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Golden Nuggets: Will Cal Football Experience a Great Leap Forward This Offseason?

While we may not all be satisfied with the 7-6 record this year, is it unreasonable to expect a big improvement next year (~9 wins)? Let's take a look back and a look forward.

Ted Miller gives Cal its final report card of the season. While the Bears generally exceeded preseason expectations, it is tough not to feel some disappointment at the end of the year.


We projected Cal ninth in the Pac-12 preseason power rankings, so a sixth-place finish means the Bears slightly exceeded our expectations. And, heading into the bowl season having won three of four -- the lone loss being a tight one against rival Stanford -- it seemed the Bears had pulled things together for a nice late-season surge. Then the Holiday Bowl happened, when the Bears got whipped by a mediocre Texas team 21-10, mostly because it lost the turnover battle 5-0. Just when it seemed like Cal had found its rhythm, it reminded everyone of its chronic inconsistency of the past few seasons. A win over Texas might have generated some momentum for a preseason top-25 ranking. Now that's not going to happen. The 2011 season produced reasons for hope in 2012. But it didn't do enough to change the general perception that coach Jeff Tedford will be on the hot seat in 2012.

Grade: C

Usually our voice of realism/pessimism for the football team, Jon Wilner expects the Bears to make an improvement next year. In fact, Wilner is optimistic enough to put the Bears in his preseason top-25.

23. Cal: Admittedly, I haven’t scrutinized the projected Pac-12 depth charts, but … If Zach Maynard continues to develop and the young defensive linemen live up to their billing, the Bears could be the third-best team in the Pac-12. (Utah, Stanford and Washington may have something to say about that.)

After the jump Lupoi rejects an offer from UW, both basketball teams beat Colorado, and Faraudo says Maynard will be academically eligible this year.