Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Pac 10 2010-California Golden Bears
2009 Record: 8-5 (5-4)
Head Coach: Jeff Tedford (9th season, 67-35)
Offensive Coordinator: Andy Ludwig (2nd season)
Defensive Coordinator: Calncy Pendergast (1st season)
2009 Bowl Game: Poinsettia Bowl, lost to Utah 37-27
Offense: One may ask if the real Kevin Riley will please stand up at QB. My assessment is that he has been there all along. He is an average at best QB, who will never be good enough to lead Cal to the next level that they have been seeking for years now. Shane Vereen will be the focus of the offense, and should be as he is the only star left after the departure of Jahvid Best to the NFL. Vereen ran for 193 yards and 3 scores against Stanford last season. Marvin Jones and Jeremy Ross return at WR, but Jones is the only really decent receiver in the group. 4 starters return on the line, which will be good for Vereen.
Defense: The Bears will stay in the 3-4 set with new DC Pendergast, who has NFL experience. DE Cameron Jordan is a potential force. Derrick Hill and Kendrick Payne will rotate at NT. Mike Mohammed returns at LB and is joined as a returning starter by DJ Holt. OLB Chris Martin, a true freshman, is expected to contribute immediately. FS Sean Catthouse is the returning star of the secondary, but that's not saying a bunch. That group was torched by Utah in the bowl game, and basically underachieved last season as a whole.
Special Teams: Girogio Tavecchio and Vince D'Amato will battle for the PK job, but neither kicker is anything special. Bryan Anger is a superb punter who nailed 14 punts of at least 50 yards in 2009. His leg will be a major necessity in 2010.
Wins: 9/4 UC-Davis, 9/11 Colorado, 10/23 Arizona State, 11/6 @ Washington State
Toss Up Games: 9/17 @ Nevada, 9/25 @ Arizona, 10/9 UCLA, 10/30 Oregon State, 11/27 Washington
Losses: 10/16 @ USC, 11/13 Oregon, 11/20 Stanford
I see the losses as being definite, with exception of the Stanford game, as the Cardinal has lost some star player. There is a major upset potential in the Nevada trip. This could go either way, but don't expect the Bears to be have an upper tier finish, as I don't see any potential for the Bears totake all of the toss games.
Outlook: I won't even retend to pretend that the Bears have a shot at winning the conference. People have been brewing that kool-aide for years now, and I am not drinking. I am wondering when people will start to realize that Tedford just may be extrememly overrated as head coach of the Bears. How much talent has to come through the Bay Area for him to finally push the Bears to the top?