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Cal football midterm grades! What's your grade for the Bears?

The first half of the season is over. How would you grade Cal's season so far and why?

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

boomtho: I give it an A-. We've performed well above consensus forecasts that had us winning 1-3 games all year. We've shown tremendous growth on offense, across all units (despite the poor game from the OL against UW) and our defense looks better, if not good yet.

Ruey Yen: A, I know, I know. This may look like a bit too much of a private school type of grade, but my original expectation on this season is that the Bears can win 4 games; we have already reach that mark at this point of the year. Now if we go winless for the 2nd half to get a F there. A 4 win 2014 Cal Football season will still get a passing C/D from me.

Sam Fielder: I'd give us a C+.  We've been passing, but barely, but we've also overachieved beyond what people thought we might. The defense and startling lack of focus in some halves of games lowered this grade by a full letter but I'm still very pleased with how the first half has gone.  I was hoping that we'd be 3-3 after the first 6 games, so 4-2 is huge. But this is a young team that is still learning and has some obvious holes.  But momentum seems to be moving in the right direction, people seem to be coming out to the games and getting behind the team, and generally there are good vibes around the program for the first time in what feels like forever.  So while there is definitely room for improvement, I'm quite happy with where we are.

Nick Kranz: I suppose we have to start with a discussion of how curved the grade should be based on expectations. Cal has already beaten three teams they failed to beat last year, and played two other teams meaningfully better than last year even in defeat. Whatever your preferred method of evaluation is - statistics, the eye test, final scores - this is a team that is vastly better than last year. If you're just looking for improvement, an A grade could perhaps be justified.

Still, if you asked the coaches or players, I don't think they would want to be graded on a curve. Rightly or wrongly, they want to be viewed as legitimate contenders for conference titles. Viewed against their conference peers, Cal is 2-2 with close games that could have swung their record anywhere from 0-4 to 3-1. That would probably be worth a C- or so, if you pretended that Cal was just another Pac-12 team that didn't just go 1-11 and get blown out in 10 games last year.
So I'll take the average and give the Bears a solid B. To maintain that grade they won't have to win even a majority of their games the rest of the way. What they will have to do is to be competitive in those games. No more 24 point defeats that are all but over in the 3rd quarter, please.

Avinash Kunnath: B+, simply because we look like a football team losing in normal ways again. The Washington performance takes this down a notch, but that loss was probably better than eight or nine of the losses we experienced last season. Cal's offense has improved thanks in large part to Goff and better offensive line play, the defense is well-coached, and the Bears have displayed a functional offense for much of the season. A few more performances like the first three games of Pac-12 play, and they will be bowling.