The college football game is lame, but NFL Network has Packers vs. Bears! Aaron Rodgers vs. Chris Conte! Feel free to discuss along with the picks in the comments!
We have plenty of score predictions this week thanks to our game against a ranked opponent. Not surprisingly, every single one of them is a loss for the Bears.
Cal at Ohio State, 9 a.m. (ABC): The Pac-12 was 3-0 against the Big Ten last week, but was the home team in all three. None was played in front of 105,000 hostile fans. The Bears say this game can be a turning point in their season. Not unless the defense can somehow corral Braxton Miller and the offensive line can block well enough to give Zach Maynard a running game. Ohio State 35, Cal 20.
Kevin: Ohio State 28, Cal 10: The defense, which was supposed to be the strength of this team, hasn't shown up yet. Nevada quarterback Cody Fajardo rushed for 97 yards -- most of it on zone reads the Bears couldn't stop. What's Braxton Miller going to do?
Ted: Ohio State 30, California 17: During the summer, I believed this was prime upset material. Then Cal played twice.
Brian Bennett: No rest this week for Braxton Miller, but he'll enjoy running and passing against Cal's shaky defense. The Golden Bears hang around for a while, but two more picks by an opportunistic Buckeyes defense kills any upset thoughts ... Ohio State 35, Cal 21
Adam Rittenberg: I grew up in Berkeley going to Bears games, and it's sad to say the Cal program is in free fall under coach Jeff Tedford. Ohio State has some initial trouble figuring out the Cal defense, but Miller gets going eventually and accounts for three touchdowns. Cornerback Bradley Roby records his first interception of the season as Ohio State pulls away in the third quarter. ... Ohio State 31, Cal 17
- ESPN's AccuScore simulations have Ohio State winning, on average, 38.7-17.5. The Bears only won 11.3% of the simulated games. Maynard is expected to throw for 169 yards with a TD and an interception. Braxton Miller is expected to pile up 197 yards and 2TDs through the air and 78 yards and a TD on the ground. Apparently the Cal O-line will do well, as tOSU only averaged 1.2 sacks (we averaged 1.9).
- John Breech previews the game and predicts a 34-24 tOSU victory.
- All seven of CBS' writers pick Ohio State to win and cover the spread.
- Both Yahoo/Rivals writers and a majority of their readers pick Ohio State to win.
- With a 17-point spread and the under set at 52.5, Vegas expects Ohio State to win 35-18. A 35-18 loss in a trip east in front of 100k+ spectators...why does that sound familiar? Those with a long history of Cal fandom will recall another familiar 35-18 loss.
Will it be too early to start drinking if things take a turn for the Ohio in the first quarter? More links after the jump.
- After spending plenty of time with his father's cousin Jimmy Jackson (who lives in Philly), DeSean Jackson became involved with the Wounded Warrior Project and recently donated $50,000.
- Keenan Allen's punt return and Sorensen's hail mary were #2 and #1 in ESPN's top-5 plays from week 2 of the college football season.
- Josh Hill and Robert Mullins discuss the impact this game will have on Cal's season and the need to make sure the younger players don't get too distracted by the atmosphere.
- Ted Miller previews the Cal-Ohio State game and the ponders the implications of a Bears win for Cal and the rest of the Pac-12.
- Mel Kiper has Keenan Allen at 16th (and the 2nd WR) in his latest Big Board for the 2013 NFL Draft.
- Allen is 18th (and again the 2nd WR) in Todd McShay's rankings of the top-32 NFL prospects.
- Is this the toughest pair of consecutive road games the Bears have ever faced? Faraudo's research indicates the answer may be "yes."
- Urban Meyer has been displeased with the lack of noise and energy from the home crowds so far.
- Zach and Keenan's mom will be at the Ohio State game. This is the closest to home they've played since joining the Bears.
- Jon Wilner ponders the Bears' slate of upcoming games and takes a look at Tedford's "buyout."
- Faraudo previews the tOSU game.
- Members of the Cal defense talk about preparing for Braxton Miller.
- Here's a depressing statistic: Cal won three out of its four road games against top-25 teams in Tedford's first year and since then they have won just two in the nine seasons since then (Oregon 2007, Stanford 2009).
- The Bears will be in Columbus this weekend for a 7s tournament. Best of all, the matches will be streamed live.