Many of these predictions have been posted over the past week and a half, but it seemed like a good day to collect them all and post them together.
The eternal Cal optimist, our friend Ted Miller picks Cal to win 28-24 because...well, why not?
California 28, Utah 24: You never know which Cal team will show up, but seeing that the Bears are coming off an embarrassing and confounding blowout loss at Washington, why not assume they will again swing wildly and finish strong against a good Utah team?
Scouts Inc. gives Cal an advantage in QB, RB, DL, and LB while giving an advantage to Utah in WR, OL, special teams, DBs, and coaching. They ultimately pick Utah to win 23-17.
Since it's a game day (and I'll be in San Diego all day anyway), the GN will take tomorrow off, but return Thursday with recaps and analysis of the Poinsettia Bowl.
After the jump I have practice notes, articles on Ludwig and Holley, an update on Rulon Davis, a special holiday video from Cal basketball (more caroling!), Joanne Boyle's 100th win, and more.
- JO has some bad news: Syd may not play on Wednesday. His ankle has kept him out of practice, including yesterday's final practice. Josh Hill is still out with injury and Marc Anthony will start in his place. If Cal is missing Syd and JHill, we'll be pretty short on cornerback for this week.
- He's been talking about this article for days, and JO finally posted his Ludwig article. Obviously, Ludwig wishes the team could be a little more consistent, but he's very happy at Cal. Tedford is so comfortable with Ludwig's management of the offense that he doesn't even call plays anymore. Tedford used to call a few plays per game, but now he only makes occasional suggestions.
- Ted Miller previews the Poinsettia Bowl with both a video blog and normal post. He thinks Cal has a great chance to win. If the passing game is in Cal's favor--on both offense and defense--Miller expects Cal to win and return to the national rankings to end the season.
- JO recaps today's events.
- Brian Holley was carried off the field by the running backs after Friday's practice, part of the year-end custom. After working his way up the depth chart since 2005, it was well deserved. Also, here's a funny tidbit:
It probably helps that Holley has other interests. He wants to become an anesthesiologist after pursuing a pro football career, which led to at least one amusing doctor-patient moment when he broke his fibula during spring practice in 2008.
He was studying pain-relief medicine in a class at the time. So as one doctor explained to Holley his options for pain medication, he jokingly requested etorphine. The doctor recoiled, unaware Holley knew it was a lethal drug - infinitely stronger than morphine and commonly used as an elephant tranquilizer.
- In place of injured RB Matt Asiata, Utah's Darrell Mack has performed admirably.
- Former Cal DE Rulon Davis was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars. He will be part of their practice team.
- Boykin, PC , Smith, and MSF perform "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for all the fans of their musical talents.
- Women's basketball defeated Cal State Long Beach 80-71 last night and gave Boyle her 100th win. Freshman Layshia Clarendon led the women with 21 points. After the game Boyle said she was quite pleased with the team's tempo and energy as well as its ability to force turnovers.