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Cal football has the best chance to upset which Pac-12 title contender?

Which of the big Pac-12 contenders do you think Cal has the best chance of upsetting this season and why?

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

boomtho: Oski forgive me... but I'm going to say USC at home. Hear me out... USC would be in the midst of a somewhat tough stretch, going @Notre Dame, vs Utah, @Cal, and concluding with vs Arizona. Cal could be the classic "trap game" that USC overlooks while preparing for the other teams, plus we get them at home.

Note the same logic would apply to Stanford, as we're sandwiched between @Oregon and vs Notre Dame... but I don't think they're a real Pac-12 contender this year.

I don't see us winning @Utah, @UCLA, or @Oregon, unfortunately. I would love to be proven wrong though!

Ruey Yen: Stanford, but I agree with boomtho that I am not exactly sure that they are really considered Pac-12 contender this year.

Sam Fielder: Boy, it's tough to try and pick one, but since that's the exercise, I'll say UCLA since SC and furd are already taken. They lost their star QB and their best defensive player and even though they're replacing them with talented players, I still think it'll take a bit to get their rhythm. And even though the game is at their place, it's one of those Thursday night games where something crazy always seems to happen, so why not us beating them? Plus we get them the week after they play furd, so maybe they'll be softened up a little bit.

Nik Jam: There are two big names coming to Berkeley: ASU and USC. I think ASU has a great shot to be the Pac-12 South winner this year, and they'll probably need to beat Cal to do it. I think they'll be very fired up and if Cal has nothing to play for (Eliminated for North division championship and already have six wins, or we had a nightmare year) might not stand a chance.

I don't know if UW or Stanford will qualify as upsets even on the road. Utah and Oregon might be too good.

So that leaves USC and UCLA. I think both aren't as "sure-loss" as pre-season forecasts will probably predict, but which to choose? USC will probably be better but it's a home game. UCLA will be vulnerable but it's a road game. I'll just have to go with which i'd rather see happen, and pick USC.

mpeters10: USC is the contender the Bears have the best shot at defeating. I don't think the Trojans are quite as good as they look on paper. Their strength is Cody Kessler. Cal's strength is Jared Goff. Anything can happen in a shootout and Goff is certainly capable of winning that matchup. The Bears played well during the second half of last season's meeting with "the men of troy" and have the weapons to beat the Trojans if they can avoid digging a massive hole to climb out of early.

KWBears: I agree with others here - it's UCLA.  Hundley is gone as well as a bulk of their defense.  They're relying on a true freshman to step in at QB - that can either go really well or not.  By the time Cal plays UCLA, Rosen will only be halfway through his first campaign - that's not enough time to be a surefire bet yet.  Plus, Thursday night under the lights on ESPN?  We can't afford to embarrass ourselves on national TV.  If Goff wants to make a real impression for the Heisman, he'll have to strut his stuff this game.

Berkelium97: I don't think we have much of a chance against Oregon or ASU (the stakes will be much higher for them on Thanksgiving weekend than they are for us).  We might be able to win against Utah, but I wouldn't bet on it.  Wins against LSJU, USC, or UCLA seem more likely, but I'd be reluctant to call any of them Pac-12 contenders.  As long as David Shaw and Kevin Hogan's wet noodle of an arm are leading the Lobsterback offense, they're not going to contend in the North.  UCLA will miss Brett Hundley much more than expected because he made their abysmal offensive line look merely incompetent.  Although USC returns many talented members of its team, Sark is among them, to the detriment of the team.  Furthermore, USC faces an extremely tough Pac-12 schedule, as the two teams missing from their schedule, Oregon State and Washington State, could be among the worst in the league.

A.W Johnston: ASU. We play the Sun Devil's after a grueling stretch of Pac-12 play and perhaps with the season on the line, however we face them at home. Cal's history against ASU in the last five years heavily favors the Bears and never underestimate a memorial stadium crowd with something to root for. Cal could very well come into this game with 7-8 wins and upset ASU. The optimistic Cal fan in me says we flip the script on the favorites to win the Pac-12 south in Strawberry Canyon late in the year.

Andrew G Miller: I’ll take UCLA. When I think about playing the Bruins, it feels like one of those rivalry games where anything can happen (as opposed to USC, where anything that can go wrong will go wrong). The Bears should have some momentum from the easier first half of the schedule, and benefit from having a week off before this game. I’m not ready yet to say we have a good chance at the upset, but if this team plays as well as I think it can, it’s definitely within the realm of possibility.

benwemer: I'll take USC, like boomtho said this could be a classic trap game. With the skills that we possess on the offensive side, I think we could get into an offensive shootout, Kessler V Goff, Winner get's best Pac-12 quarterback. And i'll take Goff in that all day everyday so bring on those Trojans. I would say UCLA but I don't like our chances in Pasadena in prime time.  

LeonPowe: Stanford, if they could be considered a contender. They've got to be out of Harbaugh tight end and offensive line recruits by now.

Rob Hwang: I dont mean to troll but.....All.

Trace Travers: USC. Seriously, it's time. It's been far too long since September 27th, 2003. It's going to happen. And I'm going to steal Tommy Trojan's sword.

Berkelium97: It's been a dozen years now since we last beat USC? Ugh, that streak gets more and more depressing every year.  Everyone in the Pac-10 has beaten them since then, and most have beaten them multiple times.

Keegan Dresow: Stanford.  The Dykes v Shaw Big Games will continue to be intriguing not only for the obvious rivalry reasons, but because of the contrast in styles.  Tony Franklin's offense is unique even in the spread offense landscape of college football, but Shaw's power run based attack is now the true anomaly. The main reason I've chosen Stanford is because the position group with the most question marks on Stanford's team is the defensive backfield.  This, of course, is matched against Cal's prolific passing offense.  Stanford's offensive identity is their run game, which matches against Cal's defensive strength - stopping the run.  However, we all know that Cal was historically bad at stopping the pass last year.  Cal's offense should be good enough to have a chance to out score a few top opponents, but to be a consistent threat to beat the top tier teams in the league (including Stanford), there will need to be improvement in stopping the pass.

PerryScope: Out of all the legitimate Pac 12 contenders this year, I believe Cal’s best chance would be to win a shootout against ASU.  Cal was fortunate enough to not have to play them last year because they were pretty damn good.  They had a chance to win the Pac 12 South with a win against rival Arizona, but came up just short.  Last season, two ASU quarterbacks shared time and neither was that spectacular.  Their best receiver Jaelan Strong left to go to the draft and he a monster year (75, 1062, 10).  This year expect them to go to the ground game more often with their stellar running back DJ Foster.  Everyone knows that Cal’s defense is poor at best, but their rush defense was a strong note amongst everything else.  This is the last game of the year and could potentially mean a bowl game for Cal.  Also ASU might walk into Berkeley not thinking too much on this game.  ASU will be playing for a spot in the Pac 12 title game and it would be great to spoil their chances with a home upset against a great time.