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Cal football: Reasons to hope

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There have to be reasons to hope, right?

Thearon W. Henderson

Give us the biggest reasons for Cal fans to be hopeful for the football team next season.

Nick Kranz: There's a two part ray of hope. The first part is that Cal is returning plenty of hypothetical talent on offense, and that a full year of game and practice reps means that they actually learn how to execute the Dykes/Franklin offense. Maybe Cal doesn't have one of the best offenses in the country, but with plenty of experience across the board, they are at least average.

And on defense, a year of playing literally any healthy body on the depth chart means that there is plenty of film on every player. Everybody comes into fall camp 100% healthy, and there is an intense competition for playing time between returning contributors and players who were injured this year. With so many potential contributors, it's hard to NOT get 11 decent starters, right? The defense also improves to become league average.

And with a league average offense AND defense, Cal turns into a league average Pac-12 team, and finishes the season 6-6. Progress!

LeonPowe: KNOCK ON WOOD. There's no way that series of injuries and other circumstances knock out 9 of 11 projected starters from one side of the ball again. Or if it does, maybe I just watch Cal swimming.

Berkelium97: After Saturday, we will go undefeated for nine months.

Ruey Yen: While in-season improvements are plausible but often not enough, the off-season is the time for players and coaches to regroup and grow. The Cal Football team will be better next season just based on all the experiences of the youngsters this year. If they are not mentally destroyed by all the losing and vow to never play football again, they should be much better for having survived this season.