Since we're playing our first ranked team of the year, everyone and their uncles have score predictions this week (of course, they're all in favor of Oregon).
- ESPN's Accuscore simulation has Oregon winning, on average, 41-21. The Bears won 12.6% of the simulated games. The Duck defense forces 2 turnovers and notches 3.4 sacks while the Bears' D forces 2 turnovers and registers 4.2 sacks. LaMichael James averages 102 yards and a score while Darron Thomas passes for 221 yards and 2 TDs. Zach Maynard passes for 178 yards with 1TD and 1 interception, while Isi Sofele and C.J. Anderson combine for 99yards and a score. There is one bright spot, though: Yarnway miraculously returns from his season-ending surgery and picks up 10 yards.
- WhatIfSports' simulations have the Ducks winning 35-18. The Bears notched the upset in only 5% of the simulated games. While the Cal defense holds the running game to only 136 yards, Thomas goes Masoli '09 on us and passes for 308 yards. The Cal offense generates 110 rushing yards while Maynard passes for 222.
- CBS's experts unanimously pick Oregon to win (in fact, they were unanimous in 16 of this week's 21 picks)
Phil Steele's simulations have the Ducks winning, on average, 47 to 24. The Bears pass for 215 and run for 132 while the Ducks' balanced attack produces 258 rushing yards and 255 passing yards.
- Ted Miller predicts 44-17 Oregon victory.
- Rivals' Cal and Oregon writers predict Oregon victories of 48-24 and 49-27, respectively.
After the jump the Ducks are favored by 24, LaMichael James will return punts against Cal, and Utah's QB may miss the Cal-Utah game.
- The Ducks are 24-point favorites over the Bears. Would you bet that Cal will cover?
- The Bears stay at 7th in Ted Miller's Pac-12 power rankings.
- The bowl projection also remains the same: a Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The more general ESPN bowl projections have Cal playing Virginia Tech at the Sun Bowl or TCU in Vegas. Those would be some entertaining matchups.
- Cecil Whiteside and Chris McCain have become great friends since meeting in the spring. This has helped build a tremendous amount of trust between the two when they are on the playing field; each trusts the other to do his job. They are expected to continue to see more playing time this week. Against UW, they received the most snaps our of all the OLBs.
- Chip Kelly and some of his players talk about the difficulty in preparing for the complexity of Cal's offense. A far cry from the one-dimensional offense the Ducks saw last season, the Bears incorporate pro-style plays, spread elements, pistol, and even some zone read.
- Having been mostly shut down by the Bears last season, the Oregon offense may face a stiff challenge on Thursday.
As if you were not already concerned enough about special teams: LaMichael James is now returning punts for the Ducks.
- JO reports from Sunday's practice. Dasarte Yarnway is out for the season (again) after undergoing a procedure to repair his MCL and meniscus.
Gorcey has some notes from Monday's practice. The Bears may or may not being using their new white helmets during practice this week. Following Tedford and Pendergast's comments last week, Stefan McClure is more involved with the defensive gameplan.
- Tuesday's practice was completely closed to the media. He did mention that he believes the team is ready to handle the auditory assault from the Autzen audience.
Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn will miss several weeks with a shoulder injury. He will likely miss the matchup against the Bears, barring a seemingly inevitable full-recovery the night before the game.
- JO has another article on the fake injuries, just in case you're dying to read about it again.
- Cal athletes are buying more scooters than ever to go up the hill to go to practice. Giorgio is particularly fond of his Vespa, which he has named "Maria."
- Cal is one of Athlon's three possible surprise teams this season. Athlon picked the Bears to finish second in the conference this season, behind UCLA.
- Jorge Gutierrez and Allen Crabbe are on the watch list for the Wooden Award, which is given annually to the nation's top player.
- After the Bears surprised many with their solid play last season, they're not going to creep up on anyone this year.
Kevin Johnson was inducted into the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.
The new-look women's team led by Coach Gottlieb begins practice this week.
- Coach Ginger Miles updated her blog on the Cal Athletics website. She discussed the conference opener against Stanford and a collection of rule changes which were implemented this season.