Concern. That's the state of mind a Cal football fan can find his or herself in during the interminable offseason. There's some giddy anticipation at the potential of great stars breaking out and showing new moves--Darian Hagan this past season, Jahvid Best the year before that, Desean the year before that. Some of us even dream of the great upsets, of going undefeated, of cheering the Cal band on down Colorado Blvd. Boredom and a lot of free time can do that to you.
In 2005, we were touting the talents of Nate Longshore, but we were probably uncertain as to how good he would be (and even less enthused about Joe Ayoob when Nate went down). 2006 & 2007 we went in with Longshore, but we weren't quite sure what to expect; Nate was a serviceable QB both seasons with occasional flashes of brilliance, but ultimately did not develop further. In 2008 we suffered through a toss and turn season of "Who's the starter?", a season that led to relative unease everytime the Bears went under center.
National rank in passing efficiency from 2004 to 2008: 5th, 65th, 32nd, 52nd, 72nd
Long, deep breaths everyone!
As for next season, I’m not drinking the preseason top-15 koolaid. I think we’re about a 7-5 to 9-3 team again. More towards the 7-5 range if our passing doesn’t improve, and more towards the 9-3 range if our passing improves. If everything really comes together next year, perhaps 10-2, but the likelihood of everything coming together rather than one or two things is less likely so I’m not betting the bank on a 10+ win season.