Cal Football Season Predictions: Bears to Win 7 or 8 games

Opponent Win Probability
Nevada 82.73% (+2.14)
Southern Utah 98.02% (+1.48)
@ Ohio State 38.90% (+2.52)
@ USC 22.86% (-0.86)
Arizona State 75.04% (+3.84)
UCLA 73.63% (+2.38)
@ Washington State 68.87% (+1.71)
Stanford 58.59% (+2.84)
@ Utah 56.80% (+1.48)
Washington 64.32% (+3.40)
Oregon 34.65% (+0.10)
@ Oregon State 63.02% (+3.16)
Total: 7.37 wins (+.24)

It never fails. Every year as August rolls around, we start pumping the sunshine. 7-6 last year? Soul-crushing offseason filled with treachery and injuries? Picked 4th in the Pac-12 North? Can't stop us from pumping the sunshine!

Thanks to all of you who participated in our latest round of season predictions. Today we get to enjoy the results of your efforts.

On the right are the probabilities that we will win each game (and the difference between our summer predictions and spring predictions). We're clear favorites in 4 games, solid favorites in 3 more, and slightly favored in 2 more. That's 9 potential wins for us to give away. We are only underdogs in three games this season--I like those odds.

Of course, in traditional Cal fashion, we probably won't win all 9 games we're favored to win. So which game or two will ruin our potential midseason winning streak? Utah? Washington? STANFORD?!

Unless we go 9-3 this season, we're due for a couple disappointing losses. I can handle a post-Big Game, pre-UW showdown loss to Utah. Otherwise, it will be hard to stomach any upsets this year.

More results and musings after the jump.

Previous fall practice stories: 8/16 | 8/15 | 8/14 | 8/13 | 8/10 & 8/11 | 8/9 | 8/8 | 8/7 | 8/6 | 8/5 | 8/4

Football previews: Camp Preview | Strongest Unit | Win Big, Win, Lose, Lose Big | Biggest Weakness | Coming Home | Top Dog | Scheme & Personnel | Biggest Game After Big Game

Team roundtables: Nevada | Southern Utah | Ohio State | USC | ASU | UCLA | WSU | Big Game | Utah | Washington | Oregon | Oregon State | Arizona

Let's take a closer look at the results from each game. Do you have any memories from Evans Hall that you haven't suppressed? I'm guessing not, so let's do a quick stats review. Unless you're an Ohio State fan who drunkenly stumbled over here, you know what an average is. The median is the midpoint, so half our predictions are above that value and half are below. Finally, the standard deviation tells us how much variation there is our predictions. A large standard deviation would tell us there was a wide range of responses while a small one would tell us we all mostly agreed with our predictions. That wasn't so bad, was it? Each of you gets an honorary A in Stats 2.

Opponent Avg. Probability Median Standard Deviation
Nevada 82.73% 85.00% 10.14
Southern Utah 98.02% 99.00% 4.47
@ Ohio State 38.90% 40.00% 15.80
@ USC 22.86% 20.00% 15.32
Arizona State 75.04% 75.00% 10.30
UCLA 73.63% 75.00% 10.06
@ Washington State 68.87% 70.00% 12.20
Stanford 58.59% 55.00% 17.40
@ Utah 56.80% 55.00% 14.82
Washington 64.31% 65.00% 16.07
Oregon 34.65% 35.00% 15.74
@ Oregon State 63.02% 65.00% 15.69
Total: 7.37 wins 7.30 1.08

The standard deviations usually provide some interesting interpretations. With the smallest standard deviation, the Southern Utah game is the one where we enjoy the most consensus. At the opposite end of the spectrum is the Big Game, which has the largest SD. Of course, this is mostly due to those among us who refused to put anything but 100% as the probability that we will win. Tedford bless all of you.

I've plotted the same results from the table above in the chart below. The X-axis is the probability that we'll win and the Y-axis shows the percentage of responses that chose that probability. As you might expect, Southern Utah is clearly the highest probability win. After the Thunderbirds are Nevada, ASU, UCLA, UW, Stanford, then finally those quackers we love to hate from Oregon.


Okay, fess up. Which of you only gave us a 55% chance of beating Southern Utah?

Next up we have the away games.


Well, most of these sit more towards the middle and left side of the chart, so we're not as optimistic about our road games. Y'all expect WSU to be the likeliest road win followed by Oregon State, Utah, Ohio State, and USC. We're going to have to win 2 of these in order to have a successful season (likely 7-5 or 8-4). 3 would be great, 4 would be fantastic, and 5 may send us to the Rose Bowl.

Now let's move onto a fun little experiment: simulating the season.

Simulating the Season

From the results above, it looks like we're most likely to go 7-5 or 8-4. But which one is more likely? To answer that question, I simulated the season one million times using everyone's predictions for each game. In the chart below you will find the final record and the chance that we will finish with that record.

Record Probability
12-0 0.13%
11-1 1.38%
10-2 6.24%
9-3 15.58%
8-4 24.12%
7-5 24.56%
6-6 17.00%
5-7 7.90%
4-8 2.51%
3-9 0.51%
2-10 0.06%
1-11 0.004%
0-12 0.0001%

7-5 barely beats 8-4 as the most likely record. Want to supercharge those sunshine pumps? Check out this stat: we have a 46.2% chance of winning 8 or more games. PUMP PUMP PUMP!

You Old Blues can take comfort in the fact that we have roughly a 98.5% chance of not going to the Rose Bowl. What a relief!

Now let's start looking at individual ballots, starting with CGB's own collection of writers and mods.

Fearless Leaders

What did your beloved leaders' predictions look like? Below are our predictions from sunshine pumpiest to Oldest and Bluest.

Nevada S. Utah @tOSU @USC ASU UCLA @WSU Furd @Utah UW UO @OSU Total Wins
solarise 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 1.00 12
Cugel 0.95 0.9999 0.62 0.40 0.90 0.85 0.67 0.67 0.58 0.75 0.55 0.75 8.69
unclesam22 0.85 1.00 0.40 0.33 0.75 0.80 0.85 0.70 0.70 0.66 0.33 0.60 7.97
atomsareenough 0.90 1.00 0.42 0.20 0.80 0.70 0.60 0.70 0.60 0.70 0.40 0.60 7.62
Kodiak 0.70 1.00 0.35 0.30 0.80 0.70 0.60 0.70 0.60 0.70 0.40 0.60 7.45
Berkelium97 0.85 0.999 0.45 0.15 0.75 0.70 0.65 0.65 0.50 0.60 0.35 0.75 7.40
TwistNHook 0.85 0.99 0.35 0.25 0.75 0.75 0.75 0.55 0.50 0.75 0.25 0.50 7.24
HydroTech 0.75 0.99 0.50 0.25 0.65 0.75 0.60 0.60 0.50 0.65 0.25 0.60 7.09
Ohio Bear 0.75 0.99 0.33 0.20 0.75 0.65 0.65 0.50 0.50 0.60 0.33 0.60 6.85
LeonPowe 0.75 0.99 0.30 0.25 0.65 0.65 0.60 0.55 0.50 0.70 0.30 0.55 6.69

If you take out solarise's ballot (why would we ever want to do that, though?) our results are very close to the average CGB results.

While looking at charts and numbers offers unending fun, let's hand out some award to those who participated.


Editor's Choice Awards:

NONE. Apparently you all had fun, but not too much fun with the ballots. As a result, we're missing our usual collection of hilarious, trolltacular, and downright bizarre ballots. I hope you're saving your creativity for next week's Nevada report cards.

Now let us move onto our usual triumvirate of awards. First is Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers, which recognizes those who had the most optimistic of predictions.

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers:

Tedford's Sunshine Pumpers Total Wins
1. solarise 12.00
2. jiggets 12.00
2. c98 10.94
4. CruzinBears 9.93
5. alpha1906 9.79
6. fatoski 9.74
7. floridabear 9.40
8. texashaterforlife 9.26
9. Old Bear 71 9.05
10. FiatSlug 8.82


The rest of you sunshine pumpers tended to cluster around 9-10 wins. Those results are perfectly acceptable this season.


Old Blues:

Old Blues Total Wins
1. giobear 2.95
2. Boset 4.56
3. DonthavesbnationID 5.60
4. Tarzanabear 5.74
5. sacalum 5.75
6. Slb 6.00
7. dancruz 6.03
8. Old Blue 1975 6.04
9. bigcallfan 6.05
10. ivinshe 6.10

Next up we have the Old Blues, who are mostly optimistic enough to predict bowl eligibility.

Predicting just under 3 wins, giobear is our Oldest and Bluest respondent.

Six wins would make for a pretty miserable season. May you all be proven wrong in the most spectacular manner possible.

Finally we have The Voice of Reason, which goes to those whose predictions were closest to the community average.

The Voice of Reason:

The Voice of Reason Deviation
1. atomsareenough 0.044
2. ghostof37 0.046
3. Ozone 0.049
4. kencraw 0.051
5. Ohio Bear 0.054

Excellent work, comrades. atomsareenough and Ohio Bear sandwich our most reasonable readers. Let it never be said that CGB mods are out of touch with reality.

Want to know something scary? Twist was the 13th most reasonable voter. The horror, the horror!

Thanks again to everyone for participating! We hope you continue the proud tradition when we continue our post-game report cards following the Nevada game.

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