The great wait is over, fellow Sunshine Pumpers. The season has finally kicked off!
Today we'll take a look at what various experts think will happen in this weekend's matchup against UC Davis. Unfortunately, no one seems to care about the matchup because Cal is a) unranked and b) playing a team that most people east of the Sierras have never heard of. Thankfully, the always-reliable Ted Miller provides some predictions (and even takes a jab at Stanford!).
California 55, UC Davis 11: I love picking scores. Double-nickels and legs-11! An FCS school doesn't move the needle much on the interest meter.
Stanford 44, Sacramento State 11: See how I did that? I've given Stanford fans something to grouse about. It's for their own good. Now that your team is competitive again, Cardinal adherents, you need to adopt the irrational paranoia that infects all great fan bases. As in: "I can't believe Miller picked us to only score 44 on Sacramento State while he picked Oski-U to score 55 on UC Davis. He's clearly biased towards Cal!"
In addition to score predictions, this year I'll offer attendance predictions. I can use the attendance models I generated this summer to predict each home game's attendance.
This weekend, the models tell us to expect between about 50k and 55k fans. The low numbers are due to the lack of prestige associated with playing Davis. Rumor has it Davis fans are fired up about the game, something the model isn't necessarily picking up. If we treat the Davis game like the UCLA game (California team, intra-institutional rivalry) then we get estimates between 62k and 67k. I'll take the median estimate from the three applicable models and say that this weekend's contest will have a turnout of 64,963.
After the jump TheAggie previews the UC Davis season, the team hosts its first media luncheon, JO interviews Shane Vereen, Tedford makes some final tweaks to the depth chart, and much more.
- TheAggie has a season preview for UC Davis. It has an interesting look at the history of the UC Davis football team and some coverage of a controversial 1939 match between Cal and UC Davis.
- More than just a football coach, Tedford tries to be a great citizen and he also encourages his players to be model citizens. Here's a recent example of Tedford's great citizenship.
- Cal's big goal this weekend (along with the rest of the teams playing FCS teams) is to get an early lead, avoid injuries, and rest its starters early on.
- Last minute depth chart updates: Tedford has given Giorgio Tavecchio field goal and kickoff duties. Tavecchio's consistency helped him win the job. Trajuan Briggs will redshirt this season. Michael Calvin has earned a spot on the two-deep, a pleasant development following several nagging injuries. David Wilkerson has been cleared by the NCAA to play in this weekend's opener against UC Davis. Pendergast was so impressed with Josh Hill during camp that he has moved him up to starting free safety. Hill has demonstrated a strong grasp of Pendergast's schemes and defensive philosophy. Also in the article, Riley mentions that the early morning practice is a big improvement because it gives players more time to relax in the evening.
- Yesterday was this season's first Tuesday media luncheon. The budget cuts have forced the event to take place at the Haas Clubhouse this year. CalBears.com has transcripts of remarks made by Tedford, Riley, and Mohamed.
- JO interviews Shane Vereen on topics such as becoming the no. 1 tailback after Jahvid's departure and potentially entering the NFL draft next spring. JO also talks to Gould and Tedford about redshirting Vereen, Vereen's role when Best was the starter, and what to expect from Vereen this year.
- David Wilkerson has been cleared by the NCAA to play in this weekend's opener against UC Davis.
- CalBears.com interviews junior defender/midfielder Ted Jones before he and the rest of the team head to Indiana to play Jones' father's alma mater.