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Cal football schedule: Where do we get our wins?

Look down the rest of Cal's schedule. Rank the games from most winnable to least winnable and justify!

Stephen Dunn


1. Washington St.
2. Oregon St.
3. Colorado
4. USC
5. Arizona
6. Washington
7. Stanford
9. Oregon

There's a pretty big gap between Arizona and Washington. Arguably, we're lucky. Three of Cal's four weak opponents are visiting Memorial stadium, and we might actually be favored in 3-5 games this year, depending on how things progress over the season.

I see something along the lines of 4.5 wins. I'm probably being a homer.


1. @ Colorado
Colorado's been a nice story to start the season, but they've beaten nobody yet. They're drastically improved from last year's mess, but they're still a thin and not very talented team. We really should win this game, even though Boulder is a tough venue.

2. vs. Oregon State
Needless to say, I expect this to be a bit of a shootout. Hopefully we can put together enough defense to scrape by. These guys still lost to an FCS team, remember.

3. vs. Washington State
Yes, they beat USC, but the Trojans were putrid on offense. We won't be. They may score some points but we should score more.

4. vs. USC
They put in a good game on offense finally, but I'm not exactly scared yet. Boston College is not a good football team.

5. vs. Arizona
They have a potent offense, but they haven't played anybody yet. I think we have a good shot, but this might be a shootout as well.

6. vs. Stanford
The more I see of Stanford this year, the more skeptical I am that they deserve their top-5 ranking. They're a good team, but we've got a shot here. Yeah, I know the game is @ Stanford, but it's not an away game. Also, it's at the end of the season and I expect us to be a better team than we are right now.

7. @ Washington
I think Washington is a solid team, and we get them on the road in their new stadium, so I'm sure it'll be a tough place to play. They're beatable, and Sark isn't a good coach, but I think this will be a hard one to win, much as I would really like to have this one.

8. @ UCLA
UCLA under Mora is a juggernaut in the making. I'm sure they'll have payback from last year on their minds. I don't like our chances in this one.

9. @ Oregon
Not a lot of hope here. The Ducks are better than any program really ought to be. Our defense has a lot of growing up to do over the next two weeks.

Sam Fielder:
1. vs. Oregon State
Home game that I think we can win by just plain outscoring them.

2. @ Colorado
This actually worries me a bit as I think Richardson will go off against our week secondary. We might be able to outscore them though, so we'll see how it goes.

3. vs. Washington State
Should be another high scoring affair, but I think we can win this game.

4. vs. USC
I haven't seen much from them that makes me think we can't pull the upset here. They still out talent us though, so this is a toss up.

5. vs. Arizona
Seems solid enough and are about a year ahead of us in the rebuilding process, so I give them the edge here.

6. @ Washington
They look good this year but are always unpredictable in the coaching arena. I don't think we can win, but stranger things have happened.

7. vs. Stanford
I think we'll be able to score on them but I think they'll be be able to run like mad on us. Tough to see us pulling this one out.

8. @ UCLA
This could get ugly. They look really good and Mora has them rolling right now.

9. @ Oregon
Nope, not going to happen. They are too potent right now.

1. Washington State: They've certainly improved, but they lack the consistency on offense to keep up with our offense. Their run defense is still suspect. If we can bolster the running game to complement the passing game, we should have no problem here.

2. Colorado: They're 2-0, but they faced fourth-quarter deficits against Central Arkansas and Colorado State. The offensive line is still working on undoing Marshall's damage, as their pass protection and running game are still sub-par. I'm sure Paul Richardson will have another spectacular game against us, but I doubt the Colorado defense will strong enough to keep us at bay in a shootout.

3. Arizona: The Wildcats' offense is surprisingly one-dimensional so far this season. If we stack the box and dare Denker to beat us through the air, we should be able to limit their production (especially if Scarlett, Moose, and Forbes have returned). I have confidence Cal can prevail in a high-scoring affair

4. USC: This should be interesting. What happens when our atrocious passing D faces an atrocious passing offense? That matchup will decide the outcome of this game. Although USC has plenty of athletes on defense, the Bear Raid seems like the kind of offense that would have scored 40+ on Clancy's D the past few years.

5. Oregon State: If Mannion keeps playing this well, this game is going have a final score of 49-48. Who wins? I don't know.

6. Washington: I am much less optimistic about this game after seeing our awful pass defense over the past few games. Who's going to guard Austin Seferian-Jenkins? Hopefully the Keith Price of 2012 shows up to this game.

7. Stanford: I am not confident in our O-line in the matchup against the Cardinal front-seven, but I am really interested to see how Dykes-Franklin attack this defense.

8. UCLA: UCLA appears to be the real deal. Of course, they could have another one of their classic, "let's enrage the UCLA fanbase" kind of losses. That would be nice.

9. Oregon: I have no confidence that our defense will be able to turn things around by the time we face Oregon. They should score 60+ without breaking a sweat.