Depth Chart |
There's no East Coast media bias when it comes to college football,
but there's an ignorance. After all, is anyone outside of the
Pacific time zone able to get Pac 10 games on TV? How many writers
and fans are going to stay up for the late night games after a full
day of other big college football battles?
The fact of the matter is that outside of USC, it's hard for most to
have any clue what the Pac 10 is doing, but there continues to be
this Cal football program that makes a lot of noise and is very
interesting. But no one ever gets to see it play.
There was some national respect a few years ago for being the last team
before Texas to beat USC, and then ESPN cranked things up another
notch by going on and on about how good Aaron Rodgers and the rest
of the Bears were after a loss to the Trojans. Once again, though,
no one actually watched Cal football until the Holiday Bowl loss to
Texas Tech, and by then the SEC, Big Ten parts of the world felt
like they were right all along to not respect the rumor that was the
Heck, J.J. Arrington ran for 2,000 yards and barely got more
than a "hey, that's neat" from the Heisman voters. Last year, Cal
exited the national consciousness with an early loss to UCLA on the
way to a respectable 8-4 record, but 2005 was a mere transition
season to this year when all the parts should come together when the
program finally shows the world how good it is.
Head coach: Jeff Tedford
5th year: 33-17
Off. 25, Def. 25, ST 3
Lettermen Lost: 20
Best Cal Players
1. RB Marshawn Lynch, Jr.
2. DT Brandon Mebane, Sr.
3. CB Daymeion Hughes, Sr.
4. WR DeSean Jackson, Soph.
5. RB Justin Forsett, Jr.
6. LB Desmond Bishop, Sr.
7. LB Worrell Williams, Soph.
8. CB Tim Mixon, Sr.
9. QB Nate Longshore, Soph.
10. TE Craig Stevens, Jr.
at Oregon State
at Washington St
2005 Record: 8-4
2005 predicted wins
at Oregon L 27-20 OT
USC L 35-10
Las Vegas Bowl
BYU W 35-28
few teams with more speed among the starters with an array of talents
that would litter the All-America lists if it played in one of the other
BCS conferences. DT Brandon Mebane, CB Daymeion Hughes and LB Desmond
Bishop will be among the best in the nation at their respective
positions, and RB Marshawn Lynch deserves Heisman consideration from day
The quarterback situation will sort itself out with Nate Longshore ready
to steady the four-man race, Lynch and Justin Forsett combine to form
one of the nation's top tailback duos, and the receivers are among the
fastest in the country.
The defense will be a sack machine with too many good ends for one team,
Mebane an all-star in the middle, and one of the best linebacking corps
in the nation. The slight concerns are on the offensive line and at
safety, but those won't turn out to be any big deal as the season goes
So now it's up to the college football world to pay attention. The
opening day game at Tennessee will be a make-or-break game for national
respect, but even a loss shouldn't mean anyone should dismiss this
potential Pac 10 champion. Head coach Jeff Tedford has assembled a
potential monster going into his fifth season and it'll be one of the
nation's most fun teams week in and week out.
Hopefully, everyone will finally be watching.
The Schedule: The
opener at Tennessee to start the season will be the high-profile
battle everyone will focus on, but the following week's game against
Minnesota should be just as entertaining. The Pac 10 slate starts
off nasty playing Arizona State in what might be an elimination game
in the title race followed up by at Oregon State, Oregon, and at an
improved Washington State. However, if Cal really is as good as
expected, being unbeaten going into the late season road trip to USC
should be a distinct possibility.
Offensive Player: Junior RB Marshawn Lynch. He won't have the same
great line he enjoyed last year, but he should still be a threat to
flirt with the 2,000-yard mark. If he can stay healthy, watch his
draft stock soar with his combination of size, quickness and
Defensive Player: Senior DT Brandon Mebane. The 306-pound senior
is one of the best interior pass rushers in America and will be the
rock of the defensive front seven. He has a chance of taking over
where Oregon's Haloti Ngata left off as the nation's best tackle.
player to a successful season: Sophomore OT Mike Tepper. The line
should be fine, but only two starters return with the loss of C
Marvin Philip and T Ryan O'Callaghan particularly hurting. Tepper is
6-6, 334-pound talent who should make a big splash this season if he
can stay healthy. He needs to be a rock in pass protection to keep
Nate Longshore, or whoever is playing quarterback, healthy.
season will be a success if ... Cal wins the Pac 10 title. It's
time to take that next step up. It might be asking a lot to win the
championship with a game at USC to worry about, but the Bears are
good enough to dream big.
September 2nd. at Tennessee. The Vols might still be reeling from
last year's disaster, but if Cal can go into Knoxville and come up
with a win, that would set the tone for the entire season and might
finally get the rest of the nation to start going out of its way to
watch what should be one of the nation's best teams. A loss to
Tennessee and fans will dismiss the Pac 10 as that conference that
plays past their bedtimes.
The Last Time Cal…
- Fourth quarter scoring: California 115 - Opponents 56
- Penalties: Opponents 82 for 670 yards - California 69 for 620
- Interception return average: California 26.1 yards on 15 picks -
Opponents 3.4 yards on 17 picks
…played in a bowl game…2005 (Las Vegas Bowl vs. BYU)
…missed a bowl game…2002
…pitched a shutout…2005 (Arizona)
…was shutout…1999 (Nebraska)
…scored 50 points…2005 (Washington)
…won a conference title…1975 (Pac 8)
…had a 3,000-yard passer…1996 (Pat Barnes)
…had a 1,000-yard rusher…2005 (Marshawn Lynch)
…had a 1,000-yard receiver…2003 (Geoff McArthur)
…had a first-round draft choice…2005 (QB Aaron Rodgers)