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Golden Nuggets: Prediction Thursday

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(To discuss USC-Hawaii and the remainder of today's action, please go here to yellow fever's Eating the Enemy Open Thread)

The great wait is over, fellow Sunshine Pumpers.  The season has finally kicked off!

Today we'll take a look at what various experts think will happen in this weekend's matchup against UC Davis.  Unfortunately, no one seems to care about the matchup because Cal is a) unranked and b) playing a team that most people east of the Sierras have never heard of.  Thankfully, the always-reliable Ted Miller provides some predictions (and even takes a jab at Stanford!).

California 55, UC Davis 11: I love picking scores. Double-nickels and legs-11! An FCS school doesn't move the needle much on the interest meter. 

Stanford 44, Sacramento State 11: See how I did that? I've given Stanford fans something to grouse about. It's for their own good. Now that your team is competitive again, Cardinal adherents, you need to adopt the irrational paranoia that infects all great fan bases. As in: "I can't believe Miller picked us to only score 44 on Sacramento State while he picked Oski-U to score 55 on UC Davis. He's clearly biased towards Cal!"

In addition to score predictions, this year I'll offer attendance predictions.  I can use the attendance models I generated this summer to predict each home game's attendance.

This weekend, the models tell us to expect between about 50k and 55k fans.  The low numbers are due to the lack of prestige associated with playing Davis.  Rumor has it Davis fans are fired up about the game, something the model isn't necessarily picking up.  If we treat the Davis game like the UCLA game (California team, intra-institutional rivalry) then we get estimates between 62k and 67k.  I'll take the median estimate from the three applicable models and say that this weekend's contest will have a turnout of 64,963.

After the jump TheAggie previews the UC Davis season, the team hosts its first media luncheon, JO interviews Shane Vereen, Tedford makes some final tweaks to the depth chart, and much more.

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