Golden Nuggets: Cal Football 2012 Season In Review, Uncle Ted's Take

James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

Uncle Ted reviews the highlights and lowlights of the 2012 season and looks ahead to a challenging 2013 schedule.

Yesterday we looked at how the Bears measured up against our predictions. Today is Uncle Ted's turn. His season review gives the Bears an F.

What went right: The renovated stadium looked great on Sept. 1 when the season opened. The Bears played a highly competitive game they probably should have won at Ohio State, which went undefeated. A two-game winning streak the first two weekends of October, including a blowout win over UCLA, briefly -- falsely -- suggested the potential for a midseason turnaround. It seemed as though there was a real effort to handle Jeff Tedford's firing with as much respect as possible, considering his substantial contribution to the program over 11 years.

You know it was a bad season when a well executed firing of the head coach is among "what went right.".

Outlook for 2013: The Bears not only will be rebuilding next fall under new coach Sonny Dykes, they face a brutal schedule that could make things look worse than they are. The nonconference schedule includes visits from Northwestern, a sure Top-25 team, and Ohio State, a national title contender. Further, the Bears, per masochistic scheduling demands made by the school, insist on playing UCLA and USC every year. Let's hear it for the weekender! Who cares about the Rose Bowl?! Cal also takes road trips to Stanford and Oregon, which benefits significantly from Cal and Stanford demanding games with USC and UCLA every year. The Ducks and Cardinal will be ranked in the preseason top five, meaning Cal may play three top-five teams this season, as well as several others who likely will end up ranked. It might be the nation's toughest schedule. Aside from the schedule, Dykes needs to find a quarterback and will be switching the Bears from a 3-4 to a 4-3 defense. There's some nice pieces coming back -- most notably some promising young receivers, as well as defensive end Deandre Coleman and running back Brendan Bigelow -- and 2012 set the bar low, but next fall is unlikely to produce enough wins for a bowl berth.

What do you all think--can we manage six wins next season?


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