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Golden Nuggets: Figuring Out Where Cal Will Finish in 2010

People seem to have mixed opinions on how Cal will fare in the 2010 season.  Some predict that Cal will be fighting for a top-three finish in the conference and others believe Cal will finish in the bottom half of the conference.  Let's take a look at two of these polarized predictions.

Phil Steele

Pac-10 finish: 3rd (tie)
Steele’s comment:
Cal has not done well when expectations are high and they are not one of the preseason favorites to win the Pac-10 for 2010. They do have a veteran O-line to go with outstanding skill players and my #2 rated D-line in the league. Cal’s had some poor finishes the past few years but they finish this season with 3 straight HG’s (home games). Cal has five Pac-10 HG’s overall and one of their road trips is at Wash St. Now that they are back in the preferred "hunters" role, I look for Cal to pull some surprises and they are a legit Pac-10 title contender.

Pac-10 finish: 7th
Projected record: 7-5, 4-5
Projected bowl: Kraft Fight Hunger
Athlon’s verdict: Meeting expectations has been a problem for California, but the Bears begin 2010 under the radar. The key to the season could rest with quarterback Kevin Riley, who has been inconsistent and must improve for the offense to move forward. Five starters return on defense, but they have to adapt to a new coordinator and repair a secondary that was among the worst in the Pac-10 last season. The middle of the Pac-10 is wide open — the Bears could finish anywhere from fourth to seventh.

After the jump we see what the previews are saying about the rest of the Pac-10, Randle continues to try to find a home in the NBA, Riley earns a spot on the Manning Award watch list, and more.