Last Saturday's loss to USC was an unpleasant experience for Cal fans. Your CGB Marshawnthusiasts, Jahvidticians, Folletarians, and Hit Squadders have already explored the negatives from that defeat and even asked whether there were any positives to take from it. Today we ask a couple of different questions.
Do you feel more confident about the ASU game? How do you see the rest of our season unfolding now?
Berkelium97: I don't feel confident about any of our games. We have a shot to win any of them (except Oregon), but we have repeatedly proven to be our own biggest opponent. Until we start consistently looking like a disciplined team that can execute its assignments, I will not be confident heading into any of our games. We certainly can turn it around and have a somewhat successful season (7 wins plus a bowl game). Will we? Outlook not so good.
How will the season unfold? I really have no idea. I can see anywhere between 3 and 7 wins. Tedford certainly has his work cut out for him.
atomsareenough: I feel slightly less confident, especially after the way they beat Utah, but I wouldn't be surprised if we win either. Pretty much every game is reset to 50/50 now in my mind, except Oregon and Stanford which are much less than 50/50 because those are good teams. It mostly just depends on which Cal team shows up to play that day, and how are we supposed to predict that?
TwistNHook: I don't feel confident about any game this season. We've generally held our own against ASU, but I feel VERY uneasy about this one.
Ohio Bear: I feel supremely less confident about our chances against ASU. I have a hard time believing we can beat anybody except WSU. And maybe we have a chance at Utah.
Taking a look at the remaining schedule, taking into account the way we've played, and taking into account the way other teams have played, I see a 3-9 or a 4-8 season as a realistic possibility if not probability. There are no teams on our schedule except Utah and Washington State that we can say we should beat, and Utah only because they have major issues on offense due to losing Jordan Wynn. (And those games are roadies, so I don't know how much confidence we can have. Though CU going into Pullman and beating WSU bodes well for our chances against the Cougs.)
The other possible win I see on the schedule is this Saturday vs. ASU. And I hold out some hope there because of (1) Cal's recent dominance of the series with ASU and (2) the fact that I haven't seen ASU play. But as I said above: I feel much less confident about a victory.
As for everyone else remaining on Cal's schedule: they're all better than we are and I'm too despondent to see any chance of that changing.
norcalnick: Like I said in the post-game thread: Cal has been humiliated by USC with great frequency over the last few years, and it hasn't stopped the team from getting to a bowl. Losing on Saturday doesn't change the possibility that this team gets it together against worse teams than USC.
It's also entirely possible that this team falls apart. Nothing would shock me. If there's anything that writing defensive previews has taught me, it's that trying to predict what will happen week to week is a fool's errand and I'm the lead fool.
What this loss will mean is increased cynicism/hopelessness/apathy from the Cal fanbase . . . and I don't blame that attitude in the slightest. USC is still our rival (at least emotionally) and sucking against them means a hell of a lot more than sucking against, say, Oregon State. Jeff Tedford just can't afford to continue having performances like that.
LeonPowe: Carryover to ASU - I echo everyone about the weird mental block about USC and also its lack of effect on the rest of the season. I'm slightly less confident, but I still don't think we have conclusively figured out this team's identity.
Vincent S: Absolutely not confident. ASU looks inspired and confident; we look anything but. I will point out that I believe we were due for a letdown after the emotions of the Ohio State game, and that I really did expect us to be 1-3 after seeing the results of the Nevada game, but that doesn't make me feel any better after two losses.
JahvidKnowsBest (aka "The Intern"): I don't feel confident at all. Even though the Bears have showed bright spots of potential, I really don't see us fairing to well against a much improved pac 12 conference. ASU could go either way. The bears may feel their backs against the wall at this point and play hard. I could also see a letdown occurring, especially if ASU is able to score early in the game.
solarise: Maynard can't take 5 sacks per game and be expected to succeed. Curtis McNeal and Silas Redd's gashing runs made me doubt our D's ability to hold up against the likes of Jonathan Franklin, Cameron Marshall, Stepfan Taylor, and De'Anthony Thomas. This is a season with no bye week for our Bears to rest and gather themselves. Coaches will have to hold our team together, fight through hard times, and then let it all out each and every week, starting with the Sun Devils.
(How do you answer these questions, CGB readers? Share your emotional state in the comments.)