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Golden Nuggets: Revisiting Cal Football's Worst-Case Scenario for the 2012 Season

Each summer Uncle Ted produces some entertaining best-case and worst-case scenarios for each of the Pac-12's teams. His worst-case scenario was shockingly accurate in 2010. Let's see how accurate his worst-case scenario was for 2012.


Remember how accurate Ted Miller's worst-case scenario was for Cal in 2010? Although his best case/worst case predictions have become more stylized and outlandish since then, he may not have lost his ability to produce surprisingly accurate predictions for the Bears. Let's see how his worst-case scenario matched up with reality.

In its first game in newly renovated Memorial Stadium, California opens with a 20-17 win against Nevada, beating the Wolfpack with a last-second field goal. The Bears then don't look impressive while besting Southern Utah 35-20.

With a loss to Nevada and an unimpressive win over SUU, the Bears are already doing worse than the worst-case scenario. A fine start.

The Bears surrender six sacks at Ohio State in a 20-3 loss. They then lose 44-20 at USC.

"Sigh," writes the California Golden Blogs.

We were a much more competitive at Ohio State and a much less competitive against USC. And yes, we all sighed after that two-game stretch.

Cal bounces back with wins against Arizona State and UCLA. Quarterback Zach Maynard finds his groove, throwing four touchdown passes with no interceptions.

Maynard couldn't find anything against ASU. Fortunately UCLA's utter incompetence allowed us to get a big win. So now we're two games worse than the worst-case scenario.

Caught looking ahead to the Big Game, Cal falls 44-41 at Washington State.

Then it surrenders four sacks in a 33-17 loss to Stanford in the Big Game.

At least we beat Wazzu. A 33-17 Big Game loss would have been much better than a 20-3 loss.

Maynard, not unlike 2011, remains inconsistent. The offensive line is struggling. The young talent on defense makes major mistakes for every big play. Injuries start to pile up.

That sounds about right.

After an overtime loss at Utah, a column in the San Francisco Chronicle asks if Tedford can survive a losing season.

The Utah loss seems to deflate the Bears. They suffer back-to-back home blowout defeats to Washington and Oregon. Amid rumors that Tedford will be fired, the Bears show fight at Oregon State, but lose 30-28.

Swap a close loss to Utah with a blowout loss to Washington and we break even. We were blown out against Oregon and suffered the worst loss of the Tedford era against Oregon State. 30-28? I wish.

At 4-8 with six consecutive losses to end the season, it's clear Cal will make a change. Athletic director Sandy Barbour announces that "with great regret" she is terminating Tedford.

USC wins the national championship. Stanford wins the Rose Bowl.

Yep, Tedford got fired and Stanford is one win away from the Rose Bowl (which they will be favored to win over Nebraska/Wisconsin). At least USC's national championship hopes are a smoldering crater.

Barbour hires Andy Ludwig to replace Tedford.

That hasn't happened....yet.

UCLA eclipses Cal on the U.S. News & World Report university rankings.

Nor has that...yet.

"Er," says UC Berkeley professor Jack Moehle, a member of the campus’s Seismic Review Committee. "You know all that stuff we built into the stadium to save it from a potential earthquake? The concrete 'seismic blocks' at the end zones to keep fans from rocking as a quake rolls, the press box that can sway up to 12 inches in a large-scale temblor, and the shock absorbers to prevent the box from crashing into the western seating bowl? None of it works. If there was even a small earth quake, everything would tumble into Hayward Fault. Well, everything other than USC and Stanford."

I pray to Juju this doesn't happen.

So let's recap:

Opponent Uncle Ted's Worst Case Reality
Nevada Cal wins 20-17 Cal loses 31-24
Southern Utah Cal wins 35-20 Cal wins 50-31
Ohio State Cal loses 3-20 Cal loses 28-35
USC Cal loses 20-44 Cal loses 9-27
Arizona State Cal wins Cal loses 17-27
UCLA Cal wins Cal wins 43-17
Washington State Cal loses 41-44 Cal wins 31-17
Stanford Cal loses 17-33 Cal loses 3-21
Utah Cal loses in OT Cal loses 27-49
Washington Cal loses a blowout Cal loses 13-21
Oregon Cal loses a blowout Cal loses 17-59
Oregon State Cal loses 28-30 Cal loses 14-62

So we did worse than the worst-case scenario. We did worse than the predictions he describes as "extreme scenarios and pieces of fiction."



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