The first "Way too early Top 25"...

2,715 Views | 36 Replies | Last: 6 mo ago by Strykur
71Bear
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From ESPN...

One P12 team - Oregon (#5).

Many more of these lists will be written and posted in the coming days.

jy1988
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Too high, too early.
calbear80
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I am hoping Cal would be in at least some of the top 25 lists for next year considering that we were 8-5 this season and return almost our the entire O (with an upgraded OC) and our defensive coaches who have made average talent look very good for three years in a row.

OTOH, if one looks closely, our 8-5 could have easily been 10-3 (if Garber had not been injured we would have beaten both ASU and OSU) or 4-9 (if the close games we won by 8 points or less had gone the other way).

Go Bears!
71Bear
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calbear80 said:

I am hoping Cal would be in at least some of the top 25 lists for next year considering that we were 8-5 this season and return almost our the entire O (with an upgraded OC) and our defensive coaches who have made average talent look very good for three years in a row.

OTOH, if one looks closely, our 8-5 could have easily been 10-3 (if Garber had not been injured we would have beaten both ASU and OSU) or 4-9 (if the close games we won by 8 points or less had gone the other way).

Go Bears!
As Bill Parcells once said, "You are what your record says you are." 8-5 accurately reflects Cal's performance in the recently concluded season.
TheSouseFamily
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USA Today has us checking in at #23, third highest in the conference.

Oregon at #6. USC at #17. UW at #24.

-

23. California (8-5)

There's a tremendous amount of experience coming back for coach Justin Wilcox, who did an admirable job slowly building the Golden Bears into a Top 25 contender. With few questions at all surrounding the defense, the biggest key may be keeping quarterback Chase Garbers healthy; he went unbeaten as a sophomore in games he started and finished."



https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2020/01/14/lsu-clemson-near-top-college-football-early-top-25-2020/4420836002/
calbear80
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TheSouseFamily said:

USA Today has us checking in at #23, third highest in the conference.

Oregon at #6. USC at #17. UW at #24.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2020/01/14/lsu-clemson-near-top-college-football-early-top-25-2020/4420836002/

#23. I like it.

If you look at our 2020 schedule, we have a very good chance of winning our first three games (all non-conference games and the only tough game is TCU in Berkeley). That means by the end of week 3 we could well be in the top 20 which is a nice way to start the conference play.

Is our 2020 Pac-12 schedule available anywhere?

Go Bears!
Cave Bear
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Oregon is going into next season massively overrated. They have a gigantic challenge in rebuilding their OL after graduating Shane Lemieux, Calvin Throckmorton, Jake Hansen, Dallas Warmack and Brady Aiello. Those 5 started 57 out of a possible 70 OL starts last season and have started a combined 200 games since 2016. Lemieux and Throckmorton each ended their careers riding 52 consecutive start streaks. That's even before considering their loss of 4-year starter, Pac-12 OPOY and future 1st rounder Herbert.

Defensively they should be great again despite losing their best defensive player in Troy Dye but they're going to have to lean on that defense much harder next season while they get their ducks lined up offensively. I imagine the UO braintrust must regret the timing of their scheduled series vs Ohio State. They could really have used a third patsy in the OOC schedule rather than taking on a legit top-5 team, homefield or no. I'm anticipating the release of the Pac-12 schedule next season. It would be a nice break for us if we could host them before November.
calbear80
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Cave Bear, you make some excellent points, but, UO has been recruiting extremly well the last few years and they have many four and five star recruits ready to step in. Maybe tgat is why they are so highly ranked.

Go Bears!
Cave Bear
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calbear80 said:

Cave Bear, you make some excellent points, but, UO has been recruiting extremly well the last few years and they have many four and five star recruits ready to step in. Maybe tgat is why they are so highly ranked.

Go Bears!
Sure. Plus they just won 12 games including the Rose Bowl so of course they're going to be ranked very high next season. Definitely would like to get them early next season. By November they might be a completely different looking offense.
fight4california
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One additional bit from USA Today's list:

Oregon is the favorite to win the Pac-12, though Southern California, California and Washington will play a factor in determining the conference championship. The Golden Bears return most of this year's starting lineup and are an under-the-radar team to watch in the Rose Bowl chase.
GivemTheAxe
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calbear80 said:

I am hoping Cal would be in at least some of the top 25 lists for next year considering that we were 8-5 this season and return almost our the entire O (with an upgraded OC) and our defensive coaches who have made average talent look very good for three years in a row.

OTOH, if one looks closely, our 8-5 could have easily been 10-3 (if Garber had not been injured we would have beaten both ASU and OSU) or 4-9 (if the close games we won by 8 points or less had gone the other way).

Go Bears!

Cal is a good team when there are few injuries and a poor team when there are a number of injuries.
Meaning: Cal is not deep enough to be considered a very good team.

Depth at all key positions is why Stanfurd got to be so good under Harbaugh and remained very good after he left. (IMO Shaw is a good recruiter but not a good game day coach. But Shaw can continue to be successful by being a good recruiter by maintaining depth on the Stanfurd team. )

From what I can see JW is addressing that lack of depth on Defense by continued solid recruiting over the past 3 years.

Only recently is JW getting some success on Offense.

(BTW. IMO Shaw is stumbling because players and recruits are finally figuring out that Shaw is not as good a coach as he is a recruiter)
westcoast101
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2020 should have the highest expectations for this team in a number of years. Looking forward to it.
ducky23
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The athletic (Mandel) has us at #25.

Asu 24, Sc 14, Oregon 8

I think that's probably where most prognosticators will have us. Around 3rd or 4th in conference and somewhere between top 20-30.

My too early guess? We win 9 regular season games, and finish 3rd in conf (behind Oregon and SC). And we play in the first ever game at Allegiant stadium and then later play the first ever bowl game at Allegiant stadium.

I won't mind two trips to Vegas!
westcoast101
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Wilner has us coming in at #21.
WhatABonanza
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From the USA Today article:
Oregon is the favorite to win the Pac-12, though Southern California, California and Washington will play a factor in determining the conference championship. The Golden Bears return most of this year's starting lineup and are an under-the-radar team to watch in the Rose Bowl chase.

The Pac-12 champ won't be playing in the Rose Bowl this coming season - unless that champ is also one of the BCS final four. The rotation has each of the big six bowl games hosting a national semifinal game every three years.

I'm kinda bummed. I think this is Cal's best shot at winning the conference in more than a decade... and they still wouldn't get to play in a Rose Bowl!
NYCGOBEARS
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We're screwed.
Big C
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I bet we will be on a lot of Top 25 lists and somebody, in an attempt to be the first one to notice, will even play their long shot card and have us in the top 15 or so. The blurb will begin something like, "Cal? Yes, you read that correctly... " and go on to cite our number of returnees and the stat about games that Garbers has started and finished.
wifeisafurd
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On paper, with Garbers staying healthy, I could see a 9 win season before a bowl. ASU, Utah, Udub, Oregon, SC and just because it is a rivalry game, Furd, will all be tough games, and TCU could be a tough game (just don't know enough). Somewhere in there is a few losses. Ceiling could be 10 wins. That might be enough for a New Years bowl. I don't see any automatic losses, which is a change from years past.
91Cal
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wifeisafurd said:

I don't see any automatic losses, which is a change from years past.
It is truly amazing what a difference it makes to have a real defense...

Call me Captain Obvious, but our success next year will depend on how well the DL plays and how well the new faces step up behind them in the secondary and linebacking corps.

The combination of returning talent and Musgrave's system shouldn't be worse than this past year...and we were two scores from beating the Ducks in Eugene.

Getting the even year Pac-12 schedule with this group is fantastic: UW, Stanford, Utah UCLA and Oregon at home. Right?

Any clue as to when the Pac-12 schedule will be released?
okaydo
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33:00 mark ------> https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-audible/e/66561538
Uthaithani
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calbear80 said:

I am hoping Cal would be in at least some of the top 25 lists for next year considering that we were 8-5 this season and return almost our the entire O (with an upgraded OC) and our defensive coaches who have made average talent look very good for three years in a row.

OTOH, if one looks closely, our 8-5 could have easily been 10-3 (if Garber had not been injured we would have beaten both ASU and OSU) or 4-9 (if the close games we won by 8 points or less had gone the other way).

Go Bears!
While I'd agree a healthy Garbers probably beats Oregon State, Cal was losing to ASU when Garbers went down. The D was getting shredded and that part wouldn't change if he'd been healthy the whole game.

More likely than not, Cal loses to ASU even with a healthy Garbers.

All this talk about "if Garbers" and there's really only one game he makes a major potential difference. (I heard announcers saying BS about how Cal with a healthy Garbers could have won 10 or more games in the regular season, that's pure idiocy. Cal almost LOST to NTU and Ole Miss, with a healthy Garbers, this was NOT a 10-win team.)

So "healthy Garbers" likely means 8 regular season wins. And who knows about the bowl - maybe Cal goes to a different bowl and loses, so the record stays the same.

Bottom line, if Cal is going to improve on that record it's going to take real improvement, not just the QB not getting hurt. Much more consistent run game, much more efficient offense, better ST, more reliable secondary and improved depth. I believe Cal will improve in those areas (well, not sure about ST).
MrGPAC
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The Cal ASU game was 7-7 when Garbers went down and they were driving into ASU territory when he got hurt. They drove down to the 20 with Modster before throwing an interception.

Cal then took the lead 14-7 after their first posession of the second half. After they got that lead they went a total of:

30 yards on 21 plays over 5 possessions.

To pretend that Garbers injury had no impact on that game is a joke. To pretend that 1 first down the rest of the game after going up 14-7 had nothing to do with the defensive performance is laughable as well.

ASU and Oregon state are likely victories. USC and Utah are both likely losses. Oregon would have been a lot more interesting.

As for bowl game? They likely still would have finished behind Utah and Oregon. USC would have had the better in conference record...so they would have ended up as the fourth place team going to...the Redbox bowl, which they likely would have won to go 10-3.

If they had beaten any additional team in Oregon USC or Utah they would have finished the regular season with 10 wins.

There is zero reason to give them Oregon state without giving them ASU too.
TheSouseFamily
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The only problem with playing the "we beat team X if player Y was healthy" game is that other teams that we beat are playing the same game with their own injured players.
FireFighterBest
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TheSouseFamily - Excellent point, and beautifully articulated!!
oski003
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Uthaithani said:

calbear80 said:

I am hoping Cal would be in at least some of the top 25 lists for next year considering that we were 8-5 this season and return almost our the entire O (with an upgraded OC) and our defensive coaches who have made average talent look very good for three years in a row.

OTOH, if one looks closely, our 8-5 could have easily been 10-3 (if Garber had not been injured we would have beaten both ASU and OSU) or 4-9 (if the close games we won by 8 points or less had gone the other way).

Go Bears!
While I'd agree a healthy Garbers probably beats Oregon State, Cal was losing to ASU when Garbers went down. The D was getting shredded and that part wouldn't change if he'd been healthy the whole game.

More likely than not, Cal loses to ASU even with a healthy Garbers.

All this talk about "if Garbers" and there's really only one game he makes a major potential difference. (I heard announcers saying BS about how Cal with a healthy Garbers could have won 10 or more games in the regular season, that's pure idiocy. Cal almost LOST to NTU and Ole Miss, with a healthy Garbers, this was NOT a 10-win team.)

So "healthy Garbers" likely means 8 regular season wins. And who knows about the bowl - maybe Cal goes to a different bowl and loses, so the record stays the same.

Bottom line, if Cal is going to improve on that record it's going to take real improvement, not just the QB not getting hurt. Much more consistent run game, much more efficient offense, better ST, more reliable secondary and improved depth. I believe Cal will improve in those areas (well, not sure about ST).


Please fact check your anti-Cal crap before you post it. It was 7-7 with Cal driving on ASU's side of the field. Modster through an int in the endzone. Opinions need to be supported by facts. Facts are not changed by opinions.
sycasey
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TheSouseFamily said:

The only problem with playing the "we beat team X if player Y was healthy" game is that other teams that we beat are playing the same game with their own injured players.

That's true, but I think most football analysts would agree the quarterback is by far the most impactful player. So a QB injury means more than most.
TheSouseFamily
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sycasey said:

TheSouseFamily said:

The only problem with playing the "we beat team X if player Y was healthy" game is that other teams that we beat are playing the same game with their own injured players.

That's true, but I think most football analysts would agree the quarterback is by far the most impactful player. So a QB injury means more than most.


I agree with that. QB injuries are, in most cases, the most impactful. So then, does Stanfurd play the "we beat Cal with Costello" game? Does UCLA play the "we beat Cal with a healthy DTR" game. It just goes on and on. I'm certainly not suggesting that injuries aren't relevant to wins and losses,, just that the "would we have won?" exercise is futile.
sycasey
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TheSouseFamily said:

sycasey said:

TheSouseFamily said:

The only problem with playing the "we beat team X if player Y was healthy" game is that other teams that we beat are playing the same game with their own injured players.

That's true, but I think most football analysts would agree the quarterback is by far the most impactful player. So a QB injury means more than most.


I agree with that. QB injuries are, in most cases, the most impactful. So then, does Stanfurd play the "we beat Cal with Costello" game? Does UCLA play the "we beat Cal with a healthy DTR" game. It just goes on and on. I'm certainly not suggesting that injuries aren't relevant to wins and losses,, just that the "would we have won?" exercise is futile.

If you win with a backup QB then it's extra impressive, yeah.

But I don't think the point here is to account for all injuries for all time. The question is: What would Cal's record have been if Garbers had stayed healthy, all else being equal? The conclusion seems to be about 2 more wins, maybe 3 as a stretch.
Strykur
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sycasey said:

TheSouseFamily said:

sycasey said:

TheSouseFamily said:

The only problem with playing the "we beat team X if player Y was healthy" game is that other teams that we beat are playing the same game with their own injured players.

That's true, but I think most football analysts would agree the quarterback is by far the most impactful player. So a QB injury means more than most.


I agree with that. QB injuries are, in most cases, the most impactful. So then, does Stanfurd play the "we beat Cal with Costello" game? Does UCLA play the "we beat Cal with a healthy DTR" game. It just goes on and on. I'm certainly not suggesting that injuries aren't relevant to wins and losses,, just that the "would we have won?" exercise is futile.

If you win with a backup QB then it's extra impressive, yeah.

But I don't think the point here is to account for all injuries for all time. The question is: What would Cal's record have been if Garbers had stayed healthy, all else being equal? The conclusion seems to be about 2 more wins, maybe 3 as a stretch.
Well.

Let's assume we close out Arizona State, fine. Then we're amped as hell going into Eugene and defense plays out of their minds, does the offense do enough with Garbers to close out the deal? Maybe. We beat Oregon State easily, but then Utah is still a tough deal and USC is closer but still hard to say. Best case scenario we're 7-2, maybe win the North, but since the win in Eugene presses Oregon to stay perfect in conference, which THEN pushes them to not blow the Arizona State game, they maybe are in the Playoff and we are looking at a NY6 bowl, perhaps Pasadena, and that's at 10-2. At 9-3 we are probably in Holiday Bowl versus Iowa, so the extra 2 wins are looking nice but a 3rd and this season is radically different.
NYCGOBEARS
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Does any other fan base play "woulda, coulda, shoulda" better than us?
ducky23
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MrGPAC said:



ASU and Oregon state are likely victories. USC and Utah are both likely losses. Oregon would have been a lot more interesting.

As for bowl game? They likely still would have finished behind Utah and Oregon. USC would have had the better in conference record...so they would have ended up as the fourth place team going to...the Redbox bowl, which they likely would have won to go 10-3.

If they had beaten any additional team in Oregon USC or Utah they would have finished the regular season with 10 wins.

.


I don't want to go too far down this rabbit hole of what if's, but in your scenario where the Oregon game is "interesting"....to be clear, if cal had beaten Oregon, osu and asu, they would've won the north. And would've had a really good shot at the rose bowl (win or lose in the title game). That's why these would've should've games are kinda silly.

a7051
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NYCGOBEARS said:

Does any other fan base play "woulda, coulda, shoulda" better than us?
Right now? I'd guess Utah.
Radical Bear
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Oregon seems way to high. They are loosing 4 of their 5 starting O-linemen plus Herbert. I'm sure they will replace them with some talented guys but they are loosing a lot of experience.
sycasey
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Radical Bear said:

Oregon seems way to high. They are loosing 4 of their 5 starting O-linemen plus Herbert. I'm sure they will replace them with some talented guys but they are loosing a lot of experience.
These early polls tend to assume that the top programs will "reload" thanks to their great recruiting. And sometimes they do! But also sometimes they have a down year because the roster doesn't have much experience.
YamhillBear
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sycasey said:

Radical Bear said:

Oregon seems way to high. They are loosing 4 of their 5 starting O-linemen plus Herbert. I'm sure they will replace them with some talented guys but they are loosing a lot of experience.
These early polls tend to assume that the top programs will "reload" thanks to their great recruiting. And sometimes they do! But also sometimes they have a down year because the roster doesn't have much experience.


I think this'll be a big season where we find out if Christobal and his staff have the coaching chops beyond recruiting. I've been relatively impressed with him thus far, but just enough unevenness in their play that could be due to coaching deficiencies. I think we'll learn a lot about them this coming season.
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