’s enough to warrant the Golden Bears a spot at #24 in the FanIQ rankings, but the members of FanIQ have spoken, and I could be proved wrong.
Cheerleader Grade: B

 As seen in this video from a basketball rally last winter (it’s all I could find that was recent), the cheer squad dances with “old school” routines. Definitely nothing sensual or exciting here:

Final Prediction for California in 2008
(7-5; 5-4 Pac-10):
Aug. 30 vs. Michigan State (Win)
Sept. 6 at Washington State (Win)
Sept. 13 at Maryland (Loss)
Sept. 27 vs. Colorado State (Win)
Oct. 4 vs. Arizona State (Loss)
Oct. 18 at Arizona (Loss)
Oct. 25 vs. UCLA (Win)
Nov. 1 vs. Oregon (Loss)
Nov. 8 at Southern California (Loss)
Nov. 15 at Oregon State (Win)
Nov. 22 vs. Stanford (Win)
Dec. 6 vs. Washington (Win)
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11/6/09   |   dayjulie   |   20 respect

Of course CAL will bounce back, and they are - back that is.

8/5/08   |   Todd

RichmondSpider wrote:
Don't we go through this every season - Cal gets ranked, usually higher than this, they hang around then take a nosedive the last half of the season?  Maybe picking them as low as 24 to start with will make the slide downward less noticable.

For sure!

I don't see how they should be ranked (even in our dreamworld) either.  Lots of questions on both sides of the football.

8/5/08   |   RichmondSpider

Don't we go through this every season - Cal gets ranked, usually higher than this, they hang around then take a nosedive the last half of the season?  Maybe picking them as low as 24 to start with will make the slide downward less noticable.

8/4/08   |   Beat_LA415

What a joke of a Top 25.  And I'm a Cal fan but #24?  No No No No ......