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Thread: Preseason Mags - Athlon

  1. #1

    Preseason Mags - Athlon

    Those who pick up this mag need to abandon all hope. Cal has only one position player (placekicker - first team) on the first two team all conference picks, there are 2 players on the the third team (Robertson and Looney), and among the top 40 signees there are zero Cal players. In the unit rankings Cal is last, tenth, fourth (wrs) and 11th for the rest. There is simply very little talent for this capable coaching staff to work with. Let's face it, Flounder left the cupboard bare.
    Their prediction is for a 3-9 season (2-7 in conference and a last place finish in the North).

  2. #2
    I disagree with Athlon. Except for questions at the O-line, QB and DL depth, we are decent. Enwere and Watson are a good RB tandem. A number of defensive players might well emerge this season. Allensworth and Franklin are pretty good corners. Downs, Davison and Kunaszyk are decent linebackers.

    Edit/Enhancement: There are a dozen+ guys I didn't mention who could emerge as solid players. The cupboard is not bare. I wouldn't say it is exactly "well-stocked", bit it isn't bare. The new staff seems savvy enough to be able to utilize the talent it has.

    This looks like a 5-7 team to me, give or take. If a QB emerges, Greatwood can patch together a decent line and we aren't hit too hard by injuries, we'll be okay. The difference between that and 3-9 is significant. I'm pretty darn sure we will win 4-6 games this year. (Not saying I would be "satisfied" with 4-5 wins, but it is better than 3, which would cast doubt on the new program.)
    Last edited by Big C_Cal; 07-17-2017 at 10:04 AM.

  3. #3
    True Blue Golden Bear NYCGOBEARS's Avatar
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    What did they predict for Colorado last year?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by NYCGOBEARS View Post
    What did they predict for Colorado last year?
    Also, where did they pick Cal in 2002?

    For a Pac-12 team, the cupboard is rarely that bare. I don't expect Cal to win the division, but I expect there's enough here to go bowling if the staff is really as good as I think they are. I certainly won't accept the team taking a step back as some kind of 'take our medicine' period that will be followed by success. If they do worse than last year it probably means I'm wrong in believing in this coaching staff and particularly in Wilcox. I'm eager to find out.

  5. #5
    Not having Allensworth at least third team makes me wonder if they even pay attention.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Cave Bear View Post
    Also, where did they pick Cal in 2002?
    If Cal had the 2002 version of Kyle Boller instead of two totally inexperienced QB's, I would agree with those who say that then Bears should go bowling this year. Unfortunately, Cal does not have 02 KB.........

    IMO, Athlon is a bit too pessimistic; however, why shouldn't they be down on Cal? It has been a while since Cal demonstrated consistent positive performance.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Big C_Cal View Post
    I disagree with Athlon. Except for questions at the O-line, QB and DL depth, we are decent. Enwere and Watson are a good RB tandem. A number of defensive players might well emerge this season. Allensworth and Franklin are pretty good corners. Downs, Davison and Kunasyk are decent linebackers.

    This looks like a 5-7 team to me, give or take. If a QB emerges, Greatwood can patch together a decent line and we aren't hit too hard by injuries, we'll be okay. The difference between that and 3-9 is significant.
    I'll throw this out there.....I think the many lowball pre-season predictions for Cal this year are because of a perception that our program is a mess and that the people in charge of it have no idea what they're doing. That's what's causing pundits to rate us lower than the "sum of our parts" would suggest.

    I just think most writers look at the Pac-12 North and think, "there are 5 programs that are at least trying to do the best they can with what they've got, even if it isn't much (Oregon State)......and then there's Cal. Wait, could you remind me again why they waited until January to fire their previous coach?"

  8. #8
    True Blue Golden Bear moonpod's Avatar
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    it's the outside view and frankly it's fair enough. there simply isn't enough data to say anything other than Cal lost another NFL QB, lost a bunch of OL starters and has a terrible D. the assumption is that the O will take a dumper from losing Webb and that the D is bereft of talent.

    and maybe they are right.

    personally I think that the D has more talent than suspected...course I am talking about the D rising from the very bottom of the college rankings to you know....like mediocre or so. I don't think that's unreasonable given the roster and the track record of the coaches

    the biggest question IMO is can Baldwin keep the O from sliding back majorly. His track record suggests yes. A lot of fear about having to break in a new starter at QB....that's fair enough, but JMO that would have been more of an issue with Dykes. Dykes system places a premium on QB play. Baldwin has traditionally shown flexibility and has catered his "system" to his players/talent. Other major fear centers around the OL. again, fair enough, but do you really think the Baldwin EWU teams that scored at will against UW had a bunch of NFL caliber OL? uh no. but we shall see.

    JMO, I think that it's not crazy to think that if the coaching staff is really as good as some suspect that this team can get into a minor bowl (6 wins). BTW that would still probably mean 4th or 5th in the PAC north.
    3-9 and a 95% graduation rate trump a Rose Bowl

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by moonpod View Post
    it's the outside view and frankly it's fair enough. there simply isn't enough data to say anything other than Cal lost another NFL QB, lost a bunch of OL starters and has a terrible D. the assumption is that the O will take a dumper from losing Webb and that the D is bereft of talent.

    and maybe they are right.

    personally I think that the D has more talent than suspected...course I am talking about the D rising from the very bottom of the college rankings to you know....like mediocre or so. I don't think that's unreasonable given the roster and the track record of the coaches

    the biggest question IMO is can Baldwin keep the O from sliding back majorly. His track record suggests yes. A lot of fear about having to break in a new starter at QB....that's fair enough, but JMO that would have been more of an issue with Dykes. Dykes system places a premium on QB play. Baldwin has traditionally shown flexibility and has catered his "system" to his players/talent. Other major fear centers around the OL. again, fair enough, but do you really think the Baldwin EWU teams that scored at will against UW had a bunch of NFL caliber OL? uh no. but we shall see.

    JMO, I think that it's not crazy to think that if the coaching staff is really as good as some suspect that this team can get into a minor bowl (6 wins). BTW that would still probably mean 4th or 5th in the PAC north.
    +1. These mags exist primarily for the gambler. They cannot afford to speculate in the slightest. They must start with what the team showed last year, minus player losses plus any superstar newcomers. They have no evidence to show that our LBs will be better, for example. We'll have to prove it on the field.

    I think we will, enough for 6 wins.

  10. #10
    True Blue Golden Bear NYCGOBEARS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moonpod View Post
    it's the outside view and frankly it's fair enough. there simply isn't enough data to say anything other than Cal lost another NFL QB, lost a bunch of OL starters and has a terrible D. the assumption is that the O will take a dumper from losing Webb and that the D is bereft of talent.

    and maybe they are right.

    personally I think that the D has more talent than suspected...course I am talking about the D rising from the very bottom of the college rankings to you know....like mediocre or so. I don't think that's unreasonable given the roster and the track record of the coaches

    the biggest question IMO is can Baldwin keep the O from sliding back majorly. His track record suggests yes. A lot of fear about having to break in a new starter at QB....that's fair enough, but JMO that would have been more of an issue with Dykes. Dykes system places a premium on QB play. Baldwin has traditionally shown flexibility and has catered his "system" to his players/talent. Other major fear centers around the OL. again, fair enough, but do you really think the Baldwin EWU teams that scored at will against UW had a bunch of NFL caliber OL? uh no. but we shall see.

    JMO, I think that it's not crazy to think that if the coaching staff is really as good as some suspect that this team can get into a minor bowl (6 wins). BTW that would still probably mean 4th or 5th in the PAC north.
    That's it in a nutshell.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by moonpod View Post
    it's the outside view and frankly it's fair enough. there simply isn't enough data to say anything other than Cal lost another NFL QB, lost a bunch of OL starters and has a terrible D. the assumption is that the O will take a dumper from losing Webb and that the D is bereft of talent.

    and maybe they are right.

    personally I think that the D has more talent than suspected...course I am talking about the D rising from the very bottom of the college rankings to you know....like mediocre or so. I don't think that's unreasonable given the roster and the track record of the coaches

    the biggest question IMO is can Baldwin keep the O from sliding back majorly. His track record suggests yes. A lot of fear about having to break in a new starter at QB....that's fair enough, but JMO that would have been more of an issue with Dykes. Dykes system places a premium on QB play. Baldwin has traditionally shown flexibility and has catered his "system" to his players/talent. Other major fear centers around the OL. again, fair enough, but do you really think the Baldwin EWU teams that scored at will against UW had a bunch of NFL caliber OL? uh no. but we shall see.

    JMO, I think that it's not crazy to think that if the coaching staff is really as good as some suspect that this team can get into a minor bowl (6 wins). BTW that would still probably mean 4th or 5th in the PAC north.
    Re: the EWU v. UW game, Vernon Adams played out of his mind that afternoon. If Baldwin had Adams at QB (and Kupp at WR) for Cal this season, the Bears would easily hit the 6 win mark. Adams was a great player.

  12. #12
    True Blue Golden Bear heartofthebear's Avatar
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    Athlon's predictions are a dressed up version of last season's results with a very questionable analysis of who is trending upward and who is trending downward. Like many mags, including Phil Steele, Athlon assumes that national analysis of talent and recruiting is 100% accurate.

    Cal has a lot more experience returning than given credit for, especially on D. They also have a lot more talent than given credit for. What Athlon will never understand is that DT Mekari was filling in adequately for a 4 star Jalil until he was injured against Oregon in 2015. Saffle, Davison, Downs and Weaver have all shown the ability to be playmakers on D. We have a bevy of serviceable DBs.

    Yes OL depth, DL depth and QB are concerns. But there is enough time for some of those to develop in the positive direction.
    Once again, health will be a key in the conference. No team is so deep at every position that they can afford to lose a key player and expect to compete for a title.

    One indication that the coaching hires were smart decisions would be that we emerge into the season fully healthy on D. That was something Dykes and Co. was never going to accomplish as long as he ran that kind of offense against them in practice.

  13. #13

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by 71Bear View Post
    Re: the EWU v. UW game, Vernon Adams played out of his mind that afternoon. If Baldwin had Adams at QB (and Kupp at WR) for Cal this season, the Bears would easily hit the 6 win mark. Adams was a great player.

    But remember, EWU beat an improved WSU team (that pummeled us and shut down our "O") LAST year without Adams as his QB...

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by heartofthebear View Post

    One indication that the coaching hires were smart decisions would be that we emerge into the season fully healthy on D. That was something Dykes and Co. was never going to accomplish as long as he ran that kind of offense against them in practice.


    Very interesting observation regarding reason why Dykes Defense was never healthy...



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