Nik Jam: I will be not so happy if we just beat Oregon State and go bowling, but a bowl game regardless is a good accomplishment and will be fun for the team and the fans no matter how "lowly" the bowl game winds up being.
However, the Bears are capable of beating everyone on the schedule and I dont want to wait till 2016 to see a "signature" win (unless you count UW/WSU as them already)
HydroTech: At the beginning of the season, if you told me Cal would have 6 or 7 wins and be bowl eligible, I would have been pleased. Two-thirds of the way through the season, and having seen what this team is capable of, I would be very disappointed with only 6 wins and mildly disappointed with 7 wins. I think this Cal team is capable of being a 8 and 9 win team. So for me, going 3-1 (or better) in the last four games would be a success and going 2-2 in the final four games would be tolerable. If Cal does go 2-2 in its remaining four games, I really hope that one of the wins is against Oregon or Stanfurd.
Ruey Yen: I think there is only one simple answer as to whether this year will be deemed as successful in the long term, win back the Axe!!! At the beginning of the season, I was hoping for wins this year against Texas, USC, and Stanford (and a trip to some random bowl). Yes, the expectation got a bit unrealistic after our fortunate schedule and a great start, but I'll happily take 2 out of 3.
More realistically, would I be satisfied if the Bears is competitive against Stanford like that Utah game but only to fall short? I want to say yes, but I'm not sure that is enough. Cal fans, Cal Football team, Jared Goff, etc. all deserve to see a much much needed win over Stanford in 2015. Anything less would not and should not be satisfactory.
boomtho: First goal is to make it to a bowl game, presumably by beating OSU. While that could mean a 1-6 finish to the season, a 6-6 finish, in aggregate, would be a small yet meaningful improvement over last year.
In order to move from a season that meets expectations to one that beats them, I think we need to be Oregon or Stanford plus OSU. That would put us at 7-5 with a win over a marquee program.
I would probably be slightly disappointed with only 6-7 wins, though that's largely because I thought we were a better team than that following the 5-0 start. If I really think about it logically, I'd have to admit that would be a decent season, and a potential springboard to greater success next year.
Keegan Dresow: Cal's three losses in a row have come against good teams. They were in striking distance of winning two of those three games. They remain competitive. I do not think that the season is in the dumps yet - the second half of the season was always going to be the challenge. A winning record on the season would show concrete evidence of the program wide improvement that I think is still taking place. A breakthrough (or more) against Oregon, Arizona State, or Stanford would give the program needed confidence that they can defeat top competition.
Piotr T Le: I think a 7-5 would be acceptable with a possible extension for Dykes depending on the bowl win + quality of the wins + our performance against Stanford. If we win against Stanfurd then the season will be 100% salvaged. The more I think about it, I think that the expectations post-Texas and post-Utah were too high and now we are back to where we predicted the team to be from Week 1.
Avinash Kunnath: Win Big Game or (alternatively) beat Oregon. I expect Cal to win at least one of its other two games to get bowl eligibility. But this program and Coach Dykes needs a big win to make the leap forward into 2016. Just winning against who we're expected to beat isn't enough.
The school and its fans need more. Cal had three golden chances and squandered them all. Beating one of our traditional North rivals would be a huge boost for us heading into next season.