This is a huge season for Jeff Tedford and his California Golden Bears football program. Last season was the first in 88 years of college football in which they played their home games somewhere other than Memorial Stadium. A year in the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park was necessary to renovate their home.
We’ll see now if they kept cheapskate hill and if the team itself is worth all the millions of dollars they paid to upgrade the facilities.
2011 was: rather mediocre. Their 4-5 in conference, 7-6 overall finish included a bowl loss to Texas. Hats off to the 25th ranked overall defense in the nation! A lot of that was due to Pac 12 Defensive player of the year Mychal Kendricks; whose off to the NFL now. Cal wasn’t really bad in any major area, but they weren’t especially great either. But their D was strong enough to win them some games in a wide open, offensive-minded passing league. Now they need the O to step up and keep up.
2012 will go smoothly if: QB Zach Maynard and his half-brother Keenan Allen hook up early and often. Everyone is high on this duo, but it will only really work if Allen gets some help- from all the freshmen coming in. There’s a highly regarded class of five receivers, and they need at least one to live up to the hype so opposing teams don’t double up on Allen.
2012 will be rough if: They led the league in defense each of the last two years. And they’ll need to break in seven new starters in that unit in order to keep that going. Look for Aaron Tipoti, Chris McCain and Cecil Whiteside are the leading candidates to step up and have a Kendricks like season.
BMOC: Maynard, Allen, the three guys listed above, the CB listed below, and quite possibly Brian Treggs, a five star recruit at receiver
All-name team: DB Marc Anthony “and you sang to me, and you sang to me…I didn’t see it, oh, but I feel it“
Bottom Line: They should be just okay. Maybe better that the .500 they’ve been the past couple years. 7-5 to 6-6 looks likely.
Rankings Athlon- 38 Lindy’s- 50 Phil Steele-35
All the 77s
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
A Fulbright scholar and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; and he’s a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too