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Thread: Preseason Mags - Athlon

  1. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by heartofthebear View Post
    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.
    Heart, you seem to have a pretty good beat on this team. I do agree that the defense is going to surprise some people. But I keep coming back to the o-line. Let's assume that they stay relatively healthy. Convince me that they can be at least league average (besides just assuming great wood can work some sort of magic).

  2. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by heartofthebear View Post
    Cal has a lot more experience returning than given credit for, especially on D.
    One of the oldest sayings in college football....

    The good news - all your guys are returning. The bad news - all your guys are returning.

  3. #18
    Athlon has absolutely NO insight other than just regurgitating what would be concluded based on last year's record. Even their call out of recruits & returning players is out of date.

    Don't waste your brain cycles on this rag.

  4. #19
    Golden Bear oskirules's Avatar
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    Predicted last in the P12 north but Athlon's Mark Ross also selected Cal as the hardest team to evaluate. How's that for some hope?

  5. #20
    True Blue Golden Bear going4roses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oski003 View Post
    Not having Allensworth at least third team makes me wonder if they even pay attention.
    Too many dropped ints in 2015?

  6. #21
    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.
    I agree with your analysis. But this year I will say that I am agreeing with Athlon. This way when Cal goes 6-6 I will be jumping for joy instead of being disappointed that Cal did not get that 7th win.

  7. #22
    i think the losses to FCS teams in consecutive years by WSU is more a product of Leach not bothering to take those games seriously than anything else. It will be interesting to see how the Cougs do v. Montana in the upcoming season.

  8. #23
    Bear19 - Note that Cal had no recruits in the top 40 incoming this year - so who is going to turn the program around on the field? What hidden star does Cal have that DCs around the league fear? What star on defense will opposing OCs lose sleep over? Please identify those players - and not just Robertson.
    I have faith in Wilcox and his staff, but they can't make Duck ala Orange out of chicken wings.

  9. #24
    We've gone through this every year since the late Tedford years. The preseason mags say Cal will be crappy, fans say the mags are crazy and, in fact, the Bears are crappy thus redeeming the mags forecast.

    Sports fans are always hopeful their team will do well. Otherwise, why bother.

    I am confident that Wilcox will get things turned around. However, he is not a magician. It will take some time. In the meanwhile, this year's edition of Athlon is closer to correct than wrong....

  10. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by CAL6371 View Post
    Bear19 - Note that Cal had no recruits in the top 40 incoming this year - so who is going to turn the program around on the field? What hidden star does Cal have that DCs around the league fear? What star on defense will opposing OCs lose sleep over? Please identify those players - and not just Robertson.
    I have faith in Wilcox and his staff, but they can't make Duck ala Orange out of chicken wings.
    More than the ? at QB, this team will go as far as the O and D-lines take them in '17. It all starts up front and both lines are thin, especially on offense with the departures. If Baldwin can stay creative and the RB's get some yards, the QB position could work itself out to the point where the ultimate starter is serviceable as far as keeping the offense moving. That will be key since the defense has been plagued with being on the field far too long the last 4 years which has only lead to way too many injuries. Hopefully, a few more 3rd down stops and less 15 play drives will be in order for the D.

  11. #26
    True Blue Golden Bear going4roses's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAL6371 View Post
    Bear19 - Note that Cal had no recruits in the top 40 incoming this year - so who is going to turn the program around on the field? What hidden star does Cal have that DCs around the league fear? What star on defense will opposing OCs lose sleep over? Please identify those players - and not just Robertson.
    I have faith in Wilcox and his staff, but they can't make Duck ala Orange out of chicken wings.
    That is one perspective. Hopefully the coaches can prepare the defense where we have the unknown card tucked in our back pocket/ don't have to show too much weeks 1-3.

    Wilcox and staff will prepare whomever we play with.

  12. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by CAL6371 View Post
    Bear19 - Note that Cal had no recruits in the top 40 incoming this year - so who is going to turn the program around on the field? What hidden star does Cal have that DCs around the league fear? What star on defense will opposing OCs lose sleep over? Please identify those players - and not just Robertson.
    I have faith in Wilcox and his staff, but they can't make Duck ala Orange out of chicken wings.
    At the skill positions, the offense still looks loaded. On defense, if we learn (1) the right place to be, and (2) how to properly tackle, our defense will improve immensely. The latter, especially, is a quick fix that can pay dividends immediately.

  13. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by grandmastapoop View Post
    At the skill positions, the offense still looks loaded. On defense, if we learn (1) the right place to be, and (2) how to properly tackle, our defense will improve immensely. The latter, especially, is a quick fix that can pay dividends immediately.
    In re (2), I suspect they all know how. It's do they wanna and are they aggressive enough? You can go through the motions with picture perfect form and get run over.

    If the new coaches are anything like what we think they are, they will see the pretenders in a NY sec and keep substituting until they find guys who get it done. Shouldn't take long.

  14. #29
    Athlon, if I recall correctly, has Cal ranked as the worst Pac 12 team and #75 in the nation. Phil Steele also has the Bears being the weakest in the conference. I don't ever recall seeing Cal rated this poorly in our league or in the nation. If the coaching staff is able to "coach up" the existing personnel and if the team stays healthy (especially the OL), Cal could finish at .500 (6-6). As I have stated previously, 4-8, is a much higher probability, however. GO BEARS!

  15. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by 71Bear View Post
    We've gone through this every year since the late Tedford years. The preseason mags say Cal will be crappy, fans say the mags are crazy and, in fact, the Bears are crappy thus redeeming the mags forecast.

    Sports fans are always hopeful their team will do well. Otherwise, why bother.

    I am confident that Wilcox will get things turned around. However, he is not a magician. It will take some time. In the meanwhile, this year's edition of Athlon is closer to correct than wrong....
    You want to wager a cyber-beverage? You pick 3 wins or less; I'll take 5 wins or more. Bears win 4 and we each drown our sorrows at home, no-host.



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